49 CFR 178.65 - Specification 39 non-reusable (non-refillable) cylinders.

§ 178.65 Specification 39 non-reusable (non-refillable) cylinders.

(a)Type, size, service pressure, and test pressure. A DOT 39 cylinder is a seamless, welded, or brazed cylinder with a service pressure not to exceed 80 percent of the test pressure. Spherical pressure vessels are authorized and covered by references to cylinders in this specification.

(1)Size limitation. Maximum water capacity may not exceed: (i) 55 pounds (1,526 cubic inches) for a service pressure of 500 p.s.i.g. or less, and (ii) 10 pounds (277 cubic inches) for a service pressure in excess of 500 p.s.i.g.

(2)Test pressure. The minimum test pressure is the maximum pressure of contents at 130 °F or 180 p.s.i.g. whichever is greater.

(3)Pressure of contents. The term “pressure of contents” as used in this specification means the total pressure of all the materials to be shipped in the cylinder.

(b)Material; steel or aluminum. The cylinder must be constructed of either steel or aluminum conforming to the following requirements:


(i) The steel analysis must conform to the following:

Ladle analysis Check analysis
Carbon, maximum percent 0.12 0.15
Phosphorus, maximum percent .04 .05
Sulfur, maximum percent .05 .06

(ii) For a cylinder made of seamless steel tubing with integrally formed ends, hot drawn, and finished, content percent for the following may not exceed: Carbon, 0.55; phosphorous, 0.045; sulfur, 0.050.

(iii) For non-heat treated welded steel cylinders, adequately killed deep drawing quality steel is required.

(iv) Longitudinal or helical welded cylinders are not authorized for service pressures in excess of 500 p.s.i.g.

(2)Aluminum. Aluminum is not authorized for service pressures in excess of 500 psig. The analysis of the aluminum must conform to the Aluminum Association standard for alloys 1060, 1100, 1170, 3003, 5052, 5086, 5154, 6061, and 6063, as specified in its publication entitled “Aluminum Standards and Data” (IBR, see § 171.7 of this subchapter).

(3) Material with seams, cracks, laminations, or other injurious defects not permitted.

(4) Material used must be identified by any suitable method.


(1) General manufacturing requirements are as follows:

(i) The surface finish must be uniform and reasonably smooth.

(ii) Inside surfaces must be clean, dry, and free of loose particles.

(iii) No defect of any kind is permitted if it is likely to weaken a finished cylinder.

(2) Requirements for seams:

(i) Brazing is not authorized on aluminum cylinders.

(ii) Brazing material must have a melting point of not lower than 1,000 °F.

(iii) Brazed seams must be assembled with proper fit to ensure complete penetration of the brazing material throughout the brazed joint.

(iv) Minimum width of brazed joints must be at least four times the thickness of the shell wall.

(v) Brazed seams must have design strength equal to or greater than 1.5 times the minimum strength of the shell wall.

(vi) Welded seams must be properly aligned and welded by a method that provides clean, uniform joints with adequate penetration.

(vii) Welded joints must have a strength equal to or greater than the minimum strength of the shell material in the finished cylinder.

(3) Attachments to the cylinder are permitted by any means which will not be detrimental to the integrity of the cylinder. Welding or brazing of attachments to the cylinder must be completed prior to all pressure tests.

(4) Welding procedures and operators must be qualified in accordance with CGA Pamphlet C-3 (IBR, see § 171.7 of this subchapter).

(d)Wall thickness. The minimum wall thickness must be such that the wall stress at test pressure does not exceed the yield strength of the material of the finished cylinder wall. Calculations must be made by the following formulas:

(1) Calculation of the stress for cylinders must be made by the following formula:

S = [P(1.3D 2 + 0.4d 2)] / (D 2 − d 2)
S = Wall stress, in psi;
P = Test pressure in psig;
D = Outside diameter, in inches;
d = Inside diameter, in inches.

(2) Calculation of the stress for spheres must be made by the following formula:

S = PD / 4t
S = Wall stress, in psi;
P = Test pressure i psig;
D = Outside diameter, in inches;
t = Minimum wall thickness, in inches.

(e)Openings and attachments. Openings and attachments must conform to the following:

(1) Openings and attachments are permitted on heads only.

(2) All openings and their reinforcements must be within an imaginary circle, concentric to the axis of the cylinder. The diameter of the circle may not exceed 80 percent of the outside diameter of the cylinder. The plane of the circle must be parallel to the plane of a circumferential weld and normal to the long axis of the cylinder.

(3) Unless a head has adequate thickness, each opening must be reinforced by a securely attached fitting, boss, pad, collar, or other suitable means.

(4) Material used for welded openings and attachments must be of weldable quality and compatible with the material of the cylinder.

(f)Pressure tests.

(1) Each cylinder must be tested at an internal pressure of at least the test pressure and must be held at that pressure for at least 30 seconds.

(i) The leakage test must be conducted by submersion under water or by some other method that will be equally sensitive.

(ii) If the cylinder leaks, evidences visible distortion, or any other defect, while under test, it must be rejected (see paragraph (h) of this section).

