# Forces on a pressure vessel containing a vacuum

## Main Question or Discussion Point

Hi,

I'm trying to work out how to calculate the forces acting on a vessel containing a vacuum. The vessel is not cylindrical or spherical. Can anyone suggest any websites or textbooks that might be useful?

Thanks

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I think that should be looked upon as a external pressure problem. The fact that its a vacuum inside or 1 atm with 2 atm outside doesn't matter.
The construction of pressure vessels is given in the ASME boiler and pressure vessel code manual section VIII. (I am not sure anymore if external pressure is covered but I believe it is)
Those are not that easy to get your hands on but a large university should have it in their library.

Thats great, Thanks very much for your help jaap

Q_Goest
Homework Helper
Gold Member
Hi harry. ASME code is an excellent resource, but regarding external pressure, ASME is focused on cylindrical or spherical parts.

If you have flat plates, either circular or rectangular, it doesn't matter if there is a vacuum on one side or positive pressure. The calculation is done depending on dP across the plate, so you don't need to concern yourself with whether or not the pressure on either side is below atmospheric - only the dP across the plate is pertinant.

For flat plates, also look for "Roark's Formulas for Stress and Strain".

that was really useful, thanks for that