49 CFR § 178.37 - Specification 3AA and 3AAX seamless steel cylinders.

§ 178.37 Specification 3AA and 3AAX seamless steel cylinders.

(a) Type, size and service pressure. In addition to the requirements of § 178.35, cylinders must conform to the following:

(1) A DOT-3AA cylinder is a seamless steel cylinder with a water capacity (nominal) of not over 1,000 pounds and a service pressure of at least 150 psig.

(2) A DOT-3AAX cylinder is a seamless steel cylinder with a water capacity of not less than 1,000 pounds and a service pressure of at least 500 psig, conforming to the following requirements:

(i) Assuming the cylinder is to be supported horizontally at its two ends only and to be uniformly loaded over its entire length consisting of the weight per unit of length of the straight cylindrical portion filled with water and compressed to the specified test pressure; the sum of two times the maximum tensile stress in the bottom fibers due to bending, plus that in the same fibers (longitudinal stress), due to hydrostatic test pressure may not exceed 80 percent of the minimum yield strength of the steel at such maximum stress. Wall thickness must be increased when necessary to meet the requirement.

(ii) To calculate the maximum tensile stress due to bending, the following formula must be used:

S = Mc/I

(iii) To calculate the maximum longitudinal tensile stress due to hydrostatic test pressure, the following formula must be used:

S = A 1P/A 2
S = tensile stress-p.s.i.;
M = bending moment-inch pounds (wl 2)/8;
w = weight per inch of cylinder filled with water;
l = length of cylinder-inches;
c = radius (D)/(2) of cylinder-inches;
I = moment of inertia-0.04909 (D 4−d 4) inches fourth;
D = outside diameter-inches;
d = inside diameter-inches;
A 1 = internal area in cross section of cylinder-square inches;
A 2 = area of metal in cross section of cylinder-square inches;
P = hydrostatic test pressure-psig.

(b) Authorized steel. Open-hearth, basic oxygen, or electric steel of uniform quality must be used. A heat of steel made under the specifications in table 1 of this paragraph (b), check chemical analysis of which is slightly out of the specified range, is acceptable, if satisfactory in all other respects, provided the tolerances shown in table 2 of this paragraph (b) are not exceeded. When a carbon-boron steel is used, a hardenability test must be performed on the first and last ingot of each heat of steel. The results of this test must be recorded on the Record of Chemical Analysis of Material for Cylinders required by § 178.35. This hardness test must be made 5/16-inch from the quenched end of the Jominy quench bar and the hardness must be at least Rc 33 and no more than Rc 53. The following chemical analyses are authorized:

Table 1 - Authorized Materials

Designation 4130X (percent) (see Note 1) NE-8630 (percent) (see Note 1) 9115 (percent) (see Note 1) 9125 (percent) (see Note 1) Carbon-boron (percent) Inter- mediate manganese (percent)
Carbon 0.25/0.35 0.28/0.33 0.10/0.20 0.20/0.30 0.27-0.37 0.40 max.
Manganese 0.40/0.90 0.70/0.90 0.50/0.75 0.50/0.75 0.80-1.40 1.35/1.65.
Phosphorus 0.04 max 0.04 max 0.04 max 0.04 max 0.035 max 0.04 max.
Sulfur 0.05 max 0.04 max 0.04 max 0.04 max 0.045 max 0.05 max.
Silicon 0.15/0.35 0.20/0.35 0.60/0.90 0.60/0.90 0.3 max. 0.10/0.30.
Chromium 0.80/1.10 0.40/0.60 0.50/0.65 0.50/0.65.
Molybdenum 0.15/0.25 0.15/0.25
Zirconium 0.05/0.15 0.05/0.15
Nickel 0.40/0.70
Boron 0.0005/0.003.

Note 1: This designation may not be restrictive and the commercial steel is limited in analysis as shown in this table.

Table 2 - Check Analysis Tolerances

Element Limit or maximum specified
Tolerance (percent) over the maximum limit or under the minimum limit
Under minimum limit Over maximum limit
Carbon To 0.15 incl 0.02 0.03
Over 0.15 to 0.40 incl .03 .04
Manganese To 0.60 incl .03 .03
Over 0.60 to 1.15 incl 0.04 0.04
Over 1.15 to 2.50 incl 0.05 0.05
Phosphorus 1 All ranges .01
Sulphur All ranges .01
Silicon To 0.30 incl .02 .03
Over 0.30 to 1.00 incl .05 .05
Nickel To 1.00 incl .03 .03
Chromium To 0.90 incl .03 .03
0.90 to 2.90 incl .05 .05
Molybdenum To 0.20 incl .01 .01
Over 0.20 to 0.40 .02 .02
Zirconium All ranges .01 .05

1 Rephosphorized steels not subject to check analysis for phosphorus.

(c) Identification of material. Material must be identified by any suitable method except that plates and billets for hot-drawn cylinders must be marked with the heat number.

