“A niche within a niche” that’s exactly what gasworld’s Global Managing Editor, Rob Cockerill, described the speciality gases business as in today’s webinar titled Spotlight on Specialty Gases: Trends in Markets & Operations, sponsored by Weldcoa.

In a one-hour special, Cockerill was joined by representatives from Weldcoa, Servomex and Luxfer Gas Cylinders to hear all about the niche market, for cylinder making, to maintaining and filling – once again bringing our views a gritty discussion.

Kevin Klotz, Field Technician and Customer Support Specialist at Weldcoa told the gasworld TV audience exactly how Weldcoa, sponsor of the webinar, is advancing on the technology front to support the speciality gases business,

Romary Daval, Technical Manager for Europe for Luxfer Gas Cylinders, was first to share his expertise and shared knowledge on the storage of speciality gases. “As you know, the composition of speciality gas are very accurate, but these compositions must remain constant in the cylinders,” he explained.

“These compositions must remain constant in the cylinders and that means that there is almost no interaction between the gas and on the surface of the aluminium.”

Throughout his discussion Daval explained the importance of this and the methods that Luxfer are carrying out to ensure that its cylinders are maintained in the best possible way. This also included discussions around the acid cleaning method that Luxfer decided to eliminate.

Moving from the storage vessel itself to cleaning and filling it, Cockerill then went on to speak with Kevin Klotz, Field Technician and Customer Support Specialist at Weldcoa, who informed the audience about the company’s new technologies and what it is experiencing in the speciality gases business.

Doing just that, Klotz, explained, “When resurfacing a cylinder for a different purpose or just altogether putting it into reactive gas service is it beneficial to go through some sort of an extensive process to make sure that we can minimise any sort of impurities that might be clinging onto the inside surface of that cylinder.” 

“With that in mind, what we [Weldcoa] have developed, in addition to a cylinder processing oven, is what we call a cylinder preservation system.” 

“Traditionally, before manufacturers like Luxfer had the ability to put specialised coatings on the inside of the cylinders, a lot more work was done by the gas distributor or the manufacturer of the gases going into the cylinder to prep the inside surface.”

“That then meant that after you either got a cylinder, valved it, serviced it or anything like that, you’d have to go through a lot of work to try to really dry out the cylinder, remove any impurities such as moisture and other things like that you wouldn’t want in there.” 

“On top of that, when you gave it your best effort and really did the most work that you could, we would often still find the shelf life on these reactive gas cylinders was way lower than we expected, we’d be hoping for at least a several years shelf life and in some of the analytical studies that we had done, we find that we’d get a fraction of that or even less, depending on how the cylinder is pumped or what kind of gas we’re using inside of it.”

“So we’ve developed a specialised manifold that really helps to finish the prep work inside of a untreated cylinder by using a combination of different methods, as well as different types of gases for cleaning out the inside of the cylinder and that’s been a huge development because of the necessity of that, so we’ve been really happy with that and its progress and its functionality so far.” 

The final speaker on the agenda as Doug Barth, Senior Global Product Manager for Servomex, who spoke about the company’s products and how they help to assist the speciality gases market.

Responsible for the Servomex’s company’s SERVOPRO MultiExact 4100, MonoExact DF-310E and the DF-550E/560E/560E ULTRA NanoTrace analyser range. Barth oversees the product lifecycle, technical sale and applications support, and ensures Servomex’s products meet the needs of its customers – meaning he hold a lot of expertise in the area.