U.S. Code of Federal Regulations
Regulations most recently checked for updates: Jan 20, 2020
(a) General. Each MEGC must meet the requirements of this section. In a MEGC that meets the definition of a “container” within the terms of the International Convention for Safe Containers (CSC) must meet the requirements of the CSC as amended and 49 CFR parts 450 through 453, and must have a CSC approval plate.
(b) Alternate Arrangements. The technical requirements applicable to MEGCs may be varied when the level of safety is determined to be equivalent to or exceed the requirements of this subchapter. Such an alternate arrangement must be approved in writing by the Associate Administrator. MEGCs approved to an Alternate Arrangement must be marked as required by paragraph (j) of this section.
(c) Definitions. The following definitions apply:
Leakproofness test means a test using gas subjecting the pressure receptacles and the service equipment of the MEGC to an effective internal pressure of not less than 20% of the test pressure.
Manifold means an assembly of piping and valves connecting the filling and/or discharge openings of the pressure receptacles.
Maximum permissible gross mass or MPGM means the heaviest load authorized for transport (sum of the tare mass of the MEGC, service equipment and pressure receptacle).
Service equipment means manifold system (measuring instruments, piping and safety devices).
Shut-off valve means a valve that stops the flow of gas.
Structural equipment means the reinforcing, fastening, protective and stabilizing members external to the pressure receptacles.
(d) General design and construction requirements. (1) The MEGC must be capable of being loaded and discharged without the removal of its structural equipment. It must possess stabilizing members external to the pressure receptacles to provide structural integrity for handling and transport. MEGCs must be designed and constructed with supports to provide a secure base during transport and with lifting and tie-down attachments that are adequate for lifting the MEGC including when loaded to its maximum permissible gross mass. The MEGC must be designed to be loaded onto a transport vehicle or vessel and equipped with skids, mountings or accessories to facilitate mechanical handling.
(2) MEGCs must be designed, manufactured and equipped to withstand, without loss of contents, all normal handling and transportation conditions. The design must take into account the effects of dynamic loading and fatigue.
(3) Each pressure receptacle of a MEGC must be of the same design type, seamless steel, and constructed and tested according to one of the following ISO standards:
(i) ISO 9809-1: Gas cylinders - Refillable seamless steel gas cylinders - Design, construction and testing - Part 1: Quenched and tempered steel cylinders with tensile strength less than 1100 MPa. (IBR, see § 171.7 of this subchapter). Until December 31, 2018, the manufacture of a cylinder conforming to the requirements in ISO 9809-1:1999 (IBR, see § 171.7 of this subchapter) is authorized;
(ii) ISO 9809-2: Gas cylinders - Refillable seamless steel gas cylinders - Design, construction and testing - Part 2: Quenched and tempered steel cylinders with tensile strength greater than or equal to 1100 MPa. (IBR, see § 171.7 of this subchapter). Until December 31, 2018, the manufacture of a cylinder conforming to the requirements in ISO 9809-2:2000 (IBR, see § 171.7 of this subchapter) is authorized;
(iii) ISO 9809-3: Gas cylinders - Refillable seamless steel gas cylinders - Design, construction and testing - Part 3: Normalized steel cylinders. (IBR, see § 171.7 of this subchapter). Until December 31, 2018, the manufacture of a cylinder conforming to the requirements in ISO 9809-3:2000 (IBR, see § 171.7 of this subchapter) is authorized; or
(iv) ISO 9809-4:2014(E) Gas cylinders - Refillable seamless steel gas cylinders - Design, construction and testing - Part 4: Stainless steel cylinders with an Rm value of less than 1 100 MPa (IBR, see § 171.7 of this subchapter).
(v) ISO 11120: Gas cylinders - Refillable seamless steel tubes of water capacity between 150 L and 3000 L - Design, construction and testing. (IBR, see § 171.7 of this subchapter).
(4) Pressure receptacles of MEGCs, fittings, and pipework must be constructed of a material that is compatible with the hazardous materials intended to be transported, as specified in this subchapter.
(5) Contact between dissimilar metals that could result in damage by galvanic action must be prevented by appropriate means.
(6) The materials of the MEGC, including any devices, gaskets, and accessories, must have no adverse effect on the gases intended for transport in the MEGC.
(7) MEGCs must be designed to withstand, without loss of contents, at least the internal pressure due to the contents, and the static, dynamic and thermal loads during normal conditions of handling and transport. The design must take into account the effects of fatigue, caused by repeated application of these loads through the expected life of the MEGC.
