Gas cylinders made of composite materials: the pros and cons of euro balloons for gas
If you need a container for storing liquefied gas, be sure to consider such an option as a composite gas cylinder. This is a modern development that allows you to store a combustible mixture in the safest way.
In addition, these cylinders are very easy to use.
How it works
For the manufacture of Euro tanks use fiberglass and epoxy resin. To make a flask, a thread made of high-quality fiberglass is wound on a special shape. Then this dense winding is thoroughly impregnated with epoxy. The composition is treated with a hardener.
After the flask has completely hardened and acquired the necessary strength, further work can be continued. Into the prepared connectors insert valves, valves and other devices regulating the work capacity.From above put on a removable plastic casing, equipped with handles for carrying the balloon. This lattice shell, if necessary, can be removed or replaced.
Polypropylene, from which such containers are made, is completely safe in relation to the environment. Such material is not difficult to dispose of, it does not need expensive special procedures. If desired, the material can be given almost any color.
Some companies order a batch of containers with a unique design for the sake of corporate style or for practical purposes, for example, to distinguish cylinders with different contents or intended for different departments, etc. High environmental safety requirements are one of the main conditions for the production of composite gas cylinders.
For example, only fiberglass is used, in the manufacture of which no hazardous substance such as boron has been used that improves the characteristics of the material without great expense. For the production of composite flasks take fiberglass, which is made with a safer substitute for boron.
The resulting composite material does not tarnish, does not fade and maintains uniform transparency, as it remains resistant to UV light for a long time. A slight change in the color of the composite flask can occur only several years after the start of operation.
But even in this case, the remaining functional characteristics of the cylinders will not change. The outlet of gas cylinders, which are made of composite materials, is usually standardized according to types EN 11363, EN 629 or DIN 477. Inlet valve 25Е makes it possible to carry out the filling of the vessel with the available means without any problems.
Euro balloons resist rupture much better than metal containers in similar conditions. In order to blow up a composite cylinder, it will be necessary to create an internal force inside it, about twice the magnitude at which conventional gas cylinders explode. Although, in accordance with the requirements of GOST, any gas cylinder must withstand a pressure of at least 50 atm. Exerted on the body of the device, which is enough to ensure the required level of safety.
Metal cylinders are equipped with valves type VB-2, while to increase the level of safety, it is necessary to additionally install safety devices. Most often, this is a special gearbox with a valve, such products manufactured under the brand GOK are popular. On the same composite cylinders all the necessary fuses are already installed, there is no need for additional protective equipment.
Depending on where the composite cylinder is manufactured, it may have some differences.For example, Norwegian-made euro balloons, such as the Ragasco LPG 24.5, have less transparency than devices from other companies. To determine the amount of liquefied gas in them, you need to shake the balloon a little.
Laboratory tests show that euro balloons demonstrate high resistance to statistical fatigue at a temperature of 70 degrees. As for the heat exchange abilities of composite structures, at temperatures up to -15 degrees, they show the same characteristics as their metal counterparts.
The evaporation rate is usually about 300 g / h. However, if you intend to use a device of this type at lower temperatures, or when you need another evaporation rate of LPG, you should carefully study the characteristics of the selected model.
The external temperature may significantly affect the rate of evaporation of liquefied gas, which may affect the efficiency of the device. In such situations, it is recommended to take care of additional capacity insulation.
Advantages and disadvantages of eurocapacities
The cylinders made of polymeric materials are very convenient in storage. Such containers are allowed to be stacked on top of each other, for example, in stacks.They can be connected to the same types of gas appliances that are designed for standard gas supply devices. Liquefied gas can be transported in such containers, they can be used in everyday life and during forays into nature, for long-term storage of LPG, etc.
The weight of composite devices is about a third less than that of metal counterparts, but in terms of strength they are not inferior to them. Another advantage of devices of this type is a rich assortment. They vary widely in size and shape. You can always choose a suitable option for a particular case.
The walls of such containers have some transparency that allows you to visually assess the amount remaining inside the liquefied gas. Over time, the transparency of the cylinder is not lost, does not affect it and the amount of gas inside. Composite materials do not spark at impact, therefore the danger of an accidental explosion is practically impossible.
Of course, the development of corrosion processes to polymer products is also not threatened. The material is able to transfer heat to a temperature of 100 degrees. Such cylinders look very attractive and modern, you can choose the appropriate color. A balloon with a capacity of about 20 kg weighs approximately seven kilograms or less.
By weight, composite containers with a plastic protective cover are almost two times lighter than metal cylinders of the same volume. Buyers note that the pens on the composite cylinder make its use even more convenient. Low weight and handles make it possible to cope with the loading of a medium-sized tank, even for a fragile woman.
