Pressure Vessels: Typical closure styles, materials, and sizes

March 20, 2014

A pressure vessel is a type of receptacle that is usually made of steel. These containers are made to store different types of liquids and gases at pressures that are significantly different to the adjacent environment. Sealed off structures with nuclear reactor cores are also considered as pressure vessels. One other aspect of pressure vessels is that they have the capacity to stand pressures beyond 15 psi. These containers can hold gasses, liquids, and even solids at high temperatures and pressures. Tankers carrying hazardous chemicals can also be considered as pressure vessels.

The use of pressure vessels have become a necessity in many industries as well as in most homes, however, because they are pressurized, they pose a number of risks if not maintained and handles properly.

Types of pressure vessels

There are pressure vessels with open or closed ends. Most pressure vessels that we see are cylindrical in shape, but they can also be designed in other shapes and sizes. Some samples of closed-end pressure vessels include tankers containing liquid nitrous oxide, liquid nitrogen, and other gasses. On the other hand, samples of open-ended pressure vessels include tubes and pipes that link pressure areas to one another. They are present in factories and large commercial kitchens. Open-ended pressure vessels are designed to stand up to substantial amount of pressure moving within them. They usually have armour-coated sides for extra protection.

Uses of pressure vessels

Different industries use various pressurized gasses and liquids in their operation. In order to transport large amounts of chemicals, pressure vessels are used. There are home gadgets that can be considered as pressure vessels such as fire extinguishers and LPG tanks. The cylindrical tanks containing harmful gasses such as oxygen being towed by trucks are pressure vessels.

The risks involved

A small crack or leak in a pressure vessel poses risky possibilities. The highly pressurized container can explode if the leak gets large enough forcing the air pressure on the sides of the container to weaken. Mishandling resulting in accidents such as massive collisions can result in the explosion of the hazardous contents of the pressure vessel. Leaks and cracks can also allow lethal gas to escape causing people within the vicinity to suffocate.

That is why individuals who work and deal with pressure vessels regularly should have ample training in the proper handling of these materials. Fundamental training should include putting out fire especially in emergency situations, the different types of fires caused by different chemicals and the methodologies to be applied in order to effectively put them out, and the proper care and maintenance of the containers. There are training certification programs available to educate people on the appropriate ways to handle pressure vessels.

Pressure vessels can come in many shapes but the most popular and ideal pressure vessel forms are those that are spherical in shape. Spherical pressure vessels possess more strength than cylindrical pressure vessels.

Contact Details

Fusion - Weld Engineering Pty Ltd
ABN 98 068 987619

1865 Frankston Flinders Road,
Hastings, VIC 3915

Ph: (03) 5909 8218

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