Sometimes industrial gas distribution involves hauling pressurized gas over the highways in seamless, forged, steel cylinders which are mounted on truck trailers. To ensure public safety, Federal regulations require periodic cylinder examinations. In 1983 the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) began to allow use of acoustic emission (AE) examinations in lieu of hydrostatic tests for this purpose. AE data are recorded in the linear location mode while cylinders are filled with gas. Examples and explanation of excellent location accuracy are provided. Significant AE sources are subjected to secondary inspection and flaw depth is determined. If flaw depth exceeds a prescribed limit the cylinder is removed from service. Study of emission from specific flaws over two and three subsequent periodic re-tests shows that, generally, flaws are benign.
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