Typically, the manufacturer’s warranty obligations for composite cylinders for LPG are two years. But the lifetime is 30 years, and with careful handling and more. The flask of the composite cylinder is protected from above with a special plastic casing, which increases the strength of the device.
In case of an accidental fall, the force impact falls on this casing, even if it cracks, the flask and its dangerous contents will remain safe and sound. A damaged casing can be replaced with a new one. Cost of such an operation is much cheaper than the complete replacement of the cylinder.
Static electricity also does not threaten such a device. This point was confirmed in the course of numerous practical studies. The occurrence of random sparks, fire and explosion for this reason are excluded. It is recommended to check composite cylinders once a decade, whereas such an examination of metal products for gas storage should be performed twice as often, i.e. every five years.
One of the major drawbacks of euro balloons is the price. The cost of composite containers is about four times higher than the cost of metal counterparts. And yet it makes sense to invest in such a container, since it is lighter, more convenient and safer than an ordinary metal container. The high price of euro balloons is understandable.
The technology of their production requires high costs.They produce such containers abroad, so the price also includes the cost of delivery, customs duty, etc. Additional costs are unlikely to pay off, if we replace with a composite tank not one, but several metal gas cylinders. The main benefit in this case is more convenient use and enhanced security.
Useful information about safe use
Of course, a mandatory element of any composite gas cylinder is safety devices. Composite models are no exception. Without fail, an overpressure check valve is installed on each device. If it exceeds the minimum allowable threshold, the valve will open and some gas will be released, thus avoiding a break in the structure.
In this case, the gas cylinder continues to operate normally. Another security element that is installed on euro balloons is a fusible insert. At a dangerous level of heating, it melts, preventing the structure from overheating. Previously, spring fuses were used for these purposes, but the new element is considered to be more reliable.
After the insert melts, for example, due to overheating during a fire, gas escapes from the tank in a safe, controlled manner. Unfortunately, after this, it is impossible to restore the fuse-link, the balloon becomes unsuitable for further use. Of course, it is not necessary, without extreme necessity, to heat euro balloons to such high temperatures. The working range for such structures are parameters from 40 degrees of frost to 60 degrees heat.
Can a composite cylinder explode? There is no spark from a spark, but if the pressure inside the tank accidentally rises, then the probability of such an outcome will increase markedly. Therefore, statements about the absolute explosion of cylinders of reality do not correspond. The reason for the increase in internal pressure inside such a cylinder may be the heating of the case, which causes the liquefied gas to evaporate too quickly.
And yet, the explosion of a Euroball is an extremely rare phenomenon. When exposed to open flame, the fusible link will work, and part of the body may also melt. The gas will leave the container through these openings and it will not explode. The use of combustible gas is always carried out with increased safety measures.
Although the composite cylinder itself cannot explode, but a gas leak through a large opening can cause an explosion. Therefore, a regular check of the integrity of the tank should be made mandatory. Proper maintenance of composite gas cylinders will extend their life.
On the case of each new product there is an inscription reminding of the need for a full examination and possible replacement of the product every ten years. Of course, a standard inspection and inspection of the cylinder should be performed more frequently:
- before filling it with liquefied gas;
- during such refueling;
- after the tank is filled with LPG.
The cylinder check includes the following requirements:
- the type of fuel and type of cylinder must match;
- maintenance of the tank should be carried out in a timely manner;
- it is necessary to ensure the integrity of the composite flask itself and the marking applied to it.
If the test results were unsatisfactory in one of the mentioned points, the tank should be sent to an extraordinary technical survey to ensure its suitability for further operation. When this is carried out analysis of the wear of the cylinder. The presence of scratches, scuffs, dents and other damages on the case is taken into account.
The state of each damage is analyzed for damage to the overall integrity of the tank. It is necessary to control the state of such defects from the moment of their appearance. When checking the labeling of a gas cylinder made of composite materials, it is necessary to ensure its integrity.
A gross and dangerous mistake would be to fill such a cylinder with fuel for which it is not intended. Different manufacturers carry out markings in different ways. This can be a barcode or a special sticker that is laminated and securely attached to the case.
Data such as a barcode and product serial number must be indicated and stored. If this information is completely or partially lost, it may be necessary to dispose of the balloon and replace it with a new product. Another important point - check the integrity of the valve. This element must be screwed into the hole intended for it. The area of its contact with the material of the flask is strictly normalized.
In modern composite cylinders, valves are installed that meet international standards. In addition, you need to monitor the health of locking and regulating devices. For safety reasons, it is better to choose companies that can present licenses and permits for this type of activity for refilling cylinders.
Conclusions and useful video on the topic
Information on the production of containers of this type can be found here:
Gas cylinders made from composite materials are relatively new designs, but they have already confidently pressed their metal counterparts. In operation, such products are much more convenient and safe. With proper use and maintenance, they serve flawlessly for many years.