Why is safe storage of gas cylinder important?

The Gas Cylinder Rules,1981

The provisions of these rules pertain to the filling. Storage, handling and transportation of gas cylinders exceeding pressure of 1.5kg/cm2 at 15 degrees Celsius.

The rules regulate the manufacture of cylinders, valves and regulators, marking, stamping and color coding of cylinders, import of gas cylinders, testing of cylinders and the procedures for appointing competent person authorized to undertake the testing and inspection of gas cylinders.

“Chief Controller” means the Chief Controller of Explosives, Government of India                         

A flashback arrestor or flash arrestor is a special gas safety device most commonly used in oxy-fuel welding and cutting to stop the flame or reverse flow of gas back up into the equipment or supply line and it prevents the user and equipment from damage or explosions.

  • “Chief Controller” means the Chief Controller of Explosives, Government of India;

Compressed Natural Gas (CNG)” means mixtures of hydrocarbon gases and vapours, consisting mainly of Methane in gaseous form, which has been compressed for use as automotive fuel;

  • Filling ratio” means the ratio of the weight of a liquefiable gas introduced in the cylinder to the weight of the water the cylinders will hold at 150C;
  • Gas Cylinder” or “Cylinder” means any closed metal container having a volume exceeding 500 ml but not exceeding 1000 litres intended for the storage and transport of compressed gas LPG/CNG.
  • “hydrostatic test” means the test to which a cylinder is subjected to a hydrostatic pressure equal to the test pressure of the cylinder;
  • test pressure” means the internal pressure required for the hydrostatic test or hydrostatic stretch test of the cylinder
  • Critical temperature” means the temperature above which gas cannot be liquefied by the application of pressure alone;
  • permanent gas” means a gas whose critical temperature is below _100C that is to say a gas which cannot be liquefied under any pressure at a temperature above _100C;
  • high pressure liquefiable gas” means a liquefiable gas having a critical temperature between – 100 C and + 700 C;
  • low pressure liquefiable gas” means a liquefiable gas having critical temperature higher than +70ºC;

“tare weight” in relation to –

  • (1) acetylene cylinder means the weight of the cylinder together with any fittings, permanently attached and includes the weight of valve any safety device, porous mass, requisite quantity of solvent for dissolving acetylene, and the weight of acetylene gas saturating the solvent at atmospheric pressure and temperature of 150 C;
  • (2) liquefiable gas cylinder means the weight of the cylinder together with any fittings permanently attached thereto and includes the weight of valve;
  • (3) permanent gas cylinder means the weight of the cylinder together with any fittings permanently attached thereto and excludes the weight of valve;

What method is to be used to test for leaks on cylinder valves, regulators and all connections?

Apply 0.5% Teepol solution in water with a brush or an approved leak detection spray and look for any bubbles that may appear  

Acetylene Gas Cylinder

“Dissolved acetylene cylinder” means a cylinder containing a porous mass, a solvent for the storage of dissolved acetylene and at least sufficient acetylene to saturate the solvent at atmospheric pressure and at a temperature of +150 C having a valve and with or without safety devices, ;

Acetone or any other solvent used shall not be capable of chemical reaction with the acetylene gas or with the porous mass or with the metal of the cylinder or valve;

Identification of Colors
  • Every person filling any cylinder with any compressed gas shall, before it is stored or despatched, see that the cylinder is painted with appropriate identification colours specified in IS:4379 for industrial cylinders and IS:3933 for medical cylinders.
  • For acetylene
  • Hydrogen Liquefied petroleum gas ( LPG )
  • Methane
  • Carbon monoxide
  • Carbon di oxide
  • Oxygen
  • Chloride

Cylinders containing gases or gas mixtures for which exclusive identification is not provided , shall be colour-marked in accordance with Table