(d) Manufacture. Cylinders must be manufactured using equipment and processes adequate to ensure that each cylinder produced conforms to the requirements of this subpart. No fissure or other defects is permitted that is likely to weaken the finished cylinder appreciably. A reasonably smooth and uniform surface finish is required. If not originally free from such defects, the surface may be machined or otherwise treated to eliminate these defects. The thickness of the bottoms of cylinders welded or formed by spinning is, under no condition, to be less than two times the minimum wall thickness of the cylindrical shell; such bottom thicknesses must be measured within an area bounded by a line representing the points of contact between the cylinder and floor when the cylinder is in a vertical position.

(e) Welding or brazing. Welding or brazing for any purpose whatsoever is prohibited except as follows:

(1) Welding or brazing is authorized for the attachment of neckrings and footrings which are non-pressure parts, and only to the tops and bottoms of cylinders having a service pressure of 500 psig or less. Cylinders, neckrings, and footrings must be made of weldable steel, the carbon content of which may not exceed 0.25 percent except in the case of 4130X steel which may be used with proper welding procedure.

(2) As permitted in paragraph (d) of this section.

(f) Wall thickness. The thickness of each cylinder must conform to the following:

(1) For cylinders with a service pressure of less than 900 psig, the wall stress may not exceed 24,000 psi. A minimum wall thickness of 0.100 inch is required for any cylinder with an outside diameter of over 5 inches.

(2) For cylinders with service pressure of 900 psig or more the minimum wall must be such that the wall stress at the minimum specified test pressure may not exceed 67 percent of the minimum tensile strength of the steel as determined from the physical tests required in paragraphs (k) and (l) of this section and must be not over 70,000 psi.

(3) Calculation must be made by the formula:

S = [P(1.3D 2 + 0.4d 2)]/(D 2−d 2)
S = wall stress in psi;
P = minimum test pressure prescribed for water jacket test or 450 psig whichever is the greater;
D = outside diameter in inches;
d = inside diameter in inches.

(g) Heat treatment. The completed cylinders must be uniformly and properly heat treated prior to tests. Heat treatment of cylinders of the authorized analyses must be as follows:

(1) All cylinders must be quenched by oil, or other suitable medium except as provided in paragraph (g)(5) of this section.

(2) The steel temperature on quenching must be that recommended for the steel analysis, but may not exceed 1750 °F.

(3) All steels must be tempered at a temperature most suitable for that steel.

(4) The minimum tempering temperature may not be less than 1000 °F except as noted in paragraph (g)(6) of this section.

(5) Steel 4130X may be normalized at a temperature of 1650 °F instead of being quenched and cylinders so normalized need not be tempered.

(6) Intermediate manganese steels may be tempered at temperatures not less than 1150 °F., and after heat treating each cylinder must be submitted to a magnetic test to detect the presence of quenching cracks. Cracked cylinders must be rejected and destroyed.

(7) Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (g)(6) of this section, all cylinders, if water quenched or quenched with a liquid producing a cooling rate in excess of 80 percent of the cooling rate of water, must be inspected by the magnetic particle, dye penetrant or ultrasonic method to detect the presence of quenching cracks. Any cylinder designed to the requirements for specification 3AA and found to have a quenching crack must be rejected and may not be requalified. Cylinders designed to the requirements for specification 3AAX and found to have cracks must have cracks removed to sound metal by mechanical means. Such specification 3AAX cylinders will be acceptable if the repaired area is subsequently examined to assure no defect, and it is determined that design thickness requirements are met.

(h) Openings in cylinders and connections (valves, fuse plugs, etc.) for those openings. Threads are required on openings.

(1) Threads must be clean cut, even, without checks, and to gauge.

(2) Taper threads, when used, must be of a length not less than as specified for American Standard taper pipe threads.

(3) Straight threads having at least 6 engaged threads are authorized. Straight threads must have a tight fit and a calculated shear strength of at least 10 times the test pressure of the cylinder. Gaskets, adequate to prevent leakage, are required.

(i) Pressure testing. Each cylinder must successfully withstand a pressure test as follows:

(1) The test must be by water-jacket or direct expansion method as prescribed in CGA C-1 (IBR; see § 171.7 of this subchapter). The testing equipment must be calibrated as prescribed in CGA C-1. All testing equipment and pressure indicating devices must be accurate within the parameters defined in CGA C-1.

(2) Each cylinder must be tested to a minimum of 5/3 times service pressure.

(3) The minimum test pressure must be maintained for at least 30 seconds and sufficiently longer to ensure complete expansion. Any internal pressure applied after heat-treatment and previous to the official test may not exceed 90 percent of the test pressure. If, due to failure of the test apparatus or operator error, the test pressure cannot be maintained, the test may be repeated in accordance with CGA C-1, section 5.7.2.

(4) Permanent, volumetric expansion may not exceed 10 percent of the total volumetric expansion at test pressure.

