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AB AB

The International Marine Contractors Association

Gas Cylinders Used in Conjunction with Diving Operations
in Areas Governed by UK Regulations

The International Marine Contractors Association

www.imca-int.com www.imca-int.com

AODC 010 Rev. 1
March 1994

1 This guidance supersedes AODC 010 (January 1983) which has now been withdrawn www. There are also four regional sections which facilitate work on issues affecting members in their local geographic area – Americas Deepwater.imca-int. each covering a specific area of members’ interests: Diving. Offshore Survey. For the avoidance of doubt no legal liability shall attach to any guidance and/or recommendation and/or statement herein contained. safety. They commit to act as responsible members by following relevant guidelines and being willing to be audited against compliance with them by their clients.The International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) is the international trade association representing offshore. Marine. Certification & Personnel Competence The Association is organised through four distinct divisions. Members are self-regulating through the adoption of IMCA guidelines as appropriate. . Europe & Africa and Middle East & India. Environment & Legislation Training. AB AODC 010 Rev. marine and underwater engineering companies. environmental and technical standards through the publication of information notes. There are two core activities that relate to all members: Safety. Asia-Pacific. health. codes of practice and by other appropriate means.com/diving The information contained herein is given for guidance only and endeavours to reflect best industry practice. Remote Systems & ROV. IMCA promotes improvements in quality.

................. 8 Examination.... Testing and Certification of Gas Cylinders ................. Test and Certification Criteria Cylinders.. 1 Periodic Examination and Test Criteria ................ 1 Regulations Governing the Initial Supply...................................................................... Test and Certification Criteria Pressure Vessels Welded .......................................................................................................................................................... Test and Certification Criteria Cylinders............ 4 Categories of Competent Person........................................ 9 Examination...... 2 Extension of Period Between Hydraulic Tests... 1 – March 1994 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Application ................................. Test and Certification Criteria Cylinders............................................................................................................................ 1 Operational Considerations ...... 1 Cylinders Supplied Against USA Department of Transportation Standards.......................................... Codes....................................... Gas and Pressure Vessels Seamless – Above Water ...................................... 1 Comment ..................Gas Cylinders Used in Conjunction with Diving Operations in Areas Governed by UK Regulations AODC 010 Rev........................................................................................................... 10 . 6 Examination................................ Seamless – Taken Underwater ............. Gas................................................ 2 Appendices 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Bibliography of Regulations........................... 1 Initial Supply....... Standards and Guidance .......... 3 Design and Manufacturing Codes and Standards....... Gas and Pressure Vessels Seamless – Above Water ............................................................. Examination............................. 5 Examination....................

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For offshore application where the DOW Regulations apply. 1 . 3 Regulations Governing the Initial Supply. verification may be by way of certification or stamping the cylinder.1 Application This guidance specifically addresses UK regulations and should be applied in areas governed by them. this verification must be by way of certification. manufactured. examined and tested in accordance with the appropriate code or standard and that it is fit for use up to a stated pressure. 10 and 26 of the latter is repeated here at Appendices III-VII for convenience. Testing and Certification of Gas Cylinders Those cylinders which are considered part of the diving operation are covered by the Diving Operations at Work Regulations (DOWR) (Bib Ref 2). USA DoT cylinders are usually supplied for service under DoT Hazardous Materials Regulations (Bib Ref 6) whereby cylinders for helium based gases can be filled to 110% of their marked service This guidance reflects the philosophy and criteria given in AODC 056 (Bib Ref 1). welded steel or seamless aluminium. the technical content may be applied in any geographic area in addition to national regulations which must always be adhered to. 5 Periodic Examination and Test Criteria The categories of competent person appropriate to carry out examination. 2 2. Gas containers which are used for the supply of gas from land based facilities are governed by the Pressure Systems and Transportable Gas Containers Regulations (Bib Ref 3). However. standards. No new gas cylinder should be accepted from a supplier without such verification. 4 Initial Supply The various types of gas cylinder used by the diving industry are made of seamless steel. 6 6. codes and guidance is given at Appendix I. These cylinders can be brought on shore for refilling without approval having to be applied for under Regulation 16 of the Pressure Systems and Transportable Gas Containers Regulations (Bib Ref 3). and underwater. 1 6. Examination and test criteria are defined at Appendices IV-VII. Examination.2 Comment The original Guidance Note 010 has undergone a major review and is superseded by this revision. When a cylinder is initially supplied to the user it must be accompanied by a certificate verifying that it has been designed. the most common construction being seamless steel. It is complementary to AODC 056 (Bib Ref 1) * and should be read in conjunction with the latter..2 * IMCA· AODC 010 Rev. It is incumbent upon all parties to ensure that they use the most recent revision of any document. Bib Ref 5) and the Pressure Vessels (Verification) Regulations (Bib Ref 4) require that cylinders are verified and certified by an HSE approved inspection body prior to being put into use for the first time. This includes bail out bottles. but only while they are on land: if they are filled offshore they remain governed by the DOWR. test and certification of equipment are defined at Appendix III. bell cylinders etc. A bibliography of relevant regulations. The Pressure Systems and Transportable Gas Containers Regulations (Bib Ref 3) (relevant to EEC Directive containers only. and are used in the following applications: wet internal service used above water. For inland/inshore application where the Pressure Systems and Transportable Gas Containers Regulations apply.1 Cylinders Supplied Against USA Department of Transportation Standards A number of cylinders of USA origin which had been supplied against standards set down by the USA Department of Transportation (DoT) are still in use. and the content of Detail Sheets Series 9.1 2. The design and manufacturing codes and standards pertaining to the various types of cylinder are listed in Appendix II. dry internal service used above water.

