Metallurgical innovation is an important part of Luxfer’s history. In 1987, Luxfer introduced its own proprietary formula of 6061-T6 aluminum alloy. Marketed as L6X®, this alloy has been optimized to improve its durability, fracture toughness and resistance to tearing and cracking. More than 40 million L6X® cylinders in service in more than 50 countries have an exemplary record for safety and dependability.
Another significant metallurgical advancement occurred when Luxfer introduced its L7X® higher-strength aluminum alloy. Cylinders made from this alloy have the same dimensions as other aluminium cylinders but have up to 50% more capacity because they can be filled to higher pressures.
A hydraulic ram presses and shapes a solid aluminum billet into a hollow shell, the open top of which is closed and threaded. The newly formed cylinder then undergoes a precisely controlled heat-treatment regimen that adds strength and durability.
After being thoroughly tested to standards established by regulatory agencies, the cylinder is painted or receives a brushed or shot-blasted exterior finish. The result is a seamless, lightweight aluminum cylinder with a consistent wall thickness and naturally corrosion-resistant oxide finish that make it ideal for high-pressure gas containment.
These cylinders consist of an all-aluminum inner cylinder or “liner” capable of holding the same pressure as a comparably-sized all-aluminum cylinder. The “barrel” or middle cylindrical portion of this liner is wrapped with resin-impregnated fiber (typically fiberglass or aerospace-grade carbon) that reinforces the cylinder walls and enables the finished cylinder to hold higher pressure. The crown and base of the liner are not wrapped.
A Luxfer-manufactured lightweight aluminum liner is fully wrapped with layers of fiber in a strong, impact-resistant epoxy resin matrix. Fiber (typically fiberglass or aerospace-grade carbon) is applied in proprietary patterns to maximize durability and performance.
The result is an ultra-lightweight, extremely strong composite cylinder capable of operating at higher pressures than standard all-aluminum cylinders. Luxfer full-wrapped composite cylinders are available in a wide range of sizes and capacities from small breathing-air cylinders to very large alternative fuel cylinders. In addition to liners used in Luxfer’s own full-wrapped composite cylinders, Luxfer also manufacturers custom liners for third-party customers.