Australian Standard Requirements
In Australia all SCUBA cylinders are required to be hydrostatically tested every twelve months. This must be carried out in accordance with Australian Standards and be done by a Certified Test Station. Your cylinder is stamped around the neck area indicating the month and year it was tested along with the test station number. Ozaquatec is a Certified Test Station – No: 723 All aluminium pre 1991 CIG/LUXFER cylinders made from alloy 6351 will require a Visual Eddy Plus 3 Ultrasonic neck test. This is indicated with an E stamped as part of the test stamp. Tanks that fall into this category are recommended by CIG/Luxfer that a Visual Eddy is performed every two years or at the discretion of the test station operator. If a cylinder does not have a current test stamp, it will not and should not be filled.
The cylinder is drained of air and the details of your cylinder are recorded on a test report including owner’s details, serial number, manufacturer, cylinders specifications, standard to which it is manufactured and test pressure. A visual inspection is then carried out looking for damage including dents and corrosion that may affect the integrity of your cylinder and this can lead to them failing test. The valve is removed and if in the opinion of the technician the valve requires to be serviced it will be and usually is at an additional cost. Cylinder valves not fitted with the correct burst disk assembly will undergo a valve service and correction, this also is an additional cost. The neck threads and internal area of the cylinder are checked for pitting, rust, wear and corrosion. Often older cylinders particularly aluminium often fail in this area as the neck threads is often worn beyond the allowed tolerance. This is an automatic failure under the testing standards. Cylinders can be subject to internal rust or corrosion due to moisture. This is commonly due to poor filling procedures and poor air quality. Note: You should always check that the fill station has an in date Air Quality Test Certificate and this must be displayed. It is your responsibility and in your best interest to check this. Rust or internal corrosion of your cylinder does not mean it cannot be repaired. The cylinder can be brushed using specialised brushes a process commonly known as whipping. Another method commonly used method is that of rumbling. This is the process by which terracotta balls and/or other mediums are used to facility the cleaning process. Wood chips can also be used to help remove dust and rust particles prior to further inspection, testing and cleaning. This process can be time consuming but is effective.
If your cylinder passes the above inspections it is then ready to be hydrostatically tested. It is filled with water and connected to the test panel. The cylinder is pressurised to its fill pressure, it is checked for leaks and air bubbles and for the panels’ accuracy before the main test is carried out. Once this is complete the cylinder is then pressurised to its test pressure and held there for no less than 30 seconds. The pressure is slowly released and the level is recorded. The cylinder is then disconnected from the test panel and drained. It is then inverted and placed on warm air driers to ensure it completely dries. One final internal inspection is carried out and then the neck O-ring is replaced and the valve reinstalled. The cylinder is stamped in accordance with Australia Standards, filled, leak tested and the report completed and signed off by signatory. Any cylinders that fail this test are subject to be stamped failed (FAILED 723) in accordance with the Australian Standards.
The cost is minimal for such a timely process and is $55 for a standard hydro including Air and O-ring. For only little extra, include a 32% membrane fill for $75. Our normal lead time is 1 to 2 working days for tanks to be hydrostatically tested. Please check with our staff for conditions of same day turnaround. If you require any further information on SCUBA cylinder testing or have any queries please feel free to contact us. We are only too happy to help.