Marking Of  Cylinders
  • Every cylinder shall be marked with the following namely the and rotation number, specification to which Manufacturer’s, owner’s and inspector’s marking date the cylinder has been made:   date of the last hydrostatic test or hydrostatic stretch test, working pressure and test pressure; tare weight, water capacity,
  • The name plate shall not be affixed to the cylinder by soldering if there is a risk of corrosion or embrittlement.
  • In conjunction with the original marking, space shall be provided for stamping the test date obtained at the periodic inspection.
  • No licence needed for filling and possession in certain cases:
  • (a) possession of any cylinder filled with a compressed gas by a carrier or other person for the purpose of transport
  • (b) possession of cylinders filled with –
    • (i) liquified petroleum gas when the total quantity of gas does not exceed 100 kg at a time;
    • (ii) any other flammable but non-toxic gas when the total number of cylinders containing such gas does not exceed 25 or the total weight of gas does not exceed 200 kg., whichever is less, at a time;
    • (iii) any non-flammable non-toxic gas when the total number of such cylinders does not exceed 200 at a time;
    • (iv) any toxic gas when the total quantity of such cylinders does not exceed 5 at a time;
    • (v) acetylene gas contained in cylinders in dissolved state when the total quantity of such cylinder does not exceed 50 at a time.
Storage of Cylinders
  • Cylinders shall be stored in a cool, dry, well ventilated place under cover, away from boilers, open flames, steam pipes or any potential sources of heat and such place of storage shall be easily accessible.
  • The storage room or shed shall be of fire resistant construction.
  • Thin wall cylinders such as liquefied petroleum gas cylinders and dissolved gas cylinders shall not be stacked in a horizontal position.
  • Cylinders containing flammable gases and toxic gases shall be kept separated from each other and from cylinders containing other types of gases by an adequate distance or by a suitable partition wall.
  • Cylinders shall not be stored under conditions, which will cause them to corrode.
  • Cylinders shall not be stored along with any combustible material.
  • Empty cylinders shall be segregated from the filled ones and care shall be taken that all the valves are tightly shut.
Handling and Use
  • Cylinders shall be adequately supported during handling.
  • Conveyors, trolleys of adequate strength shall, as far as possible, be used when moving the cylinders.
  • The cylinders are not be allowed to fall upon one another or otherwise subjected to any undue shock.
  • Sliding, dropping or playing with cylinders is prohibited.
  • Liquefied petroleum gas cylinders and cylinders containing liquefiable gases shall always be kept in an upright position
  • Cylinders used in horizontal position shall be so secured that they cannot roll.
  • Open flames, lights, mobile phones, lighting of fires, welding and smoking shall be prohibited in close proximity to any cylinder containing flammable gases except those while in use for welding, cutting or heating.
Safety Relief Devices
  • Cylinders manufactured in India, if fitted with safety relief devices in their bodies, shall have such safety devices manufactured and maintained in accordance with IS:5903
  • Cylinders containing obnoxious or poisonous gases shall not be provided with any safety device.

“obnoxious or poisonous gases” include Carbon monoxide, Hydrogen chloride, Fluorine, Cynagen, Hydrogen fluride, Sulphur dioxide, Chlorine

  • For Acetylene cylinder, The safety relief devices fitted, shall operate at a pressure of 53 kgf/cm2 or at a temperature of 1000C + 40C/–20C.
General Precautions
  • If a leak in the valve cannot be rectified by tightening the gland nut, the cylinder shall be removed to an open space where it is least dangerous to life and property and the filler shall be informed
  • Cylinders together with their valves and other fittings and the identification colours under these rules shall always be maintained in good condition.
  • No oil or similar lubricant shall be used on any valves or other fittings of any cylinder.
  • No cylinder shall be subjected to any heat treatment or exposed to a high temperature or to the Sun or stored with any other flammable or explosive material.
Purity of Gases:

Before filling any cylinder with gases like carbon monoxide, coal gas, hydrogen or methane, the gas shall be free from hydrogen sulphide and other sulphurous impurities as far as practicable. The moisture shall be less than 0.02 g/m3 of gas at normal temperature and pressure

Cylinder subjected to the action of fire: –

  • (1) (a) A cylinder exposed to fire shall not be used unless it has undergone proper examination and hydrostatic test or hydrostatic stretch test.
  • (b)  If deleterious structural changes in the material due to the action of heat of the fire is apprehended to have taken place, the cylinder shall have to be subjected to proper heat treatment, followed by hydrostatic test or hydrostatic stretch test, as the case may be, before the cylinder is taken into use.
  • (2) Dissolved acetylene cylinders, which have been damaged by fire shall be condemned and destroyed by an experienced and competent person
Conversion of Cylinders
  • (1) Gas cylinders designed and approved for filling with a particular gas shall not be used for filling with any other gas unless specific approval is obtained from the Chief Controller except that :-
  • (a) inert gases, oxygen and compressed air cylinders made to the same specification and design may be converted from one gas to another after fitting with appropriate valve and painting with appropriate identification colour without prior permission from Chief Controller, with approval of the cylinder owner.
  • (b) proper records of such conversions shall be maintained by the gas filler for examination of Chief Controller or Controller as and when needed.

Working pressure and filling ratios:—

  • (1) The working or internal pressure in any cylinder charged with a permanent gas shall not exceed two-third of the test pressure.
  • (2) Cylinders charged with liquefiable gases shall not be filled in excess of the filling ratios specified in IS:3710 for low pressure liquefiable gases and IS:8866 for high pressure liquefiable gases
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