If.5 8 Extension of Period Between Hydraulic Tests As stated in Appendix VI. then it should be emptied and guidance sought from the controlling authority as to its continued use. in a test well) and that elastic expansion is determined.3 DoT approve test wells for this purpose which are registered with them and have an approval number which is stamped on the cylinder. London. 1 2 .pressure. cylinders in quads are sometimes used offshore for mixing. any other proposed scheme will require to be justified on merit. However. Department SPD. should be advised to the owner of the cylinders so that appropriate testing can be carried out in line with Appendix IV. Before use.1 Operational Considerations Gas cylinders are manufactured to a number of different codes each addressing different working pressures. supply to habitats.g. It is recognised that.1) which. subsequent retesting can be carried out to BS 5430 Part 1: 1990 (Bib Ref 7. filling of gases etc. initial and periodic certification must be carried out to DoT requirements. or physical damage.2 7. the alternative procedure they wish to follow. These regulations require as the main provisions that hydraulic testing is carried out by a DoT approved testing/certification agency using the water jacket method (i. which therefore no longer fulfil the criteria necessary to maintain approval to the USA DoT requirements. This process introduces moisture into the system which in areas governed by UK regulations may be in excess of that permitted under a ten year dispensation (see Section 8). assembled and disassembled etc. is more readily available and meets the requirements of the DOWR (Bib Ref 2) and The Pressure Systems and Transportable Gas Containers Regulations 1989 (Bib Ref 3). approved for the purpose by the HSE) for the proposed alternative procedure to be followed. 6. Cylinders which have been underwater. In practice. by experienced personnel. e. care must be taken to check the information hard stamped on each gas storage cylinder. Cylinders used for this purpose should have more rigorous inspection procedures in line with Appendix IV. This can be recognised by a plus sign (+) stamped following the test (or retest) date. b) seek the approval of an approved Verification Body ** (which may for example be a classification society or other body.A2 IMCA· AODC 010 Rev. therefore. exposure to heat or fire. cylinders tested to BS 5430. though more rigorous.. If there is any doubt as to a cylinder's continued safe service due to ingress of water.3 7. therefore. 7. however.e. while not a recommended practice. seabed storage etc. those wishing to extend the period between hydraulic tests as defined in BS 5430 should: a) consider discussing with the HSE at an early stage.4 7. Baynards House. can no longer be filled to 110%. however. the criteria for rejection being permanent expansion.1 of AODC 056 (Bib Ref 1) the HSE no longer grant dispensation to extend the period between hydraulic tests from 5 to 10 years and application should now be made to the Verification Body approved for the purpose as specified in Regulation 16 of the Pressure Systems and Transportable Gas Containers Regulations (Bib Ref 3). ** A list of Approved Verification Bodies is available from the Health and Safety Executive. They should only be handled. it is not necessary to maintain DoT certification. If such cylinders are to retain their original status. Detail Sheet 9. Charged gas cylinders and pressure vessels contain a large stored energy and are potentially very dangerous. 7 7. The HSE guidance to these Regulations states that cylinders should normally be tested to BS 5430 (Bib Ref 7).