(8) MEGCs and their fastenings must, under the maximum permissible load, be capable of withstanding the following separately applied static forces (for calculation purposes, acceleration due to gravity (g) = 9.81 m/s
(i) In the direction of travel: 2g (twice the MPGM multiplied by the acceleration due to gravity);
(ii) Horizontally at right angles to the direction of travel: 1g (the MPGM multiplied by the acceleration due to gravity. When the direction of travel is not clearly determined, the forces must be equal to twice the MPGM);
(iii) Vertically upwards: 1g (the MPGM multiplied by the acceleration due to gravity); and
(iv) Vertically downwards: 2g (twice the MPGM (total loading including the effect of gravity) multiplied by the acceleration due to gravity.
(9) Under each of the forces specified in paragraph (d)(8) of this section, the stress at the most severely stressed point of the pressure receptacles must not exceed the values given in the applicable design specifications (e.g., ISO 11120).
(10) Under each of the forces specified in paragraph (d)(8) of this section, the safety factor for the framework and fastenings must be as follows:
(i) For steels having a clearly defined yield point, a safety factor of 1.5 in relation to the guaranteed yield strength; or
(ii) For steels with no clearly defined yield point, a safety factor of 1.5 in relation to the guaranteed 0.2 percent proof strength and, for austenitic steels, the 1 percent proof strength.
(11) MEGCs must be capable of being electrically grounded to prevent electrostatic discharge when intended for flammable gases.
(12) The pressure receptacles of a MEGC must be secured in a manner to prevent movement that could result in damage to the structure and concentration of harmful localized stresses.
(e) Service equipment. (1) Service equipment must be arranged so that it is protected from mechanical damage by external forces during handling and transportation. When the connections between the frame and the pressure receptacles allow relative movement between the subassemblies, the equipment must be fastened to allow movement to prevent damage to any working part. The manifolds, discharge fittings (pipe sockets, shut-off devices), and shut-off valves must be protected from damage by external forces. Manifold piping leading to shut-off valves must be sufficiently flexible to protect the valves and the piping from shearing, or releasing the pressure receptacle contents. The filling and discharge devices, including flanges or threaded plugs, and any protective caps must be capable of being secured against unintended opening.
(2) Each pressure receptacle intended for the transport of Division 2.3 gases must be equipped with an individual shut-off valve. The manifold for Division 2.3 liquefied gases must be designed so that each pressure receptacle can be filled separately and be kept isolated by a valve capable of being closed during transit. For Division 2.1 gases, the pressure receptacles must be isolated by an individual shut-off valve into assemblies of not more than 3,000 L.
(3) For MEGC filling and discharge openings:
(i) Two valves in series must be placed in an accessible position on each discharge and filling pipe. One of the valves may be a backflow prevention valve. (ii) The filling and discharge devices may be equipped to a manifold.
(iii) For sections of piping which can be closed at both ends and where a liquid product can be trapped, a pressure-relief valve must be provided to prevent excessive pressure build-up.
(iv) The main isolation valves on a MEGC must be clearly marked to indicate their directions of closure. All shutoff valves must close by a clockwise motion of the handwheel.
(v) Each shut-off valve or other means of closure must be designed and constructed to withstand a pressure equal to or greater than 1.5 times the test pressure of the MEGC.
(vi) All shut-off valves with screwed spindles must close by a clockwise motion of the handwheel. For other shut-off valves, the open and closed positions and the direction of closure must be clearly shown.
(vii) All shut-off valves must be designed and positioned to prevent unintentional opening.
(viii) Ductile metals must be used in the construction of valves or accessories.
(4) The piping must be designed, constructed and installed to avoid damage due to expansion and contraction, mechanical shock and vibration. Joints in tubing must be brazed or have an equally strong metal union. The melting point of brazing materials must be no lower than 525 °C (977 °F). The rated pressure of the service equipment and of the manifold must be not less than two-thirds of the test pressure of the pressure receptacles.
(f) Pressure relief devices. Each pressure receptacle must be equipped with one or more pressure relief devices as specified in § 173.301(f) of this subchapter. When pressure relief devices are installed, each pressure receptacle or group of pressure receptacles of a MEGC that can be isolated must be equipped with one or more pressure relief devices. Pressure relief devices must be of a type that will resist dynamic forces including liquid surge and must be designed to prevent the entry of foreign matter, the leakage of gas and the development of any dangerous excess pressure.
(1) The size of the pressure relief devices: CGA S-1.1 (IBR, see § 171.7 of this subchapter) must be used to determine the relief capacity of individual pressure receptacles.
(2) Connections to pressure-relief devices: Connections to pressure relief devices must be of sufficient size to enable the required discharge to pass unrestricted to the pressure relief device. A shut-off valve installed between the pressure receptacle and the pressure relief device is prohibited, except where duplicate devices are provided for maintenance or other reasons, and the shut-off valves serving the devices actually in use are locked open, or the shut-off valves are interlocked so that at least one of the duplicate devices is always operable and capable of meeting the requirements of paragraph (f)(1) of this section. No obstruction is permitted in an opening leading to or leaving from a vent or pressure-relief device that might restrict or cut-off the flow from the pressure receptacle to that device. The opening through all piping and fittings must have at least the same flow area as the inlet of the pressure relief device to which it is connected. The nominal size of the discharge piping must be at least as large as that of the pressure relief device.
