Worthington Industries recently improved the surface quality and internal cleanliness of its industrial high pressure steel cylinders.
The pressure vessel manufacturer said with its proprietary Longlife Powercoat powder paint, its high pressure steel cylinders are now able to retain a flawless surface of up to 5,000 hours of salt spray testing – more than doubling its previous durability.
In an exclusive interview, gasworld spoke to Gabriele Zeilerbauer (left), Director of European Sales to find out more about why Worthington Industries has made these improvements.
In her role, Zeilerbauer manages a team of nine with sales responsibility for steel high-pressure and acetylene cylinders for industrial applications. “We manufacture these cylinders in Austria and ship to more than 90 countries on five continents. I also work closely with our innovation team to develop new products and services that best meet our customers’ evolving needs.”
With the new improvements, Worthington Industries has significantly increased the durability of its proven surface coating, reduced refurbishment costs and expensive downtime. But why has the company decided to do this now?
“We see a trend for special applications where internal conditioning and external appearance requirements are steadily increasing, e.g for medical gases and electronic gases, the retest period has been extended from 10 to 15 years,” Zeilerbauer explained. “Our products are acknowledged as the benchmark in many ways, and we strive to stay ahead of the industry standard. With this improvement, we can offer a better value proposition to fulfil high-end customer requirements.”
A second major development is the increase in the internal cleanliness of the steel cylinders from 100 mg/m2 hydrocarbons to 50 mg/m2 hydrocarbons, and 100 mg/m2 particles to 20 mg/m2 particles. With additional treatments, the hydrocarbons can be reduced to 10 mg/m2 and particles down to 5 mg/m2 for more sophisticated applications.
“We are proud to have surpassed industry standards. We have lowered the hydrocarbon content by 50% and particle content by 80% through process improvements for standard applications and can go down to extremely low values for specialty or other very demanding gas application. For the latter, we have installed a new cleaning line.”
Zeilerbauer said low weight is another major advantage, “Our 50 L 200 BAR cylinder weighs only 44 kg, and our 50 L 300 BAR weighs 61 kg, which is the lightest-weight steel high pressure cylinder in the world. This supports our customers in saving on logistics costs and eases handling. Also, our standing circle (base) is the largest, which makes the cylinder more stable and is an important safety point.”
In the salt spray test, which manufacturers use to understand how many hours of wear and tear a cylinder can tolerate before it shows traces of corrosion, the cylinders coated with Worthington’s Longlife Powercoat powder paint achieved more than 100% better figures than previous standards.
Explaining the process of the salt spray test, Zeilerbauer said, “Sharp-edge scratches on cross-sections are applied on the painted cylinder surface. In chambers, salt is permanently sprayed onto these cross-sections. Once corrosion becomes visible with a maximum delamination of 2 mm, we determine this as the maximum salt spray test hours we can guarantee. The tests need to be run on a representative number of cylinders.”