High pressure gas cylinders and tubes are governed by an array of guidelines and regimes, depending on the region and sector in which they are in use. For example, cylinders used in the transportation of gas must be tested and approved every ten years, but other sectors have different testing periods.
The CSC Integrity Management team is conversant with regimes worldwide, ensuring end users’ installations remain safe, efficient and comply with the relevant guidelines.
PI&T is conducted to comply with the guidelines and regimes and to maintain efficiency.
PI&T can encompass a wide range of applications and can take place in situ, while the cylinders remain installed, or at CSC’s Sheffield headquarters. These range from a visual internal or external inspection by a CSC inspector through to a full PI&T and rectification/refurbishment project, ensuring a longer working life for the cylinders.
The starting point for every inspection and testing project. This remains the key process by which the majority of rejected cylinders are diagnosed. Expert responsible personnel from the CSC Integrity Management team conduct visual inspections of internal and/or external surfaces and deliver an initial report of recommendations.
The CSC Integrity Management team is able to support customers to conduct initial assessments of data from their cylinders and send the results to CSC’s headquarters for analysis.
This is a new and unique service usually applied to intermediate inspections, for example when a DSV is in operation at a time when an inspection is due.
The CSC Integrity Management team supplies the customer (who can be thousands of miles away) the appropriate equipment (such as a video scope) and if necessary can train the operator in its use.
Images and data are analysed by the CSC Integrity Management team experts who can identify any defects and weaknesses, assess their impact on a cylinder’s performance and recommend the appropriate action.
CSC’s Integrity Management team works globally to deliver the best solution to keep the customers’ gas cylinders operating in the most efficient manner.
Periodic inspection and testing (PI&T) can take place at the customer’s own site, without the need to remove the cylinders. This is especially beneficial for installations where the removal of cylinders for PI&T would require costly dismantling of plant or ships and can deliver huge savings in budgets and downtime.
The CSC Integrity Management team conducts full PI&T projects in a range of sectors, from static storage to offshore rigs, submarines and ships.
Alternatively, if the customer can, or wishes to, remove their cylinders, the CSC Integrity Management team can inspect, test and rectify them at the customer’s site.
Some customers fear their gas cylinders have reached the end of their efficient or theoretical life and should be removed. However, the CSC Integrity Management team can apply various techniques to verify the extension of the cylinder’s operational life.
For example, fatigue testing on cylinders and the review of their operational data (such as flying hours for cylinders installed in aeroplanes) can reveal the true and accurate condition of the cylinders and enable the customer to retain them for future use.
This can include a site visit to assess the location and use of the cylinders.
Such an approach enables the CSC Integrity Management team to see and understand where cylinders will operate and what they will be asked to do. The team can then offer expert opinion and how the design can be improved to deliver a more efficient performance and ensure cylinders are accessible for inspection and testing in the future.
High pressure gas cylinders must be operated according to the guidance, standards and legislation relevant to the specific industry and region in which they are deployed.
The CSC Integrity Management team drafts complete written schemes of examination that suit each customer’s use and industry. This service includes guidance as to which schemes of inspection and test will apply, verification of the most efficient methods, and the ongoing management of the cylinders.
The team also reviews and revises existing written schemes of examination.
The CSC Integrity Management team and the CSC design team work in tandem to ensure the planned installation enables proper access to the cylinders for future inspections and testing.
They also assess the customer’s exact requirements and suggest cost-effective ways of improving and optimising the cylinders’ operation.
CSC has invested in an advanced cylinder oxygen cleaning facility, designed to meet the demanding standards required by navies and air forces worldwide.
CSC cleans high pressure gas cylinders for specialist military applications to the very highest operational standards.
Products cleaned using this technique include those used on ejector seats up to much larger cylinders used on submarines’ for breathing gases.
CSC has a vast historical archive encompassing the majority of the products it has manufactured, spanning many decades.
This means the company can provide customers with copies of manufacturing drawings and certificates.
With world-leading expertise, the team can examine a failed cylinder to detect precisely what has happened, to explain why it happened and to recommend a way forward to stop it happening again.
The approach includes mechanical testing and metallurgical analysis showing issues such as stress corrosion cracks, and will see the team deliver a full report on its findings.
Chesterfield Special Cylinders is the world’s leading designer and manufacturer of high press gas containment systems, so it goes almost without saying that if a customer’s cylinders are at the end of their working life the company can design and manufacture replacement cylinders to an exact specification.
The company will also assist with rendering a cylinder unserviceable to the appropriate guidelines.
