Pressurized gas cylinders filled with hazardous or flammable materials are prohibited from being shipped. When the cylinders are empty, however, there should be no problems shipping them as long as they are completely empty with any prohibited chemicals.
Also called tanks or high-pressure vessels, gas cylinders are typically made from steel to withstand the high pressure required to store gases. They are also usually treated to be anti-corrosive making them long-lasting and re-usable. As long as gas cylinders are undamaged, they can be refilled. Here are tips on how to ship empty gas cylinders.
Inspect the cylinder before packing. Make sure that it is empty by checking the gauge if available. Also, check for any leak at the nozzle and wipe any sign of gas residue with a dry cloth.
Close the valve. Make sure that the gas cylinder has a cap or cover on the nozzle or head. This is necessary to protect the nozzle, a very important component of the tank, from damage during transit.
Do not remove factory labels on the cylinder. Instead, mark the label with “empty” using a permanent marker. Wrap the cylinder in bubble wrap and secure it with tape.
Place the cylinder in a sturdy shipping container. Use the original shipping container for the cylinders if possible. If not, look for a box that is big enough to accommodate the cylinder with extra space for packing materials on all sides.
If shipping several tanks in one package, wrap each cylinder individually with bubble wrap. If possible, use cardboard or foam boards between cylinders to prevent them from colliding with each other. Also, fill empty spaces in the box with packing peanuts to prevent movements.
Close the box and seal with packaging tape. Address the box and label with “empty cylinders”. Take the package to the post office or shipping company.