(3) Location of pressure-relief devices: For liquefied gases, each pressure relief device must, under maximum filling conditions, be in communication with the vapor space of the pressure receptacles. The devices, when installed, must be arranged to ensure the escaping vapor is discharged upwards and unrestrictedly to prevent impingement of escaping gas or liquid upon the MEGC, its pressure receptacles or personnel. For flammable, pyrophoric and oxidizing gases, the escaping gas must be directed away from the pressure receptacle in such a manner that it cannot impinge upon the other pressure receptacles. Heat resistant protective devices that deflect the flow of gas are permissible provided the required pressure relief device capacity is not reduced. Arrangements must be made to prevent access to the pressure relief devices by unauthorized persons and to protect the devices from damage caused by rollover.
(g) Gauging devices. When a MEGC is intended to be filled by mass, it must be equipped with one or more gauging devices. Glass level-gauges and gauges made of other fragile material are prohibited.
(h) MEGC supports, frameworks, lifting and tie-down attachments. (1) MEGCs must be designed and constructed with a support structure to provide a secure base during transport. MEGCs must be protected against damage to the pressure receptacles and service equipment resulting from lateral and longitudinal impact and overturning. The forces specified in paragraph (d)(8) of this section, and the safety factor specified in paragraph (d)(10) of this section must be considered in this aspect of the design. Skids, frameworks, cradles or other similar structures are acceptable. If the pressure receptacles and service equipment are so constructed as to withstand impact and overturning, additional protective support structure is not required (see paragraph (h)(4) of this section).
(2) The combined stresses caused by pressure receptacle mountings (e.g. cradles, frameworks, etc.) and MEGC lifting and tie-down attachments must not cause excessive stress in any pressure receptacle. Permanent lifting and tie-down attachments must be equipped to all MEGCs. Any welding of mountings or attachments onto the pressure receptacles is prohibited.
(3) The effects of environmental corrosion must be taken into account in the design of supports and frameworks.
(4) When MEGCs are not protected during transport as specified in paragraph (h)(1) of this section, the pressure receptacles and service equipment must be protected against damage resulting from lateral or longitudinal impact or overturning. External fittings must be protected against release of the pressure receptacles' contents upon impact or overturning of the MEGC on its fittings. Particular attention must be paid to the protection of the manifold. Examples of protection include:
(i) Protection against lateral impact, which may consist of longitudinal bars;
(ii) Protection against overturning, which may consist of reinforcement rings or bars fixed across the frame;
(iii) Protection against rear impact, which may consist of a bumper or frame;
(iv) Protection of the pressure receptacles and service equipment against damage from impact or overturning by use of an ISO frame according to the relevant provisions of ISO 1496-3. (IBR, see § 171.7 of this subchapter).
(i) Initial inspection and test. The pressure receptacles and items of equipment of each MEGC must be inspected and tested before being put into service for the first time (initial inspection and test). This initial inspection and test of an MEGC must include the following:
(1) A check of the design characteristics.
(2) An external examination of the MEGC and its fittings, taking into account the hazardous materials to be transported.
(3) A pressure test performed at the test pressures specified in § 173.304b(b)(1) and (2) of this subchapter. The pressure test of the manifold may be performed as a hydraulic test or by using another liquid or gas. A leakproofness test and a test of the satisfactory operation of all service equipment must also be performed before the MEGC is placed into service. When the pressure receptacles and their fittings have been pressure-tested separately, they must be subjected to a leakproof test after assembly.
(4) An MEGC that meets the definition of “container” in the CSC (see 49 CFR 450.3(a)(2)) must be subjected to an impact test using a prototype representing each design type. The prototype MEGC must be shown to be capable of absorbing the forces resulting from an impact not less than 4 times (4 g) the MPGM of the fully loaded MEGC, at a duration typical of the mechanical shocks experienced in rail transport. A listing of acceptable methods for performing the impact test is provided in the UN Recommendations (IBR, see § 171.7 of this subchapter).
(j) Marking. (1) Each MEGC must be equipped with a corrosion resistant metal plate permanently attached to the MEGC in a conspicuous place readily accessible for inspection. The pressure receptacles must be marked according to this section. Affixing the metal plate to a pressure receptacle is prohibited. At a minimum, the following information must be marked on the plate by stamping or by any other equivalent method:
Stamp of the approval agency who performed or witnessed the most recent test
(2) The following information must be marked on a metal plate firmly secured to the MEGC: