Aluminum Uses in High Pressure Gas Cylinders
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Aluminum Uses in High Pressure Gas Cylinders

Aluminum alloy gas cylinders are mainly used to fill standard gases, standard mixed gases, special mixed gases, ultra-pure gases, oxygen and carbon dioxide, and can be used for gas, carbon monoxide gas filling. Aluminum alloy cylinders have been widely used in electronics, medical treatment, diving, chemical industry, metallurgy, mining and other fields.

Aluminum alloy high pressure gas cylinders

Chalco Aluminum can provide 6061, 6351 seamless aluminum tubes, 6061, 6351, 7032, 7060 aluminum round bar, 5052, 5154, 5083, 6061 aluminum coil plate, and 5052, 5154, 5083, 6082, 6061 O aluminium circular plate, which are suitable for various aluminum alloy gas cylinders.

Common aluminum for gas cylinders

The advantages of aluminum alloy application on gas cylinders

Compared with steel commonly used in gas cylinders, aluminum alloys can be used in gas cylinders and have the following advantages.

Good corrosion resistance

Corrosion resistance is one of the most important uses of non-ferrous metal gas cylinders. Due to the different chemical properties of aluminum alloys, the range and degree of corrosion resistance media are also different.

Good heat transfer

The thermal conductivity of aluminum alloy is several times that of steel. In terms of thermal conductivity, aluminum alloy is an excellent thermal conductivity material second only to copper.

High specific strength

Among the commonly used structural materials, aluminum has a lower density and a higher specific strength (ratio of tensile strength to density) than steel. For mobile gas cylinders, higher specific strength of materials means lighter weight of equipment, which can reduce energy consumption and save costs during transportation.

Good low temperature resistance

The crystal structure of the aluminum alloy is a face-centered cubic structure. Since the face-centered cubic crystal structure has a particularly good coordination ability in all aspects, when the aluminum alloy gas cylinder is used under a very low temperature condition, brittle fracture will not occur. Not only that, the light and toughness of aluminum alloy will not be reduced, but will have good mechanical properties. The low temperature resistance of aluminum alloy can reach -269℃ without any additional requirements.

How to choose the raw material of aluminum alloy gas cylinder?

In the selection of aluminum alloy seamless gas cylinder body material, the first consideration is its safety. In order to prevent accidents caused by failure and damage, the bottle body material must have sufficient strength, certain plasticity, toughness, and good durability, corrosion ability and good low temperature performance.

Because the fatigue strength of aluminum alloy is low, it is necessary to choose a material with better fatigue resistance.

Third, consider its processing performance, supply and price.

According to the requirements of GB 11640-2011 Aluminum Alloy Seamless Gas Cylinders, the body material of aluminum alloy seamless gas cylinders should generally be 6061 aluminum alloy, which has the performance of good cold and hot processing, corrosion resistance, low temperature, fatigue, etc. GB 11640-2011 Aluminum Alloy Seamless Gas Cylinders allows the cylinder to use other aluminum alloy materials with good intergranular corrosion resistance and process performance, but it should pass the corrosion test and the constant load crack resistance test.

6061 aluminum alloy gas cylinder

Chalco Aluminum can communicate and provide alloys required for various aluminum alloy cylinders, such as 5052, 5154, 5083, 6082, 6061, 6061, 6351, 7032, 7060.

Manufacturing process of aluminum alloy gas cylinder

Punching and drawing method

This method refers to the aluminum alloy seamless gas cylinder formed by heating and punching the aluminum alloy billet into a short and thick cup, and then drawing and closing it. It is the main method for the manufacture of aluminum alloy seamless gas cylinders.

Cold extrusion

Cold extrusion refers to the aluminum alloy seamless gas bottle formed by cold extrusion of aluminum alloy billet and then closed. This processing method has simple procedures and low cost, but requires a press with a larger tonnage.

