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Color Codes for Cylinders

Color coding is mandatory for compressedgas cylinders. Identifying colors are assigned by the Standardization Division, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Supply and Logistics). Cylinders that have a background color of yellow, orange, or buff have the title stenciled in black. Cylinders that have a background color of red, brown, black, blue, gray, or green

Table 5-2.-Cylinder Color Code

have the title stenciled in white. Figure 5-50 shows how cylinders are identified by the overall painted color code and by the stenciled name of the gas.


As a further identification measure, two decalcomanias (pronounced de-kel-ko-main-e-ah, or abbreviated as decals), are applied to the shoulder of each cylinder. The decals (fig. 5-51) show the name of the gas and the pre-cautions for its handling and use. The decals are available from general stores for each gas used in the Navy.


ICC regulations require that all gas cylinders, except acetylene cylinders, be retested every 5 years. Cylinders which are due for retesting are not to be charged and shipped until such retests have been properly made. However, cylinders which have been charged before the expiration of their retest period may be shipped and used until empty. They will then be turned in for retesting.

The dates of retests are permanently and plainly marked by the stamping on the shoulder of the cylinder, directly opposite the ICC and Navy serial numbers. The stamping, for example 4-58, means that the last test was performed in April 1958.

The 5-year tests are performed by naval activities and civilian agencies under regulations of the ICC. Personnel aboard naval ships are not authorized to perform such tests. Empty cylinders with expired test periods should be returned to the nearest naval supply depot or cylinder testing activity, and marked For Retest.

The naval shipyards at Norfolk, Mare Island, Puget Sound, Charleston, Pearl Harbor, and San Francisco are authorized to conduct 5- year tests.

The naval operating bases at the Marianas Islands and Guantanamo Bay are authorized to conduct the 5-year test, but only on CO2 cylinders.

Figure 5-50.-Identifying color patterns forcylinders. gas cylinders.

Cylinders may be repaired only by ships the planned maintenance system. Defective authorized to perform such work. All cylinders cylinders should have their pressure bled-off. used aboard ship must be in satisfactory and The cylinders should then be sent to the serviceable condition. Therefore, periodic nearest naval supply depot in exchange for inspections are to be made in accordance with good cylinders. The following marks

Figure 5-51.-Standard decalcomanias for Navy gas cylinders.

or defects require the cylinder to be turned in for repair:

1. Severely dented, gouged, or corroded

2. Evidence of fire damage (carbon deposits in valves or safety plugs of cylinders containing acetylene or other flammable gases)

3. Bulges (deformation of cylinders from internal pressures)

4. Damaged, split, or leaking seams (lowpressure cylinders containing flammable gases such as acetylene)

When it is impractical to bleed the pressure off of defective cylinders, or to turn them over to a reconditioning center, they may be surveyed and jettisoned at sea. Unapproved survey report is to be turned in as required.


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