How to Handle Compressed Gas in Your Business

A majority of cylinders that hold specialty gas have numerous safety relief devices. In many cases, these devices can mitigate rupture of the cylinder when internal pressure builds up to levels that exceed the limits of the design. Pressures can be dangerously high if a cylinder is subjected to fire or heat, including extreme storage temperatures.

3 Types of Relief Devices for Compressed Gases and Cylinders 

  • Safety or pressure relief valves

These valves are typically part of the cylinder. It is fastened via a string. The force closing the valve will depend on the type of specialty gas in the cylinder. The valve is exposed if the pressure within the cylinder exceeds the safety limit set. Gas is unconfined until the cylinder pressure returns to the normal limit. Afterward, the valve closes and maintains the residual gas in the cylinder.

  • Rupture disc

These discs are typically made from a metal material. They either burst or rupture at a certain pressure, which releases the gas from the cylinder. The pressure from bursting is designed, so the disc can rupture even before the cylinder’s pressure limit is reached. Keep in mind that these cannot be closed, so the cylinder’s entire contents are exposed once released.

  • Melt plugs

It is temperature rather than pressure, which activates melt plugs. The safety devices which are utilized cannot start a volatile chemical reaction. These pressure relief valves can act slowly to mitigate the cylinder’s rupture once an explosive reaction has already started.

Melt plugs are termed so because they are made of metal that can melt at low temperatures. As an example, acetylene cylinders utilize these melt plugs, which can melt at 100°C. This temperature is way below the temperature at which dangerous polymerization may start.

Not every compressed gas cylinder will have a safety device. Several gases are incredibly toxic that, once released via a safety device it could result in accidents. Thus, cylinders utilized for these cylinders are designed to withstand high pressures compared to standard cylinders. When these toxic gases are subjected to a fire, the area must be evacuated at once.

Why is proper ventilation critical?

Well-designed and well-engineered ventilation system eradicates gases from the workplace and mitigates their hazards.

The amount and type of ventilation required will depend on such things as the job type, the kind of materials utilized, and the size of the layout as well as the work area.

It is crucial to assess the specific ways your workplace is able to store, handle, and utilize as well as expose compressed gases. An examination can reveal if your ventilation in place is sufficient. In some cases, workplaces may require a complete system of hoods and ducts to have a sound ventilation system. In some cases, workplaces may require only a single and optimally-placed exhaust fan. In the case of storage areas for dangerous materials such as chlorine, it may need an added emergency airing system or constant monitoring system with appropriate alarms and warning systems. Other workplaces that utilize a small number of inert gases may not have to install a special ventilation system.

Make sure that your ventilation system is engineered and built so it does not cause an unintended hazard. Ensure that the hoods and ducts, and air cleaners are created from materials compatible with the gas being utilized in your work setting. In some cases, systems may need explosion-proof as well as corrosion-resistant equipment. 


Every gas utilized in industries is compressed with safety devices in place. If you’re a business owner utilizing gases, you must know its risks and dangers. It would help if you had a strategy for properly storing and maintaining these compressed gases.

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