EEC Directives: 5.2 COP 38 Safety of Transportable Gas Containers SI 1988: 896 .Specification for Periodic Inspection. and Addenda for Seamless and Welded Pressure Vessels.Unfired Fusion Welded Pressure Vessels.Identification of the Contents of Medical Gas Cylinders. Codes.2 84/525/EEC Council Directive of 17 September 1984 on the approximation of the laws of the member states relating to seamless steel gas cylinders.1 COP 37 Safety of Pressure Systems 3. Testing and Certification of Diving Plant and Equipment Offshore. BS 5430 . 1 3 . Section VIII.302(c) Special Filling Limits.4 Part 6: Draft Specification for the prefill and periodic inspection. Inland and from UK Flag Ships. Division 1. DoT Hazardous Materials Regulation 173. 11 BS 349 . SI 1981: 399 . unalloyed steel gas cylinders. 12 BS 1319 . 7. 5. 13 BS 5169 . in accordance with UK Regulations”.5 litres. Inshore. 14 ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code. (USA). testing and maintenance of transportable gas containers (excluding dissolved acetylene containers): seamless steel and aluminium alloy containers having a capacity of less than 0. 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 BS 430 . 15 ISO R 32 . IMCA· AODC 010 Rev.4 84/527/EEC Council Directive of 17 September 1984 on the approximation of the laws of the member states relating to welded.The Pressure Systems and Transportable Gas Containers Regulations 1989.1 Part 1: Seamless Steel 7. Construction and Testing.Fusion Welded Steel Air Receivers. Testing and Maintenance of Transportable Gas Containers. Valves and Yoke Connections.3 Part 3: Seamless Aluminium Alloy 7. Standards and Guidance 1 2 3 AODC 056 “Code of Practice on the Initial and Periodic Examination. their associated Guidance Notes (HS(R)30) and Codes of Practice (Approved) as given below: 3. BS 5045 . 3AA 3 3T Requirements. 16 USA-DoT 3AA.Specification for Solid Drawn Steel Air Receivers.Identification of Industrial Gas Cylinders.2 Part 2: Welded Steel 7. and their associated Guidance Notes (L6).3 84/526/EEC Council Directive of 17 September 1984 on the approximation of the laws of the member states relating to seamless unalloyed aluminium and aluminium alloy gas cylinders. 17 AODC 016 (Rev 1) "Colour Coding of Diving Gas Cylinders.Specification for Medical Gas Cylinders. Quads and Banks". 5. BS 5500 . SI 1989: 2169 . 5.Appendix 1 Bibliography of Regulations.Pressure Vessels (Verification) Regulations 1988.Transportable Gas Cylinders: Design.1 76/767/EEC Council Directive of 27 July 1976 on the approximation of the laws of the member states relating to any provisions for pressure vessels and methods of inspecting them.The Diving Operations at Work Regulations (DOWR).

1 (or similar) No standard 8. 8.Appendix 2 Design and Manufacturing Codes and Standards Types of cylinders Relevant codes and standards (Reference as listed in Appendix 1) Air reservoirs Bail out Bell on board and basket mounted Buoyancy aid/inflation cylinders: > 0.5. 9.4. 16 8.4. 8. 13. 16 4 IMCA· AODC 010 Rev. 8. 1 . large 8.1.4 8.5. 16 8. 14 8. 8.5.2.1. 8.1.1.5 litres Cylinders in quads Hyperbaric fire extinguishers: Gas propylene containment Water containment SCUBA Storage cylinders.5 litres < 0. 16 7.4. 8.4.1 7.4. 16 8. 8.

or other person. or has access to.Appendix 3 Categories of Competent Person * 1 2 3 A diving supervisor duly appointed under the appropriate regulations. all the necessary testing facilities. or an employee of the owner of the equipment. all specialising in such work who may be an employee of an independent company. ** Normally a classification society or insurance company surveyor.** a) The manufacturer or supplier of the equipment. or a life support supervisor appointed by his company. * ** As defined in AODC 056 (Bib Ref 1). or b) A company specialising in such work which has. In areas governed by UK regulations SI 1976:1019 applies. certificated Class I Chief Engineer. 1 . A technician. 5 IMCA· AODC 010 Rev. or person of similar standing. but who may be an "in-house Chartered Engineer.

