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Luxfer updates inspection and replacement policy for scuba cylinders manufactured in the United States

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (October 12, 2004)— Luxfer Gas Cylinders has updated its inspection and replacement policy for Luxfer aluminum scuba cylinders manufactured in the United States from 6351 alloy and 6061 alloy. The updated policy supersedes all previous Luxfer policy statements covering this subject.

The primary differences between this policy statement and earlier statements are:

  • The updated policy approves the use of the Visual Plus 3™ eddy-current device for inspecting Luxfer scuba aluminum cylinders made both from 6351 alloy and 6061 alloy.
  • The updated policy clarifies the status of all scuba-related replacement, rebate and trade-in programs.

The full text of the policy is as follows:

Luxfer Scuba Cylinder Inspection and Replacement Policy

Effective October 12, 2004: This Luxfer policy statement supersedes all previous Luxfer statements concerning inspection and replacement of Luxfer scuba cylinders.

Section I: Inspection and Testing of Luxfer Scuba Cylinders Manufactured from 6351 Aluminum Alloy

Luxfer scuba cylinders were manufactured from 6351 aluminum alloy during the following periods:

  • United States : 1972 through mid-1988
  • England : 1967 through 1995
  • Australia : 1975 through 1990

Luxfer requires that every Luxfer 6351-alloy all-aluminum scuba cylinder be visually inspected at least every 2.5 years by a properly trained inspector. As part of this inspection, Luxfer further requires that the cylinder neck be tested with an eddy-current device such as Visual Plus™, Visual Plus 2™, Visual Plus 3™,Visual Eddy™ or equivalent non-destructive testing equipment. When properly used, eddy-current devices contribute significantly to early detection of difficult-to-observe sustained-load cracks in the necks of 6351-alloy cylinders. If the cylinder passes the inspection, the inspector will document that fact. If the cylinder fails the inspection, it must be removed from service immediately. Do not use Luxfer 6351-alloy scuba cylinders that have not been both visually inspected and eddy-current tested and then properly documented.

This Luxfer-required visual and eddy-current inspection is in addition to periodic requalifications (including retesting and inspections) required or recommended by various regulatory agencies around the world. The intervals between retests and inspections vary from country to country.

In addition to the required inspection and testing described above and in keeping with U.S. scuba industry standards, Luxfer recommends that all Luxfer 6351-alloy scuba cylinders be visually inspected at least once each year by a properly trained inspector.

For cylinders in heavy use (for example, those filled five or more times a week), Luxfer recommends visual inspection every four months. For more information, refer to Luxfer’s Scuba Cylinder Inspection Guide, which is available by calling Luxfer at 800-764-0366 or by visiting the Luxfer web site at www.luxfercylinders.com.

Section II: Inspection and Testing of Luxfer Scuba Cylinders Manufactured from 6061 Aluminum Alloy

Luxfer began manufacturing scuba cylinders from a proprietary 6061 aluminum alloy in mid-1988 in the United States , in 1995 in England and in 1990 in Australia . The majority of Luxfer scuba cylinders currently in service are made from this proprietary 6061 alloy, which Luxfer is still using.

Cylinders made from Luxfer’s proprietary 6061 alloy are not susceptible to sustained-load cracks. Therefore, Luxfer does not recommend the use of earlier-generation eddy-current devices—e.g., Visual Plus, Visual Plus 2, and Visual Eddy—with Luxfer 6061-alloy cylinders because field experience has shown that using these devices can result in misleading “false-positive” readings and erroneously condemned cylinders.

However, Luxfer does approve the use of the Visual Plus 3™ eddy-current device with Luxfer 6061-alloy cylinders. After laboratory testing, Luxfer has determined that properly calibrated Visual Plus 3 equipment eliminates the “false positive” problem, accurately measures features in the neck area of aluminum cylinders, and generally provides correct pass or fail assessments with cylinders made from Luxfer’s 6061 alloy. As of the date of this Luxfer Policy Statement, Visual Plus 3 is the only eddy-current testing device suitable for use with Luxfer 6061-alloy cylinders.

Luxfer emphasizes that the use of eddy-current devices to improve the quality and accuracy of inspections does not eliminate the need for a thorough visual inspection by a properly trained and qualified inspector.

In keeping with U.S. scuba industry standards, Luxfer recommends annual visual inspection of Luxfer 6061-alloy cylinders by a properly trained inspector. For cylinders in heavy use (for example, those filled five or more times a week), Luxfer recommends visual inspection every four months. These recommended inspections are in addition to periodic requalifications (including retesting and inspections) required or recommended by various regulatory agencies around the world. The intervals between retests and inspections vary from country to country.

For more information, refer to Luxfer’s Scuba Cylinder Inspection Guide, which is available by calling Luxfer at 800-764-0366 or visiting the Luxfer web site at www.luxfercylinders.com.

Section III: Luxfer Scuba Cylinder Rebate and Replacement Policy

In prior years, Luxfer has conducted various rebate, replacement and trade-in programs, all of which have now ended, with one exception: Certain older Luxfer scuba cylinders sold by U.S. Divers were issued with a lifetime warranty. This lifetime warranty will continue to be honored for the life of each cylinder so warranted. However, since this warranty was non-transferable, it will be necessary for those wishing to make warranty claims to prove that they are original owners of any cylinders in question. There are several ways to prove original ownership, including warranty certificates, cash register receipts, and records maintained by merchants. Luxfer Customer Service will be glad to assist in establishing original ownership by those wishing to make legitimate warranty claims.

All Luxfer scuba cylinders made from 6351 alloy are now out of warranty and no longer eligible for replacement, rebates or credits. To determine whether a cylinder is made from this alloy, consult the Luxfer website (www.luxfercylinders.com) or call Luxfer Customer Service toll-free at 800-764-0366.

This Luxfer Policy Statement is not a recommendation to discontinue use of older Luxfer scuba cylinders made from 6351 alloy. As long as such cylinders are inspected in accordance with Luxfer requirements and can be requalified according to regulations established by the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT), they can continue to be used indefinitely. For information about inspection requirements and other pertinent safety information, please visit the Luxfer website or call Luxfer Customer Service.

This policy statement supersedes all other policy statements and programs concerning Luxfer scuba cylinders. If you have questions about this Luxfer policy, please call Luxfer Customer Service toll-free at 800-764-0366.

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