Such is the authority and reputation of the Integrity Management team that they are often called upon to train inspectors in various techniques applied to cylinders worldwide.
The team also supports its customers in the monitoring of their own cylinder installations, so they can send findings to CSC for analysis and recommendations (see Remote inspection).
This is a practical approach, especially when the installation is thousands of miles from the CSC HQ.
Much of the Integrity Management team’s work is conducted offshore, often in the most extreme conditions.
The offshore projects often encompass every aspect of the team’s expertise, normally starting with a survey to assess appropriate methods and equipment required right through to certification.
When working on the earliest stages of a new rig or ship design, the team will contribute pre-design optimisation specifications to ensure the cylinders deliver optimal performance and are accessible for future periodic inspection and testing.
It is also offshore that the remote inspection capability comes into play, enabling the end user to file a visual report to CSC to give a general assessment of the condition of a cylinder installation.
All semi-submersibles may require gas cylinder periodic inspection (and testing)
Ensco semi-submersible rig has HP gas cylinders tested during refurbishment
The CSC Integrity Management team carried out a full inspection of all 27 riser tensioner air pressure vessels (each of 1,000 litre capacity) aboard Ensco’s semi-submersible rig Ensco 5005 during its major refurbishment in Singapore.
The team deployed within four days of securing the order, as the project had to be completed in a very narrow window during the rig’s downtime.
A full internal and external examination was performed and an additional ultrasonic testing and corrosion survey identified equipment that needed to be replaced. Full engineering dimensions were taken and replacement and equipment was supplied within a very tight deadline.
This project embodies the speed with which the Integrity Management team can respond to urgent deadlines.
Sealion Shipping adopts new safety standard for DSV high pressure gas systems, saving downtime and budgets
Integrity management service delivers major savings on gas cylinder periodic inspection and testing
Chesterfield Special Cylinders’ Integrity Management team completed a full inspection and testing of the high pressure gas containment system aboard the 4,500 tonne diving support vessel (DSV) Toisa Paladin during the ship’s main class renewal survey. Previously, Sealion had to remove all 29 cylinders at great expense, but CSC’s In Situ asset integrity management service saved the downtime and cost of removing them by inspecting and testing all the cylinders while they remained in place.
Instead of cutting a huge hole into the deck, causing at least three weeks of downtime, CSC deployed its specialist team to Singapore to conduct the ship’s main class renewal survey.
The project included a pre-inspection survey, stringent inspections and tests, choice of hydraulic or acoustic emission, plus ultrasonic testing, corrosion mapping – all while the HP gas containers remained in place.
Sealion’s Senior Superintendent Engineer Andy Lenn sees the CSC In Situ service as “definitely the way forward and we plan to have the same process carried out on other Sealion ships. Previously, removal would have caused at least three weeks of downtime. AE testing is quick, clean and thorough.”
This approach is so significant that DNV is re-drafting its global rules to include the choice of In Situ testing as delivered by CSC.
DNV’s Arnfinn Hansen says: “This will be the future of testing for seamless gas cylinders.”
As a pre-eminent supplier of new cylinders to navies around the world, CSC is best-placed to provide the full range of integrity management services to ships and submarines.
Currently, the Integrity Team has an ongoing role managing the performance of cylinders on the Astute, Vanguard and Trafalgar Classes of nuclear submarines.
The team has a number of long-term contracts to provide the following:
Long-term naval partnership based on design, manufacturing and management expertise
Chesterfield Special Cylinders (CSC) has supplied high pressure gas containment systems to the UK’s naval fleet since the First World War and today the relationship is stronger than ever. It sees CSC providing the full range of cylinder-related services, starting with the design stage of any new vessel to manufacture, maintenance and consultancy services.
Its unparalleled expertise means the CSC Integrity Management team is the sole supplier of the new DefStan cylinders for surface ships and submarines. It works with navies globally and with inspection agencies such as TUV Rhineland Sonovation.
The team works on a daily basis with the MOD (Ministry of Defence) while a long and impressive customer list also includes:
The scope of the Integrity Management team’s projects for the MOD includes design, manufacture, maintenance, testing, re-certification, storage of full range of high pressure gas containment systems, plus ongoing consultancy.
Starting with a bespoke design service, CSC is developing new systems for future submarine programmes (such as the Successor programme) and manufactures the cylinders and ancillary products for submarines and ships.
As the MOD Abbeywood’s competent authority, CSC is also contracted to maintain and store all A1 cylinder stock for a call-off contract; to NDE and inspect critical HP air/nitrogen duty cylinders; service, test, repair and re-certificate cylinders; and develop new and better ancillary products.
