Gas Cylinders Information
Storage tank. Gas cylinder.
Image Credit: Baker Corp | Grainger
Gas cylinders are used to store gases under high pressures. Gas cylinders can store both flammable gases, such as acetylene, and inert gases such as helium.
It is important to note that there are differences in the terms used to describe gas cylinders from country to country. In the United States, for example, gas cylinders are sometimes called bottled gas. Many countries have different color coding systems that are used to classify different gases and types of cylinders. In addition, different types of gas cylinders (e.g., industrial, medical, or home use) will have different release valves so that is more difficult to mistakenly use a gas.
Gas Cylinder Types
Gas cylinders can be defined by four main characteristics:
Type of gas
State of gas (compressed, refrigerated, dissolved, cryogenic liquid)
Purity of gas
Type of cylinder
Size and pressure differs from country to country.
Type of Compressed Gas
The three main types of compressed gases that are stored in gas cylinders include:
Gases contained in a compressed gas cylinder can be toxic, flammable, oxidizing, corrosive, and/or inert. Special care should be taken when dealing with compressed gas cylinders, such as an argon gas cylinder, to prevent falling and breaking and to ensure proper ventilation. Typically, a gas cylinder rack or gas cylinder cabinet is used to safely and conveniently store gas cylinders.
Material of Construction
Gas cylinders can be made from aluminum, steel, alloys, and composite materials. A commonly used type of gas cylinders is a propane tank. Propane is a gas used in homes, farms, businesses and industry. Propane is typically used for heating and must be stored in specially-designed propane tanks. Some gases that are very unstable in their confined form, such as acetylene, require specially made gas cylinders (e.g., an acetylene gas cylinder) to reduce the hazards from shock and heat.