Past experience and further testing using the latest technology available indicate that the manufacturer-specific service life of aluminium compressed air cylinders should be limited to 10 years. This ensures a maximum degree of safety for users and third parties. Out of concern for users and third parties, we cannot recommend prolonging the service life of aluminium cylinders through “reconditioning” or “inspection” that involves pressure tests but does not include investigation of their internal structure (especially microstructure). In view of the many years of stress on the material (including especially possible damage, alteration and improper use), such tests cannot give a 100% guarantee that aluminium cylinders are safe to use for an extended period. For this reason, compressed air cylinders made of aluminium must not be used if they are more than 10 years old (according to the manufacturing date shown on the cylinders). Should the aluminium compressed air cylinder is used beyond the manufacturer-specific service life of 10 years, it is on the shooter’s own responsibility – there is a risk of injury!
For compressed air cylinders made of steel, a limited service life of 10 years also applies. Owing to their different characteristics, the manufacturer provides the option of retesting them after 10 years. If no defects are discovered in this test, the service life can be extended a single time for another 10 years. Thus a total maximum service life of 20 years is possible (e.g.: the service life of a 16 years old compressed air cylinder is extended by additional 4 years only). The service life of a compressed air cylinder that is more than 20 years old cannot be extended by means of repeated testing. When the maximum permissible service life has been reached, the cylinder must be emptied in a safe manner and discarded. Compressed air cylinders without serial number and manufacturing date are older than 10 years and can no longer (in case of a steel cylinder) presented for a repeated testing. This repeated testing after 10 years can only be carried out at our factory and not during shooting events as part of the service.
Unless it is not quite evident by the higher weight of a steel cylinder, make a test with a magnet. The steel cylinder is attracted by the magnet, the aluminium cylinder is not magnetic.
A repeated testing of steel cylinders can be carried out only one time, thus a total maximum service life of 20 years is possible. However, most of the CO2 cylinders are already 15 to 25 years old, so that a testing would have no validity or only for a few years. As the costs for it are considerably, a pressure test for CO2 steel cylinders is not reasonable. The maximum service life for aluminium cylinders is 10 years only, a non-destructive testing of aluminium cylinders (compressed air and CO2) is not possible.
Unfortunately not, a conversion would be technically feasible with a considerable effort, however, the costs are so high that a conversion is not reasonable.