Person Validity Period (months) 1 Manufacture to a recognised code or standard AND 3. 1 .4 N/A Verify compliance with national regulations In service Item No Examination and Test Criteria Category of Comp.1 2.Appendix 4 Examination.4 6 60 24 60 Thorough external visual examination and pressure leak test AND Thorough internal and external visual inspection and pressure leak test Relevant Notes and Guidance 1 2 BS 5045 Pts I & III. US DoT Regulations. construction and initial testing. Alternative means of testing should be considered (see (4) below). ultrasonic thickness testing and acoustic emission testing.4 3. if the combined concept is acceptable to the regulatory authorities and the competent person. Gas and Pressure Vessels Seamless – Above Water Dry Internal Service Application: Including: Gas Storage Cylinders & Tubes (Fixed & Transportable). Test and Certification Criteria Cylinders. 3 4 5 6 6 IMCA· AODC 010 Rev.2 External examination Hydraulic test in accordance with BS 5430 and pressure leak test OR 2. This is a matter which may need to be resolved between the vendor and the purchaser. certification of gas cylinders (excluding transportable gas containers which are subject to other regulations) may be achieved on the basis of pressure tests or pressure leak tests in combination with other techniques. Filter Housings Excluding: PVHO (Pressure Vessels for Human Occupancy) As new/installed Item No Examination and Test Criteria Category of Comp. Hydraulic testing of large storage tubes subject to dry internal service is not recommended as it introduces moisture into the system which may prove difficult to remove. If undertaken. Person Validity Period (months) 2. or other nationally recognised manufacturing codes or standards apply to design.3.4 3. Testing by Other Techniques: As an alternative to certification based on conventional hydraulic pressure testing. The validity of the manufacturer's certificate applies from the date of issue and it is acknowledged that the validity period on individual items of equipment at the time of purchase will be reduced due to the time held in stock. Other techniques may include internal inspection. hydraulic testing should be carried out in accordance with BS 5430: 1990 Pts I & III irrespective of original manufacturing code or standard. It is recommended that the pressure leak test be carried out at the same time as the hydraulic test in order to detect any possible leakage of the pillar valve stem seals prior to return to service.

IMCA· AODC 010 Rev. (See Section 8 of the foregoing guidance). The Pressure Systems and Transportable Gas Containers Regulations 1989 apply in the case of transportable gas cylinders. this no longer applies. 1 7 . While BS 5430: 1990 provides that once a cylinder has been filled it may remain certified until completely discharged.Relevant Notes and Guidance Specific to Areas Governed by UK Regulations 1 2 3 While BS 5430: 1990 provides for extension of the period between hydraulic tests from 5 to 10 years by application to the HSE. (See Section 6 of the foregoing guidance for cylinders supplied under US DoT regulations). this is not acceptable under SI 1981: 399.

US DoT Regulations. Person Validity Period (months) 2. or other nationally recognised manufacturing codes or standards apply to design.1 2. 5 8 IMCA· AODC 010 Rev. 1 . if the combined concept is acceptable to the regulatory authorities and the competent person.4 N/A Verify compliance with national regulations In service Item No Examination and Test Criteria Category of Comp. It is recommended that the pressure leak test be carried out at the same time as the hydraulic test in order to detect any possible leakage of the pillar valve stem seals prior to return to service.4 3. Sanitary and Shower Tanks As new/installed Item No Examination and Test Criteria Category of Comp. Test and Certification Criteria Cylinders. hydraulic testing should be carried out in accordance with BS 5430: 1990 Pts I & III irrespective of original manufacturing code or standard. ultrasonic thickness testing and acoustic emission testing. Gas and Pressure Vessels Seamless – Above Water Wet Internal Service Application: Including: Dries. 4.3 External examination Thorough internal and external visual examination and pressure leak test Hydraulic test in accordance with BS 5430 and pressure leak test (notes 2.Appendix 5 Examination.4 6 24 48 Relevant Notes and Guidance 1 2 3 4 BS 5045 Pts I & III. Testing by Other Techniques: As an alternative to certification based on conventional hydraulic pressure testing. Filter Housings. This is a matter which may need to be resolved between the vendor and the purchaser. Other techniques may include internal inspection. The validity of the manufacturer's certificate applies from the date of issue and it is acknowledged that the validity period on individual items of equipment at the time of purchase will be reduced due to the time held in stock. construction and initial testing.3. Person Validity Period (months) 1 Manufacture to a recognised code or standard AND 3. certification of gas cylinders (excluding transportable gas containers which are subject to other regulations) may be achieved on the basis of pressure tests or pressure leak tests in combination with other techniques. Gas Recovery Volume Tanks. 5) 2.2 2. If undertaken. 3.4 3.

