Composite Propane Cylinders

Discussion in 'All Things Boats & Boating' started by missinginaction, Feb 2, 2021.

  1. missinginaction
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    Location: New York

    missinginaction Senior Member

    I don't really know where to post this so I'll put it in here.

    I'm putting one of those Dickinson direct vent propane heaters in my boat this spring.

    I'm planning a trip down to Florida over the next year or so, so I'll be in salt water. I could buy aluminum tanks but I ran across these.......

    https://www.vikingcylinders.com/

    I'm wondering if anyone has used these or knows anything about them. Here in upstate New York, I've called a couple of large propane distributors to see about getting these tanks re-certified. They don't know anything about them and said that they could not do a re-certificaton.

    If anyone has any experience with these please let me know. This seems like a good idea that just hasn't caught on. They are a little pricey, maybe that has something to do with it.

    Thanks,

    MIA
     
  2. Barry
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    Barry Senior Member

  3. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    The problem with composite tanks is that they can't be recertified, which makes them throwaways. The recertification has to be stamped (DOT regulations) and that is not possible in a composite. It is a problem with scuba and paintball tanks.
     
  4. Barry
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    Barry Senior Member

    and yet Viking says that they can be???

    """
    Your cylinder will need to be requalified once every five years via a visual inspection by an approved requalifier. This is in accordance with Department of Transportation regulations and ensures that your cylinder remains safe to use. All propane cylinders must periodically be inspected. Viking cylinders are the only composite cylinders that can be requalified by a simple visual inspection.

    Your requalifier should inspect the cylinder and then apply a recertification sticker to the fiberglass dome using epoxy. There is no need for the inspector to replace the valve or pressure-test the cylinder.

    The map below will help you find a certified requalifier in your area. """
    From their website
     
  5. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    I found in their website. They must have convinced the DOT their inspection protocol is adequate
     
  6. cthippo
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    cthippo Senior Member

    Most SCBA bottles these days are composite running at 4500 or 5500 PSI. Our department hydrotests them every 5 years and replaces after 15 years, so, yeah, sort of disposable, but 15 years service life out of anything is pretty good.
     
  7. fallguy
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    fallguy Senior Member

    I just bought tanks for my new build. I could not justify the cost of composites, but I sure liked the idea of a window to the supply.
     
  8. missinginaction
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    Location: New York

    missinginaction Senior Member

    Thanks for the replies. I'm going to keep working on this. So far none of the major propane suppliers (who do inspect and re-certify metal tanks) know anything about these. One was even good enough to call me back and tell me they wouldn't do it. I don't get it, it may just be a lack of awareness. How hard is it to do a visual? Maybe I just have to push it a little. Next stop is my local welding supply shop. Then I'm going to keep checking and take the refill certificate to some local filling stations and see what they say.

    MIA
     
  9. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    It is hard to do a visual inspection if you don't know what to look for. Also, they are most likely have to get certified by the manufacturer to do the inspection.
     
  10. Barry
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    Barry Senior Member

    you did catch that they have a map on their site that shows recertification facilities?

    I pulled this off an RV forum as I was also interested in a couple of smaller propane tanks, mainly to be able to know the amount of propane left. I guess a high quality
    scale would work as well but more of hassle

    ""Now, I'm not saying they're not lighter, or that they are a bad purchase, but just know that once you have a full tank, the percentage that they are lighter goes way down.

    Here is some data for 20# tanks:

    Type.................empty (tare) weight...............full weight
    Steel......................16.6 lbs..............................~36 lbs
    Aluminum...............14.2 lbs..............................~34 lbs
    Composite..............12.8 lbs..............................~32.5 lbs

    Steel and aluminum data from Worthington Cylinder and composite data from Lite Cylinder."""

    So the advantages in the marine environment are better corrosion resistance and the ability to know how full that they are
     
  11. BlueBell
    Joined: May 2017
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    BlueBell "Whatever..."

    MIA,

    Why?
    More money.
    You're having trouble finding recertifying facilities in your area.
    The weight savings is negligible.
    So, again, Why?

    BB
     
  12. Will Gilmore
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    Will Gilmore Senior Member

    From their brochure, https://www.hexagonragasco.com/upload_images/D3981540AA7043DB91D76A49CC1CF3DC.pdf
    "• Hexagon Ragasco cylinders comply with a wide range of international standards and approvals. The principal ones include:
    • ISO 9001
    • ISO 11119-3
    • EN 12245
    • EN 14427
    • DOT-SP 12706
    • TC SU 5931
    • Hexagon Ragasco Cylinders are subjected to extensive testing including: cycle testing, extreme temperature testing, long term ageing
    tests and static load fatigue tests.
    The most widely adapted inspection interval is 10 years. Periodic inspection in the European countries is done in accordance with the ADR
    and the applicable standards referenced therein. EN ISO 11623 and EN 16728 are the two most current standards for periodic inspection of
    composite LPG cylinders."

    -Will (Dragonfly)
     
  13. missinginaction
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    missinginaction Senior Member

    I just wanted to reply to Barry and bluebell. I just don't want steel tanks on the boat. Never liked them even for the grill. That's on me.

    The composite tanks are not much lighter than aluminum. I like the idea that they are translucent and you can see at a glance how much propane you have.
    They are price competitive with aluminum.

    I like the shape better. These tanks are 12" in diameter. They'll fit nicely right on the side deck next to the cabin.

    Here in upstate NY, I can't find a re-qualifier. I'm going to see about getting them filled.

    I just like them. Why not? But if I can't get them filled it's not going to work..

    Have a great night,

    MIA
     
  14. BlueBell
    Joined: May 2017
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    Location: Victoria BC Canada

    BlueBell "Whatever..."

    See post #11

    Have you contacted the manufacturer?
    You can bet they want their tanks fillable or they won't sell.

    I see them up here in the Great White North all the time, for years now.

    Another reason to support buying them is this is a new purchase for you so you're paying out the steel price cost anyway.
    What's a bit more for Al or composite.
     

  15. missinginaction
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    Location: New York

    missinginaction Senior Member

    I've never seen these composite tanks around here. Just a couple of days ago I had a tank refilled at a farm and garden store nearby. I talked to the guy doing my propane. He said he's never seen a composite tank but wouldn't have a problem filling one as long as I could show him it was DOT approved. So no problem there filling but I still can't find anyone locally to re-certify these tanks. That won't need doing for 5 years so it won't stop me from picking up a couple. By the time I'll need to re-certify the tanks this will have to have worked itself out.

    Thanks for the reply!

    MIA
     
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