CSC supplies systems for submarines, surface ships, weapons discharge and firefighting equipment. It also delivers inspection and testing services for cylinders on Mine Hunter class ships.
Working with both civil and military aircraft, the CSC Integrity Management team manages short-notice urgent contracts and longer-term, planned management tasks for clients worldwide.
Operating to demanding standards and guidelines while working for global suppliers such as BAe and Honeywell, CSC is an integral partner with responsibility for standards, efficiency and testing.
A recent contract saw CSC supply the U.S. Air Force (USAF) with high pressure cylinders for its fleet of F-22 Raptors. CSC’s safety-critical high pressure cylinders are a vital component of the Raptor’s new automatic backup oxygen supply system (ABOS). Retrofitting of the entire F-22 fleet with the ABOS is provided by Honeywell Aerospace.
Other tasks carried out for the aerospace sector include:
CSC’s Integrity Management team has a long history of working as periodic inspection and testing partner for the aerospace sector and of providing vital pilot oxygen systems to military aircraft, including Spitfires, Lancasters, Vulcans, Hawks and more recently the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
The team is involved in the ongoing prestigious order to supply the U.S. Air Force (USAF) with high pressure cylinders for its fleet of F-22 Raptors. CSC’s safety-critical high pressure cylinders are a vital component of the Raptor’s new automatic backup oxygen supply system (ABOS). The cylinders are being retrofitted into the entire F-22 fleet with the ABOS, provided by Honeywell Aerospace.
The CSC Integrity Management team, and CSC as a whole, has long-term partnerships with the world’s leading gas transportation companies, including Air Products, Linde and BOC.
For these and others, CSC Integrity Management team is contracted to carry out these services:
CSC’s reputation in the gas transportation sector is well-established: most of the gas majors work with CSC on the provision of new cylinders and the ongoing management of business-critical installations.
For example, the company manages BOC’s entire helium, hydrogen and ethylene transportation fleet in a contract that sees the CSC Integrity Management team take responsibility for helping keep the trailers on the road, operating efficiently and safely.
This means that the BOC trailers come to CSC for periodic inspection and testing as well as for full maintenance, repair, refurbishment and - where appropriate – performance enhancement. CSC also inspects, tests, refurbishes and updates the chassis as required.
At any one time, CSC can be inspecting and testing a trailer, potentially refurbishing, re-building or replacing an entire chassis, testing and refurbishing manifolds and even compiling each trailer’s documentation pack.
The joint aim between CSC and BOC is to keep the trailers operating to their full capacity for as long as possible, which involves management-level advice from the Integrity Management team as well as the hands-on technical input for which the team is renowned.
Much of the Integrity Management team’s time is spent advising customers with static high pressure gas storage installations. As ever, each project begins with an assessment of the site layout.
If the team is brought in before the cylinders are commissioned it can assist with the pre-design stage, advising on issues such as long-life ancillary products while also ensuring ease of access for future inspection and testing.
Depending on the customer’s requirements, static storage projects can then include some or all of the following:
One of the first static installations to benefit from the Integrity Management team’s optimisation expertise was at Siemens Magnet Technology in Witney, Oxfordshire. The installation is managed by BOC and the project involved an array of Integrity Management disciplines but focused on the team’s input into the design of an upgraded and improved facility.
This facility optimisation project began with the de-commissioning of a 15 x 2,200 litre cylinder installation, which had to be upgraded to a much greater capacity. CSC obtained a dispensation for extending the period before re-testing the existing pack prior to the installation of the new cylinders. This was achieved through visual inspection and ultrasonic examination.
Initially the customer requested 90 new 2,200 litre cylinders, but the Integrity Management team assessed the site, the customer’s requirement and the longer-term need for inspection and testing and suggested that instead of 90 cylinders the customer should purchase 68 cylinders, each of 3,000 litre capacity.
The initial benefits would be a far smaller footprint and a substantial manufacture cost saving due to the reduction in quantity of the tubes and manifolds. Also, with far fewer connections there was a reduced potential for leaks.
However, the key to the new installation would be reduced ongoing costs thanks to specific design improvements suggested by the Integrity Management team. These included optimisation features, such as long life seals, that allowed and simplified periodic inspection and testing to be conducted in situ.
Thanks to a thorough and flexible working partnership CSC and BOC optimised the entire installation for future PI&T and ongoing maintenance.
Chesterfield Special Cylinders’ Integrity Management team inspects cylinders designed and manufactured to the following standards:
Notified and Classified Bodies with which IM works:
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Stephen ButlerChesterfield Special Cylinders