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Cylinder Supplies of LPG

Cylinder Size

LPG cylinders are transportable pressure vessels, specially designed to contain the liquefied gas safely. They are constructed to one of a number of special design and construction standards for fillable gas cylinders, which in the United Kingdom is BS 5045-2: 1989, for steel cylinders up to 450 litres water capacity. The normally accepted size limit for LPG is 150 litres.

The water capacity is the total volume of a cylinder, usually expressed in litres. The term is used because the volume of each cylinder is checked at manufacture by filling it with water, which is then measured to ensure it complies with the minimum permitted so that it can safely carry the intended quantity of LPG.

The quantity of LPG in any cylinder is less than the full volume (water capacity). The ratio between the LPG quantity and the full volume is called the `filling ratio', which can be expressed as kg/litre of cylinder volume. Standards have been drawn up to specify this limit and BS 5355: 1976 includes these ratios for the UK. For international traffic in Europe, the filling ratios are specified in the European Agreement concerning the international carriage of dangerous goods, known as ADR, which is now being adopted in the UK under the European ADR Directive.

In the UK, the range of refillable cylinders extends from small portable containers of 0.35 kg up to transportable 47 kg propane containers. The valve outlets for propane and butane cylinders are different so as to minimise the possibility of incorrect use.

Cylinder Colour

There is no agreed convention for the colour of LPG cylinders but red is almost universally used for propane and blue is widely used for butane, but many other colours for butane are in service.

Cylinder Ownership

In the UK, the gas supply company retains the ownership of refillable LPG cylinders. They are then responsible for their maintenance and periodic re-qualification.

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