Pressure vessel is a storage tank or vessel that has been designed to operate at pressures above 15 p.s.i.g. Common materials held and maintained by pressure vessels include air, water, nitrogen, refrigerants, ammonia, propane, and reactor fuels. Due to their pressurizing capabilities, they are often used to store chemicals and elements that can change states. In most cases, the walls of pressure vessels are thicker than normal tanks providing greater protection when in use with hazardous or explosive chemicals.
Important parameters to consider when specifying pressure vessels include the capacity, the maximum pressure and the temperature range.
- The capacity is the volume of the pressure vessel.
- The maximum pressure is the pressure range that the vessel can
- The temperature ranges indicates the temperature of the material that the container can withstand.
In addition to pressurizing capabilities, many of the pressure vessels have built-in temperature control characteristics. This helps to keep volatile chemicals in inert states. At times it may also change the state of the chemicals to make transportation easier.
Pressure vessel with temperature controls have gauges to allow for reading of internal pressures and temperatures. These gauges are available with a variety of end connections, levels of accuracy, materials of construction, and pressure ranges.
Types of Pressure Vessels
There are mainly two types of pressure vessels:
Spherical Pressure Vessel
These pressure vessels are thin walled vessels. This forms the most typical application of plane stress. Plane of stress is a class of common engineering problems involving stress in a thin plate. It can also be called as simplified 2D problems.
Cylindrical Pressure Vessel
This a vessel with a fixed radius and thickness subjected to an internal gage pressure. The vessel has an axial symmetry.
Safety Hazards and Precautions
Cracked and damaged vessels can result in leakage or rupture failures. Potential health and safety hazards of leaking vessels include poisonings, suffocations, fires, and explosion hazards. Rupture failures can be much more catastrophic and can cause considerable damage to life and property. The safe design, installation, operation, and maintenance of pressure vessels in accordance with the appropriate codes and standards are essential to worker safety and health.
Applications of Pressure Vessels
- Chemical industry
- Cosmetics processing
- Food and beverage industry
- Oil / fuel industry
- Paper and pulp industry
- Pharmaceutical and plastic processing
- Power generation
- Energy Processing