(2) One cylinder taken from the beginning of each lot, and one from each 1,000 or less successively produced within the lot thereafter, must be hydrostatically tested to destruction. The entire lot must be rejected (see paragraph (h) of this section) if:

(i) A failure occurs at a gage pressure less than 2.0 times the test pressure;

(ii) A failure initiates in a braze or a weld or the heat affected zone thereof;

(iii) A failure is other than in the sidewall of a cylinder longitudinal with its long axis; or

(iv) In a sphere, a failure occurs in any opening, reinforcement, or at a point of attachment.

(3) A “lot” is defined as the quantity of cylinders successively produced per production shift (not exceeding 10 hours) having identical size, design, construction, material, heat treatment, finish, and quality.

(g)Flattening test. One cylinder must be taken from the beginning of production of each lot (as defined in paragraph (f)(3) of this section) and subjected to a flattening test as follows:

(1) The flattening test must be made on a cylinder that has been tested at test pressure.

(2) A ring taken from a cylinder may be flattened as an alternative to a test on a complete cylinder. The test ring may not include the heat affected zone or any weld. However, for a sphere, the test ring may include the circumferential weld if it is located at a 45 degree angle to the ring, ±5 degrees.

(3) The flattening must be between 60 degrees included-angle, wedge shaped knife edges, rounded to a 0.5 inch radius.

(4) Cylinders and test rings may not crack when flattened so that their outer surfaces are not more than six times wall thickness apart when made of steel or not more than ten times wall thickness apart when made of aluminum.

(5) If any cylinder or ring cracks when subjected to the specified flattening test, the lot of cylinders represented by the test must be rejected (see paragraph (h) of this section).

(h)Rejected cylinders. Rejected cylinders must conform to the following requirements:

(1) If the cause for rejection of a lot is determinable, and if by test or inspection defective cylinders are eliminated from the lot, the remaining cylinders must be qualified as a new lot under paragraphs (f) and (g) of this section.

(2) Repairs to welds are permitted. Following repair, a cylinder must pass the pressure test specified in paragraph (f) of this section.

(3) If a cylinder made from seamless steel tubing fails the flattening test described in paragraph (g) of this section, suitable uniform heat treatment must be used on each cylinder in the lot. All prescribed tests must be performed subsequent to this heat treatment.


(1) The markings required by this section must be durable and waterproof. The requirements of § 178.35(h) do not apply to this section.

(2) Required markings are as follows:

(i) DOT-39.

(ii) NRC.

(iii) The service pressure.

(iv) The test pressure.

(v) The registration number (M****) of the manufacturer.

(vi) The lot number.

(vii) The date of manufacture if the lot number does not establish the date of manufacture.

(viii) With one of the following statements:

(A) For cylinders manufactured prior to October 1, 1996: “Federal law forbids transportation if refilled-penalty up to $25,000 fine and 5 years imprisonment ( 49 U.S.C. 1809)” or “Federal law forbids transportation if refilled-penalty up to $500,000 fine and 5 years imprisonment ( 49 U.S.C. 5124).”

(B) For cylinders manufactured on or after October 1, 1996: “Federal law forbids transportation if refilled-penalty up to $500,000 fine and 5 years imprisonment ( 49 U.S.C. 5124).”

(3) The markings required by paragraphs (i)(2)(i) through (i)(2)(v) of this section must be in numbers and letters at least 1/8 inch high and displayed sequentially. For example:

DOT-39 NRC 250/500 M1001.

(4) No person may mark any cylinder with the specification identification “DOT-39” unless it was manufactured in compliance with the requirements of this section and its manufacturer has a registration number (M****) from the Associate Administrator.

[Amdt. 178-114, 61 FR 25942, May 23, 1996, as amended at 65 FR 58631, Sept. 29, 2000; 66 FR 45389, Aug. 28, 2001; 67 FR 51654, Aug. 8, 2002; 68 FR 75748, 75749, Dec. 31, 2003]

This is a list of United States Code sections, Statutes at Large, Public Laws, and Presidential Documents, which provide rulemaking authority for this CFR Part.

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United States Code

Title 49 published on 16-Dec-2017 04:00

The following are ALL rules, proposed rules, and notices (chronologically) published in the Federal Register relating to 49 CFR Part 178 after this date.

  • 2017-03-30; vol. 82 # 60 - Thursday, March 30, 2017
    1. 82 FR 15796 - Hazardous Materials: Harmonization With International Standards (RRR)
      GPO FDSys XML | Text
      DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration
      Final rule.
      Effective date: This rule is effective March 30, 2017, except for instruction 22, which is effective January 2, 2019. Voluntary compliance date: January 1, 2017. Delayed compliance date: Unless otherwise specified, compliance with the amendments adopted in this final rule is required beginning January 1, 2018. Incorporation by reference date: The incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in this rule is approved by the Director of the Federal Register as of March 30, 2017.
      49 CFR Parts 107, 171, 172, 173, 175, 176, 178, and 180
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