Linde North America has announced that it is now able to examine and re-qualify high-pressure gas cylinders and tonne containers using ultrasound, ensuring increasingly efficient and thorough safety checks in future.

Linde North America, a member of The Linde Group, a leading gases and engineering company, has added the latest in ultrasonic testing technology at its Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, location.

The US Department of Transportation requires high-pressure gas cylinders be tested at least once every five to ten years, depending on cylinder type, to check wall thickness and look for defects such as cracks, pits or corrosion.

“This capability enables Linde to test our own and our customers’ cylinders more thoroughly and efficiently to ensure that they’re safe,” said John O’Neil, Manager of Ultrasonics and Failure Analysis, North America for Linde Electronics.

“Ultrasonic examination is faster, easier and more accurate than current alternatives, such as hydrostatic testing and internal visual inspection. It is also more cost effective, than hydrostatic testing since the cylinders require less post-exam preparation and handling, resulting in efficiency gains and shorter turn-around times,” O’Neil said.

Ultrasonic technology can accommodate a range of aluminium and steel cylinders and containers in a variety of sizes. Longitudinal and shear waves ensure full coverage of the cylinders’ sidewall to reliably identify critical flaws and compensate for irregularities associated with manufacturing processes or service life.

And unlike with hydrostatic or visual inspection, ultrasonic examination does not require that a cylinder’s residual contents be emptied and its valve removed.

Following the test, Linde can provide a detailed analysis that can be stored electronically or printed for the customer’s convenience.