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How can I calculate wall thickness for vacuum distillation?

  1. Feb 20, 2015 #1
    Hi everybody,
    I want to design two industrial vacuum distillation systems.
    The dimension of my distillation tanks are as follow:
    (1) A Horizontal Cylinder Tank with 200 cm length and 200cm diameter (total volume = 6300 liter)
    (2) A Horizontal Cylinder Tank with 400 cm length and 290cm diameter (total volume = 26500 liter)
    The material for both systems is Black Iron Sheet. The pressure and the temperature I want to work at are in the range of 0.1-0.07 mbar and 200-350 degree of centigrade.
    But I don’t know what wall thickness for the distillation systems is safe?
    By the way, I am an organic chemistry expert, so I don’t know much about design of distillation systems (which is an engineering problem).
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 20, 2015 #2


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    Homework Helper

    A basic method would be to find your allowable stress based on your material and temperature, the pressure of the fluid and the outer diameter of your tank and apply the formula:

    [tex]t = \frac{PD}{2S}[/tex]

    However if you can, you can use applicable ASME Boiler and pressure vessel codes.
  4. Feb 20, 2015 #3


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    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
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    Since your field of expertise is organic chemistry, it would be wise to consult a mechanical engineer to assist you with this project.

    Since this is intended to be industrial equipment, I'm surprised there isn't an engineer involved in this project already. :))
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