This paper considers the failure of an acetylene gas cylinder which occurred under extreme loading conditions resulting in severe fragmentation of the cylinder. The characteristics of the failure morphology, which is entirely ductile, are discussed. The loading experienced and the fragmentation are put in the context of literature information and events such as failure using explosives and other high-velocity loadings. A model of failure is developed which demonstrates the energies involved in the incident and the explanation for the development of the failure characteristics are discussed.

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