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Thread: Air Cylinder, carbon vs steel?

  1. #1
    Sharp Shooter

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    Default Air Cylinder, carbon vs steel?

    Hi guys,

    Looking at all cylinder options, carbon vs steel vs alu.

    So I have a 12 liter steel cylinder on the way to me but looking at a carbon fibre option that's not over the top, any suggestions for a matching cylinder?

    Thanks,

    Ian
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  2. #2
    Sharp Shooter

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    Divetek in Ranburg have just imported a host of steel 3L and 7L air rifle specific cylinders as well as 6 and 9 litre carbon cylinder. Have a look at their site.
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  3. #3
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    Sorry if this is seen as a hi-jack.
    Must a Carbon cylinder also get checked over once in a while like a steel cylinder? Or is it not needed as they don't rust?
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  4. #4
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    Pressure Equipment Regulations referred by SA Occupational Health and Safety Act define any portable vessel exceeding 3 litres and 50 kPa (0.5 bar) as a pressure vessel that requires internal inspection and pressure testing at least every 3 years. This involves removing the valve to insert a camera / scope and then a pressure test to the rated test pressure (usually 1.5 times rated fill pressure) .

    The vessel is stamped with the inspection date after and nobody may fill it if the inspections are not up to date.

    I don't think the materials of construction make difference because a carbon cylinder still has a metal valve (and thread insert?) Cylinders need to be checked for corrosion, abrasion, deformation, cracks etc. Carbon is not immune to these
    Last edited by JXV; 17-05-19 at 14:29.
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  5. #5
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    Carbon fiber can also delaminate so inspections are required.
    Don't skimp inspections, it's a bomb waiting for the right conditions. Don't give it any
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  6. #6
    Sharp Shooter
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    I did this info a while back regarding Carbon Fiber Cylinders.

    Hydro and Visual Info for Carbon Fiber Air cylinders ~ Air Rifle SA Forums

    They most certainly need to be visualed and Hydroed, the timing is just different vs Steel. Carbon Cylinders also only have a 15 year life span, after that they are destroyed, irrespective of condition.
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  7. #7
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    A.R.M.S. in Kempton Park area have carbon fibre / gel coat type cylinders at a very good prices.
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  8. #8
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    Just bear in mind that Carbon Fibre cylinders have a fixed lifespan, once they reach it they are scrapped, I understand this was 15 years when they first came out, but I have read there are now lifespans of 20 and up to 30 years.

    Also CF cylinders can be more easily damaged than steel, apparently the allowable defect list (in the UK) is fairly stringent, so some extra care in handling, transport and storage is required to ensure the maximum lifespan is achieved.
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  9. #9
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    Rashaad on the forum have fantastic specials on carbon fiber cylinders at the moment.
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  10. #10
    Sharp Shooter
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dale View Post
    Just bear in mind that Carbon Fibre cylinders have a fixed lifespan, once they reach it they are scrapped, I understand this was 15 years when they first came out, but I have read there are now lifespans of 20 and up to 30 years.
    Dale I believe the 20/30 year carbon cylinders you are referring to are actually the steel carbon fiber wrapped cylinder, like those made by Carbondive? Due to the steel cylinder being used it thus prolongs the lifespan but is also susceptible to rust etc and can just as easily be deemed as unsafe before that timeframe and be destroyed upon inspection. These cylinders are also about 3 x the cost of normal aluminum carbon fiber cylinders and also not readily available in SA.

    In SA the SAB SANS define carbon fiber wrapped cylinders with a lifespan of only 15 years. So even if you got a steel carbon fiber wrapped cylinder in SA, the hydro inspectors are still legally obliged to destroy your cylinder after 15 years, as per the SANS standards.

    Note: for those dont know - Carbon fiber wrapped cylinders are not 100% carbon fiber. It is actually an aluminum cylinder with a much thinner wall that is wrapped with carbon fiber to strengthen it and is therefore lighter than a normal aluminum diving cylinder (which has much thicker walls).
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