Rupture Hazard of Pressured Vessels

August 31, 2017

Mathematically established circumstances spell bad news for pressure vessels if a rupture event becomes likely. On account of the stress placed on the vessel, any energy released by a rupture will cause a catastrophic release of the contained fluid medium, a release that could develop into a combustible incident. Due to these high operating pressures, there can be no complacency when it comes to rupture hazards.

Rupture Hazard Awareness

A casual observer thinks of combustible fuels and corrosive chemicals when contemplating a pressure vessel breach. And there's no arguing the destructive effects of these caustic, flammable fluids; they're responsible for many lost lives. However, when placed under pressure, any fluid medium can become dangerous. Water, a normally life-giving liquid, is imbued with energy when it's stored in a pressurised containment unit. A breach here won't catch fire, but it will send clouds of shrapnel zipping through the air like a hailstorm of bullets. Energy, then, is the true enemy. That pressurised force must be accounted for during the design phase so that the weld seams and materials produce an absolutely reliable pressure vessel.

Rupture Hazards: Assessing Failure Causes

Remember, even if a specified pressure vessels' contents are not reactive, a danger exists, locked in the high-energy state of the stored fluid. On taking this immense amount of potential energy into account, all conceivable causative factors need to be identified, assessed and remedied. A faulty design is one possibility, which is why the Fusion-Weld engineering team places a large focus on its quality assurance program and a meticulously run inspection procedure. Operator errors are next, with the vessel eventually succumbing to an energetic breach due to some operation that pushes the pressure vessel beyond its design limits. Then there are improper installation issues, poorly established maintenance programs, and equally poorly instituted repair actions.

In the long run, there's no room for slipshod methods here, not when the vessels are also performing as liquid energy batteries. That's right, corrosive and harmless fluids may be the core storage mediums, but energy is the second quantifiable force at work inside each pressure vessel. That force can be contained, but it cannot be completely neutralized, which is why rupture hazards must be part of the eventual design. It's because of this physical reality that engineers add system overheads to their constructs, a safety margin that offsets rupture potentiality. A breach possibility exists, but it's rendered dormant and highly improbable when superior materials, maintenance checks, commissioning strategies, and competency-based operational methods are properly established.

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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