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May 2006 Vol. 32, No. 5   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Aging Aluminum Tank Explodes

from the May, 2006 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

Aging Aluminum Tank Explodes

In March, an aluminum scuba tank stored in a garden shed on Australia’s south coast exploded, splitting the tank in half and damaging the shed. No one was injured. Nevertheless, it shows that faulty aluminum tanks manufactured more than a decade ago are still around and potentially lethal.

The dangerous tanks were manufactured in the United States between 1972 and 1988, in England between 1967 and 1995, and in Australia between 1975 and 1991. They were made of an aluminum alloy called 6351, which is susceptible to sustained load cracking when it becomes aged and is stored with compressed air. Luxfer was the major manufacturer.

If you have such a tank, get it professionally inspected or destroy it. For more information visit

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