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Reusable cylinders for gas extinguishing systems
November 18, 2021 - Service

Sustainability at Minimax: Reusable Cylinders for Gas Extinguishing Systems

Minimax is now able to undertake the required container replacement for gas extinguishing systems with reusable cylinders.

Gas extinguishing systems ensure safety, even when they are not in use. Nowadays, however, numerous systems in Germany have exceeded the recommended maximum period of use, notably twenty years. Minimax sees a need for action.

First, the legal basis stems from the relevant regulations governing transportable gas cylinders (Ortsbewegliche Gasflaschen / Druckbehälter): TRBS 3145 / TRGS 745, DIN EN 1968:2002 + A1:2005, VdS 3159. Here, the recommendation is to replace a container after the double inspection period has expired, and an inspection and evaluation by the operator is required. The operator must decide, justify and document whether the containers should remain in service or not.

What many people do not know, however, is that gas-based extinguishing systems have to be regarded as work equipment, the regular inspection of which is specified in Art. 14 of the German Ordinance on Industrial Safety and Health (BetrSichV). This applies, in particular, to "longer periods of non-use". Where the quick-opening valves of the containers with extinguishing agent have not been operated since the filling process, the installer or the maintenance manager must assume that the effectiveness and reliability are no longer up to standard. In this case, the system operator and persons acting on their behalf are personally liable. A responsible operator will therefore replace the containers, as the safe use can no longer be guaranteed. Safety and care for employees are the top priorities here. After all, defective, outdated gas cylinders can become a safety hazard.

New: reusable cylinders
Minimax is now able to undertake the required container replacement for gas-based extinguishing systems with reusable cylinders. In terms of quality, there is no difference between new and refurbished containers. On the other hand, the economic and ecological advantages for operators are obvious: savings in terms of costs, efforts, and valuable resources.

Containers that have been removed are revamped by Minimax and subjected to a visual and pressure test as the basis for reapplying the inspection stamp. Primer and paint renewal are possible as is the modernization of the valve technology. Old tanks are returned to the material cycle.

Opportunity for modernization
Even though the main focus on cylinder replacement is on ensuring the availability of the system technology, replacing a container also provides an opportunity for modernization due to ongoing technological development.

Existing systems can be future-proofed without applying for new approval, for example, by switching from a mechanical to pneumatic actuating device. This makes future maintenance more efficient and leads to less downtime. Other advantages include the availability of spare parts with more modern technology and the ability to expand the systems with new technology. The need to replace an old time-delay device in low-pressure systems should also be given due consideration as should a potential reduction in space requirements by switching from carbon dioxide to nitrogen.

Thus, maintenance services can be combined with modernization. With the new reusable cylinders from Minimax, this can also be done sustainably and with a clear conscience.

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