Punching and Stretching Method

It refers to the process of deep-drawing the aluminum alloy plate into a long cup-shaped part, and then closing the open end. The wall thickness of this processing method is relatively uniform, but the material utilization rate is low, the process is complicated, and the cost is high, so there are fewer manufacturers using this processing method.

Spinning method

Spinning method refers to the gas bottle manufactured by spinning the aluminum alloy plate. For materials such as aluminum alloy, spinning can maximize the plastic potential of the material, so that the deformation can reach more than 70%, and one-time clamping and spinning can achieve the effect that requires multiple stretching and annealing. Therefore, stretch spinning is also one of the processes for manufacturing aluminum bottles, and it is especially suitable for the production of small batches of products.

Spinning method

The barrel billet after stretching and spinning can be spun again (generally needs to be heated) to form a small mouth gas cylinder. This kind of gas cylinder, which is all processed and manufactured by spinning process, is called “full spinning gas cylinder”, which generally has high precision, uniform wall thickness, good quality, and high bursting pressure (need to cooperate with appropriate heat treatment process).

Welding method

The welding gas bottle is generally stretched and formed by 5mm-6mm 6061 plate, the weld seam is in the middle of the bottle body, and the weld joint is opened with a 60° bevel in the butt joint method, leaving a 2 mm excess height, and welded with 5356 aluminum alloy welding wire.

Commonly used alloy specifications for aluminum alloy gas cylinders

6061, 6351, 7032, 7060 aluminum alloy round bar

Seamless aluminum alloy gas cylinders are generally obtained by extrusion and spinning methods. Extrusion method bottle materials are commonly used 6061, 6351, 7032, 7060 aluminum alloy round bars, heated and extruded into seamless aluminum tubes, and then closed. Then heat treatment to reach T6 temper.

6061, 6351, 7032, 7060 aluminum alloy round bar

When 7032 and 7060 aluminum alloys are used, the diameter of the gas cylinder should not exceed 203mm, and the volume should not exceed 20L. 7032 and 7060 aluminum alloys have significantly better performance indicators than 6xxx aluminum alloys. But due to the high content of alloy elements in the matrix and higher working pressure, the fracture resistance of 7xxx aluminum alloys is poor, which manifested on the cylinder is the poor fatigue life.

However, through the three-stage overaging process of 115°C /6 ~ 9h → 180°C /8 ~ 13h → 115°C /6 ~ 10h, the fatigue performance specified in the product standard can be met, and the performance is optimal and can meet the demand for mass production.

5052 5154 5083 6082 6061 O aluminum circle plate

5052 5154 5083 6082 6061 O aluminum circle plate

Seamless aluminum alloy cylinders can also be formed by spinning and stretching, which is suitable for the production of small batches of aluminum cylinders. The common specifications are as follows:

Alloy 5052, 5154, 5083, 6082, 6061
Product name 5052, 5154, 5083, 6082, 6061 O aluminum circle plate
Temper O
Thickness 4mm-6mm
Surface quality Bright and smooth, free of rolling mark, oil stain oxidation defect. Bright and smooth with lightly scratch and defect not affect the usage, after deep drawing or spinning process not have orange peel.
Application aluminum seamless LPG cylinders

6061 6351 aluminum alloy seamless tube

The seamless aluminum alloy gas cylinder can also be obtained by closing both ends of the seamless aluminum tube. Utilizing the good plasticity of the seamless aluminum tube at high temperature, under repeated rolling in the radial and longitudinal directions of the rotary wheel, the diameter shrinks and thickens continuously, and finally the seal is fused together to form a variable wall thickness cylinder head.

6061 6351 aluminum alloy seamless tube

The process route is:

  1. Pipe spinning
  2. Strong spinning straight wall part
  3. Heat closing (400 ~ 450 ℃) general spinning to form the shoulder and neck of the bottle

6061 and 6351 aluminum alloy seamless aluminum tubes are often used.

