The Dissolved Acetylene session of the Japan Industrial Gases Association (JIGA) has announced that non asbestos cylinders have passed the performance test of the High Pressure Gas Safety Association (KHK), and that the small size cylinders went on sale in May and that the main type, 41 cylinders will go on sale in July.

JIGA also announced that it would compose a policy for voluntary standards related to the use of the old cylinders and that it has decided that acetylene cylinders should not be filled after 38 years of use.

1.2 million cylinders are estimated to be in circulation in Japan. For the estimated 40,000 cylinders in circulation which were manufactured over 38 years ago, it was decided that for the sake of safety they would not be filled with acetylene after being returned to the filling company and that they would be rendered harmless.

The 2 domestic producers of acetylene cylinders, Koatsu Gas Kogyo and Kanto Acetylene have announced that the cylinders passed the performance test of the KHK on March 22, and that some users would be conducting trial usage from May to July.

Cost Ò°36,000 per cylinder
The price of the new type cylinders will rise because the number of processes has increased due to several types of glass wool being mixed in. For this reason management has become complicated and costs have risen. Increases in costs are expected compared to asbestos cylinders with only one type of material. According to Masumi Nomura of Koatsu Gas Kogyo, "In addition to the cylinders themselves with the skyrocketing of the price of steel, increases in the price of the solvent acetone, valves, caps, and transportation costs are very great." He went on to say that because of this, there would be an increase in the price of about 20%, with cylinders going for about Ò°36,000 each.

In contrast, Mr. Shigeki Kabazawa of Kanto Acetylene stated that, "As of the summer of last year, it was difficult to obtain substitutes for glass wool so that I even thought that cylinders used for filling 7.2 kg would require the 45 cylinders. We later explored the mixing ratio for glass wool, and with numerous improvements it turned out that the same cylinders as up to now could still be used."

As for the new type of non-asbestos cylinders, in addition to external appearance in terms of girth and height, the speed of filling, and the velocity of gas flow, the volume of acetylene filling for the 41 cylinder is 7.2 kg, this being exactly the same as that of the present acetylene cylinders. The overall weight of the cylinder, however, is about 53 kg, about 1.3-1.9 kg heavier than the current cylinders.