What is Pressure vessel design: Definition and 13 Discussions

A pressure vessel is a container designed to hold gases or liquids at a pressure substantially different from the ambient pressure.
Construction methods and materials may be chosen to suit the application, and will depend on the size of the vessel, the contents, working pressure, mass constraints, and the number of items required.
Pressure vessels can be dangerous, and fatal accidents have occurred in the history of their development and operation. Consequently, pressure vessel design, manufacture, and operation are regulated by engineering authorities backed by legislation. For these reasons, the definition of a pressure vessel varies from country to country.
Design involves parameters such as maximum safe operating pressure and temperature, safety factor, corrosion allowance and minimum design temperature (for brittle fracture). Construction is tested using nondestructive testing, such as ultrasonic testing, radiography, and pressure tests. Hydrostatic pressure tests usually use water, but pneumatic tests use air or another gas. Hydrostatic testing is preferred, because it is a safer method, as much less energy is released if a fracture occurs during the test (water does not greatly increase its volume when rapid depressurization occurs, unlike gases, which expand explosively). Mass or batch production products will often have a representative sample tested to destruction in controlled conditions for quality assurance. Pressure relief devices may be fitted if the overall safety of the system is sufficiently enhanced.
In most countries, vessels over a certain size and pressure must be built to a formal code. In the United States that code is the ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code (BPVC). In Europe the code is the Pressure Equipment Directive. Information on this page is mostly valid in ASME only. These vessels also require an authorized inspector to sign off on every new vessel constructed and each vessel has a nameplate with pertinent information about the vessel, such as maximum allowable working pressure, maximum temperature, minimum design metal temperature, what company manufactured it, the date, its registration number (through the National Board), and American Society of Mechanical Engineers's official stamp for pressure vessels (U-stamp). The nameplate makes the vessel traceable and officially an ASME Code vessel.
A special application is pressure vessels for human occupancy, for which more stringent safety rules apply.

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  1. KingoftheChaosEmpire

    "Rigid airship" using low density hydrogen (LDH) inflation

    I know now that making a full on vacuum airship is unfeasible for it's compressive properties. So why not just make a rigid airship that is evacuated enough that the hydrogen is no longer significantly dangerous to it's surroundings, using say 25-30% density of neutral hydrogen? What's the...
  2. S

    ASME compliance in Pressure Vessel design

    Summary:: Hello i have a question regarding pressure vessel design. As per the required operating parameters for a pressure vessel, i have calculated the sheet thickness for the shell to be 4 mm and base plate thickness to be 25mm. These results are based on ASME calculations and ansys.Both...
  3. C

    Calculate Pressure vessel Collapse Pressure

    Homework Statement I have a simple cylindrical pressure vessel with thickness 100m and inner radius 254mm,.the cylnder has flat head closed ends but these are thickness 30mm. I need to calculate the pressure that would cause the vessel to collapse given material properties E=207Gpa, poissons...
  4. Jschrodes4

    Single Cycle Pressure Test for Pressure Vessel

    Homework Statement I need to design a pressure test that, in one cycle, will simulate the 8000 cycles that a given pressure vessel will undergo. I know the dimensions and material of the vessel, the number of pressure cycles it will undergo, and the max and min working pressures. Homework...
  5. serenahalterman

    Pressure Vessel Design Question

    Hello, I am replacing an existing ASME Section VIII Division 1 column. The U-1 states it is designed to 240psig @ 650degF, but does not say anything about being designed for vacuum conditions. The SIS for the column states that it is safe to operate under full vacuum. The SIS is not a code...
  6. M

    EN 13445-3, Annex T - Required burst pressure calculation

    Hello dear colleagues. I am designing a pressure vessel according to EN 13445-3 pressure vessel code. As I have specified in the thread name I am interested in the required burst pressure calculation. Before I start explaining my situation I would like to know if anybody has got any experience...
  7. K

    Pressure vessel Design - Splay out concern

    Dear Members, The existing design for the pressure vessel is an end cap bolted to the body which is not designed to any pressure vessel code. Currently I'm trying to qualify this pressure vessel to PD5500 code. Due to the derated allowables in the code i couldn't go with the bolted...
  8. L

    Is the Pressure Vessel Design for a Railway Cistern Appropriate?

    Design a railway cistern for 120,000 kg of Liquid. It has to be a cylindrical shell on two supports. The cistern is 18 m long 3 m in diameter (inner). It is made of steel with the yield strength of SY= 240MPa. Safety factor of FY= 1.9; Total corrosion allowance, c= 3.0 mm; Welded joint...
  9. E

    Submarine pressure vessel design

    I'm working on the design for a dry-hull model submarine. My plan is to cast the hull shape that I want out of aluminum because this type of casting is cheap, easy to make, and because aluminum has a good strength to weight ratio. I want the hull to be able to withstand an external pressure of...
  10. R

    Designing Pressure Vessel for Heating Air to 500 C

    Hi Guys I need to design a Cylindrical vessel, in which Air is to be heated from the bottom upto temperatures as high as about 500 C( 773 K) Since it s a closed vessel , the pressure will reach around 2.5bars. The volume of the vessel should be something around 1 litre. I know how to...
  11. G

    Pressure Vessel Design: Understanding MAWP & Design Pressure

    I have a question regarding the design of pressure vessels, which is: what is the 'maximum allowable working pressure'? i know the definition and all but i am struggling to understand whether the design pressure is based on the operating pressure or the MAWP? For example, let the given...
  12. kandelabr

    Carbon fiber, kevlar pressure vessel design standards

    hi, i can't find any standard defining design of unfired pressure vessels made from carbon fiber, kevlar, fiberglass or similar high tensile strength materials*. do standards like these even exist, since these materials are relatively new? * you know any more similarly competitive materials...
  13. E

    Design Pressure Vessel: Vacuum, O-Ring Guidelines

    I am trying to design a pressure vessel for testing purposes that is 12 inches long and must have an inner diameter of 1.5 inches. 1) What is the minimum thickness the walls can be in order to attain "vacuum" pressure (10E-6 torr)? I want to make the walls as thin as possible and still be...