5052 5154 5083 6061 aluminum alloy coil plate

Ordinary aluminum alloy gas cylinders are usually stretched and welded from 5mm-6mm 5052, 5154, 5083, 6061 aluminum coils plates. The welding seam is in the middle of the bottle body, which is welded with 5356 aluminum alloy welding wire.

Application of aluminum alloy cylinders

With the emergence of cold back extrusion technology, large-scale production of aluminum alloy gas cylinders began in Europe. The first batch of gas cylinders are made of 6xxx series aluminum alloys. Lightweight, corrosion-resistant aluminum gas cylinders are becoming more and more popular in the beverage industry and are mainly used to store CO2. While 6 xxx gas cylinders are still widely used today, the use of aluminum cylinders has become more widespread and technically demanding in recent years. In many markets, such as healthcare, life support, and new energy vehicle applications, users require lighter-weight solutions for improved portability and storage efficiency.

Application of aluminum alloy cylinders

Generally, aluminum alloy cylinders are used to hold petroleum gas, natural gas, hydrogen, standard gas, ultra-pure gas, medical oxygen, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, diving, beverage preparation and other gases.

According to the use, it is divided into the following categories:

Aluminum cylinder

Vehicle-mounted high-pressure hydrogen storage cylinders

Composite material aluminum liner gas cylinder

Aluminum alloy liner carbon fiber winding structure is composed of aluminum alloy seamless liner, carbon fiber, resin, etc. It has low density of aluminum alloy material, excellent sealing performance, processability, ductility, enhanced crack resistance, good performance and other characteristics. It is also combined with the advantages of light weight, high specific strength, good safety, high specific modulus and strong designability of carbon fiber composite materials, to achieve high pressure bearing capacity, high fatigue life, light weight, corrosion resistance and other excellent performance combination.

Composite aluminum alloy gas cylinders have been widely used in the aerospace field, and have become key components of satellites, missile weapon power systems, launch vehicle auxiliary power systems and space vehicle propulsion systems, Such as HS2702 satellite platform, Centaur carrier rocket, space shuttle, Tianzhou cargo spaceship, Tiangong Laboratory, Chang’e V and Tianwen I, etc.

Composite material aluminum liner gas cylinder

Lincoln Company has developed a spherical 5086 aluminum alloy lined T40 carbon fiber wound composite gas cylinder for the deep space program, with a working pressure of 34. 47 MPa; Brunswick company developed a spherical 6061 aluminum alloy lined T40 carbon fiber wound composite gas cylinder for the FS-1300 satellite platform, working pressure 27. 58 MPa.

Aluminum alloys are widely used in storage aluminum tanks and gas cylinders. In recent years, aluminum-lithium alloy materials represented by 2195 and aluminum-scandium alloy materials represented by 5B70 have been industrialized. The alloy formed by adding lithium to aluminum can effectively reduce the density of the alloy and increase the stiffness, while still maintaining high strength, good corrosion resistance and fatigue resistance, and suitable ductility. The alloy is used in aerospace fields. It is mainly used in the external storage tanks of some space shuttles and the large storage tank structure of the carrier.

Composite gas cylinders are also used in the field of natural gas fuel cylinders for vehicles and portable oxygen cylinders for medical diving.

Why choose Chalco Aluminum as the supplier of aluminum alloy cylinder raw materials?

Chalco Aluminum has rich experience in the field of raw materials for aluminum alloy cylinders, providing 6061, 6351, 7032, 7060 aluminum rods for aluminum alloy extrusion, 5052, 5154, 5083 6082, 6061 O aluminum circle, 6061, 6351 aluminum seamless tube, 5052, 5154, 5083 aluminum coil. They are widely used in various areas such as aluminum alloy gas cylinders, petroleum and petrochemical, gas, automobile transportation, diving, aerospace and other fields and has achieved outstanding results.

Contact us today to learn more.

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