(j) Flattening test. A flattening test must be performed on one cylinder taken at random out of each lot of 200 or less, by placing the cylinder between wedge shaped knife edges having a 60° included angle, rounded to 1/2-inch radius. The longitudinal axis of the cylinder must be at a 90-degree angle to knife edges during the test. For lots of 30 or less, flattening tests are authorized to be made on a ring at least 8 inches long cut from each cylinder and subjected to the same heat treatment as the finished cylinder. Cylinders may be subjected to a bend test in lieu of the flattening test. Two bend test specimens must be taken in accordance with ISO 9809-1 or ASTM E 290 (IBR, see § 171.7 of this subchapter), and must be subjected to the bend test specified therein.

(k) Physical test. A physical test must be conducted to determine yield strength, tensile strength, elongation, and reduction of area of material as follows:

(1) The test is required on 2 specimens cut from 1 cylinder taken at random out of each lot of 200 or less. For lots of 30 or less, physical tests are authorized to be made on a ring at least 8 inches long cut from each cylinder and subjected to the same heat treatment as the finished cylinder.

(2) Specimens must conform to the following:

(i) Gauge length of 8 inches with a width of not over 1 1/2 inches, a gauge length of 2 inches with a width of not over 1 1/2 inches, or a gauge length of at least 24 times the thickness with width not over 6 times thickness when the thickness of the cylinder wall is not over 3/16 inch.

(ii) The specimen, exclusive of grip ends, may not be flattened. Grip ends may be flattened to within 1 inch of each end of the reduced section.

(iii) When size of cylinder does not permit securing straight specimens, the specimens may be taken in any location or direction and may be straightened or flattened cold, by pressure only, not by blows. When specimens are so taken and prepared, the inspector's report must show in connection with record of physical tests detailed information in regard to such specimens.

(iv) Heating of a specimen for any purpose is not authorized.

(3) The yield strength in tension must be the stress corresponding to a permanent strain of 0.2 percent of the gauge length. The following conditions apply:

(i) The yield strength must be determined by either the “offset” method or the “extension under load” method as prescribed in ASTM E 8 (IBR, see § 171.7 of this subchapter).

(ii) In using the “extension under load” method, the total strain (or “extension under load”) corresponding to the stress at which the 0.2 percent permanent strain occurs may be determined with sufficient accuracy by calculating the elastic extension of the gauge length under appropriate load and adding thereto 0.2 percent of the gauge length. Elastic extension calculations must be based on an elastic modulus of 30,000,000. In the event of controversy, the entire stress-strain diagram must be plotted and the yield strength determined from the 0.2 percent offset.

(iii) For the purpose of strain measurement, the initial strain must be set while the specimen is under a stress of 12,000 psi, the strain indicator reading being set at the calculated corresponding strain.

(iv) Cross-head speed of the testing machine may not exceed 1/8 inch per minute during yield strength determination.

(l) Acceptable results for physical, flattening and bend tests. An acceptable result for physical and flattening tests is elongation of at least 20 percent for 2 inches of gauge length or at least 10 percent in other cases. Flattening is required, without cracking, to 6 times the wall thickness of the cylinder. An acceptable result for the alternative bend test is no crack when the cylinder is bent inward around the mandrel until the interior edges are not further apart than the diameter of the mandrel.

(m) Leakage test. All spun cylinders and plugged cylinders must be tested for leakage by gas or air pressure after the bottom has been cleaned and is free from all moisture. Pressure, approximately the same as but no less than the service pressure, must be applied to one side of the finished bottom over an area of at least 1/16 of the total area of the bottom but not less than 3/4 inch in diameter, including the closure, for at least one minute, during which time the other side of the bottom exposed to pressure must be covered with water and closely examined for indications of leakage. Except as provided in paragraph (n) of this section, a cylinder must be rejected if there is any leaking.

(1) A spun cylinder is one in which an end closure in the finished cylinder has been welded by the spinning process.

(2) A plugged cylinder is one in which a permanent closure in the bottom of a finished cylinder has been effected by a plug.

(3) As a safety precaution, if the manufacturer elects to make this test before the hydrostatic test, the manufacturer should design the test apparatus so that the pressure is applied to the smallest area practicable, around the point of closure, and so as to use the smallest possible volume of air or gas.

(n) Rejected cylinders. Reheat treatment is authorized for rejected cylinders. Subsequent thereto, cylinders must pass all prescribed tests to be acceptable. Repair by welding or spinning is not authorized. Spun cylinders rejected under the provision of paragraph (m) of this section may be removed from the spun cylinder category by drilling to remove defective material, tapping and plugging.

[Amdt. 178-114, 61 FR 25942, May 23, 1996, as amended at 65 FR 58631, Sept. 29, 2000; 66 FR 45386, Aug. 28, 2001; 67 FR 51652, Aug. 8, 2002; 68 FR 75748, Dec. 31, 2003; 76 FR 43531, July 20, 2011; 85 FR 85420, Dec. 28, 2020]

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