1 9 . Gas. Seamless – Taken Underwater Application: Including: Filter Housings As new/installed Item No Examination and Test Criteria Category of Comp. 3) 2. bail-out bottles and ABLJ inflation bottles should also have an internal visual inspection 3. It is recommended that the pressure leak test be carried out at the same time as the hydraulic test in order to detect any possible leakage of the pillar valve stem seals prior to return to service. This applies also to bottles mounted externally on a hyperbaric rescue vessel. hydraulic testing should be carried out in accordance with BS 5430: 1990 Pts I & III irrespective of original manufacturing code or standard.2 External examination Hydraulic test in accordance with BS 5430 and pressure leak test OR 2.Appendix 6 Examination.3 In addition to the above test. US DoT Regulations. construction and initial testing.4 3. Person Validity Period (months) 1 Manufacture to a recognised code or standard AND 3.4 3. If undertaken. IMCA· AODC 010 Rev.4 48 6 Relevant Notes and Guidance 1 2 3 4 BS 5045 Pts I & III. Person Validity Period (months) 2. The most recent test of the cylinder must be within two years previous to it being put to use underwater.4 6 60 24 Thorough internal and external visual examination and pressure leak test AND Hydraulic test in accordance with BS 5430 and pressure leak test (Notes 2. Test and Certification Criteria Cylinders. or other nationally recognised manufacturing codes or standards apply to design.1 2.4 N/A Verify compliance with national regulations In service Item No Examination and Test Criteria Category of Comp.3.

Hydraulic testing of large storage tubes subject to dry internal service is not recommended as it introduces moisture into the system which may prove difficult to remove.4 All 6 24 Pressure leak test OR Thorough internal and external visual examination AND 24 Pressure leak test Relevant Notes and Guidance 1 2 3 BS 5500 (1988).Appendix 7 Examination. 5. ASME VIII. Alternative means of testing should be considered (see (6) below). 1 . Vessels which form an integral part of the chamber complex may be tested integrally with it. Submerged Pressure Housings. Test and Certification Criteria Pressure Vessels Welded Dry or Wet Internal Service.4 All 3. 6. which are exposed to external pressure and which are non-compensated. or other nationally recognised manufacturing codes or standards. hydraulic testing should be carried out in accordance with BS 5430: 1990 Pts I & III irrespective of original manufacturing code or standard. In the case of pressure housings such as battery boxes. as appropriate Application: Including: Air Reservoirs.4 N/A Verify compliance with national regulations In service Item No Examination and Test Criteria Category of Comp. an external pressure test is to be applied as defined by the competent person. camera housings etc.. ultrasonic thickness testing and acoustic emission testing. Other techniques may include internal inspection. Gas Storage Containers. Person Validity Period (months) 2. if the combined concept is acceptable to the regulatory authorities and the competent person. Sanitary and Shower Tanks. Person Validity Period (months) 1 Manufacture to a recognised code or standard AND 3.3. Filter Housings. It is recommended that the pressure leak test be carried out at the same time as the hydraulic test in order to detect any possible leakage of the pillar valve stem seals prior to return to service. certification of gas cylinders (excluding transportable gas containers which are subject to other regulations) may be achieved on the basis of pressure tests or pressure leak tests in combination with other techniques. 7) AND All 2.1 2.2 External examination Internal pressure test (Notes 4. Testing by Other Techniques: As an alternative to certification based on conventional hydraulic pressure testing. If undertaken. BS 5169. Volume Tanks As new/installed Item No Examination and Test Criteria Category of Comp. buoyancy collars. 4 5 6 7 10 IMCA· AODC 010 Rev.