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Since January 1st 2007, DOT  has required that all 6351-T6 cylinders receive a combined visual and eddy current examination as part of the hydrostatic test. Atlantic Divers has followed these procedures to the letter. Tanks tested through Atlantic Divers have met D.O.T testing standards and their customers should feel confident in the safety of those tested cylinders. If you have a 6351-T6 cylinder that has been tested elsewhere within within the last calendar year, and you can provide documentation that the DOT testing facility also performed a combined visual and eddy current examination according to D.O.T standards, Atlantic Divers may elect to fill your tank.   In addition, D.O.T approved hydrostatic test stations are required to stamp a VE after the test date and their hydro static facility number on approved cylinders.
Recently D.O.T. has pulled the license of a facility that did not meet uniform D.O.T. standards for hydrostatic testing in the South Jersey area.  All divers are advised to check their aluminum cylinders manufactured prior to 1990 to see if the correct marking has been stamped on their cylinder. If you are unsure Atlantic Divers staff can assist you.   

Aluminum Alloy 6351

Before 1990, some scuba tanks were made of aluminum alloy 6351. It since become apparent that these tanks can develop hairline cracks around the neck; especially if the tanks are left in storage for a period of time at high pressure. Every year these aluminum alloy 6351 scuba tanks should undergo an ultrasonic test to check for cracks.  This is called an eddy test.

This examination uses a tiny current of electricity and is performed on some types of aluminum cylinders to assist in the detection of cracks in the threaded neck area. It alerts the inspector to specific locations on the neck threads that need further evaluation. Atlantic Divers tests these cylinders using eddy current technology sold under the brand names Visual Plus and Visual Eddy.  Tanks that do not pass these eddy tests or hydrostatic tests are condemned and to be pulled from service.

Additional testing and checking of the oring seals, valve function, internal corrosion, contamination and pressure relief devices are included in all tests.

Now is the time to check your cylinders prior to the dive season to prepare ahead for the upcoming season.

Safe Diving!
Gene Peterson

Good Wreck Diving!
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