Custom Pressure Vessel: The Ultimate FAQ Guide

This guide answers all questions you have been asking about custom pressure vessels.

It covers everything including design specifications, uses, quality standards, safety features, sizes, and classification, among other vital features.

So, if you want to be an expert in custom pressure vessels, read this guide.

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What is Custom Pressure Vessel?

A Custom Pressure Vessel is a special container which is leak-proof.

It is specifically designed to store or hold fluid at high pressure.

These fluids can be gas or liquid.

Manufacturers custom-make this pressure vessel to meet the unique functional needs/requirements of a client.

The basic model of a Custom pressure vessel is a long cylinder with two heads.

Pressure vessel

Pressure vessel

Manufactures can use the recent vessel design software to maximize the pressure vessel design.

As a result, they meet all the industry standards while giving customers the lowest possible cost model.

What are Custom Pressure Vessels used for?

Custom pressure vessels are used to store liquids and gases at high pressures.

You can store compressed air, oxygen, acetylene, CNG and cooking gas.

Custom pressure vessels can be used in different applications both in the private sector and industries.

What are the Parts of Custom Pressure Vessel?

Some of the main parts of Custom Pressure Vessel are:

Parts of pressure vessel tank

Parts of pressure vessel tank

  • A cylinder
  • O-rings
  • Gasket
  • Dimple heat transfer
  • Heads

How do Custom Pressure Vessels Work?

Custom pressure vessels are built in such a way to reach a specific amount of pressure required to initiate/facilitate an application’s operation.

The tanks deliver pressure indirectly through heat transfer/directly via release gauges/valves.

The possible levels of pressure vary starting from 15 PSI – 150,000PSI, while the temperatures are over 400°C equal to 750°F.

A Custom pressure vessel holds around 75 litres to more thousand litres

Which Types of Custom Pressure Vessels do you have?

There are several types of Custom pressure vessels

Therefore, you can get the benefits and performance you need.

Some of the available Custom pressure vessel types are:

        i.            Expansion Tanks

This pressure vessel expands in proportion to the volume of hot water in heating systems.

Also, it differs in the rate of the flow of water.

It is also specially designed to keep the static pressure released at the utilization stage by the pump in clean hot water systems.

       ii.            Process Vessel

This tank is built mainly for the storage and holding of liquids.

You can use them in integrated operation in refineries, gas and oil production, petrochemical facilities, gas plants, and other applications.

     iii.            High Pressure Vessels

This pressure vessel is unique due to its durability. High pressure vessels can work under extremely heavy loads.

They can similarly give excellent resistance to pressure, corrosion and temperature.

This device is often made of stainless steel.

Some of the applications for High pressure vessels are chemical reactors, speed mixers and supercritical extraction systems.

     iv.            Autoclaves

Pressure and high temperatures is often applied to this device.

Autoclaves are cylindrical in shape mainly because round shapes can withstand high pressures without breaking.

They are specially built with a lid to seal the objects held within the device.

       v.            Heat Exchangers

This device aids in heat transfer from one medium to the other.

Heat exchangers are applied in industrial plants such as petrochemical, petroleum, iron and steel, gas and power plants, pharmaceuticals, food, textiles, leather, marine, air conditioning and ships.

     vi.            Water Pressure Tanks

This device is used in a water well system.

It releases water pressure by the use of compressed air to make way down on the water.

Water pressure leads to the release of water from the tank through the pipes located in your house when there is no open valve.

   vii.            ASME Pressure Vessels

This pressure vessel has an ASME stamp to prove that the device has been inspected thus meeting strict ASME VIII code standards.

The ASME stamps also provide the final users with all the data about the manufacturer of ASME boilers. Some refer to them as ASME boilers.

 viii.            Vacuum Tanks

This device is a part of the whole system that aids in the filtration of fluid and air via outgassing, suction, pumping, or a combination of these methods.

To prevent dehydration, purification, powering and contamination, pressure vessels apply pressure.

     ix.            Boilers

These are pressure vessels that are closed unlike the other vessels.

This device boils fluids, especially water.

The boiled fluids are used for cooking, power generation, central heating, water heating and sanitation.

       x.            Thin-Walled Pressure Vessels

This device has a skin with thickness smaller than the general size of the Pressure Vessels.

It is further exposed to an internal pressure higher than the exterior air pressure.

What are the ASME Requirements for Custom Pressure Vessels?

The ASME Code (ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code) is an important quality standard for pressure components and equipment globally.

It gives the rules for quality assurance and product certification.

The ASME Code is accepted in more than 100 countries.

Including this mark to your vessel promotes more end user, business partners and authorities trust in the devices.

This code sets the quality standards for the materials, testing, manufacture, design, operation and inspection of the Custom pressure vessels.

In addition, a Custom pressure vessel user has to comply with the codes and safety standards.

Apart from ASME BPVC Standards Section VIII, users have to comply with OSHA, and API 510 Vessel Code for repair, alteration and maintenance.

Further, users adhere to API 572 for Inspection.

Note: Allow only competent and trained staff to handle pressure vessels.

There is high risk involved in handling custom pressure vessels, as such only competent personnel should handle them.

What are the Quality Inspection Requirements for Custom Pressure Vessels?

Your manufacturer should specify the procedures of welding during the custom pressure vessel fabrication.

Also, he/she has to specify sample pieces which indicate the thickness and materials utilized in the construction of the real vessel.

Unless using previously authenticated test pieces, an inspecting authority has to observe the creation as well as testing of the test pieces.

Welders should excel in the approval test often created to show that the latter can make welds exact to welds applied in the real vessel.

Welding pressure vessel

Welding pressure vessel

Custom pressure vessels are inspected by ASME Certified inspectors.

There should be one uniform standard that evaluates the non-destructive inspection level often used in construction.

Some of the non-destructive testing done on the device are Magnetic particle or dye penetrant, radiography and ultrasonic test.

After these tests, one conducts a pressure test.

You have to conduct internal inspections of the Custom pressure vessels.

Inspections center on:

  • Inspect areas of high stress concentration for wears/cracks
  • The special closures have to be enough, conducting inspections helps determine if they are adequate
  • Openings that lead to external fittings or controls have to be free of obstruction. Focus your inspection on this area.
  • Inspect threads to make sure that the right number of threads are engaged on threaded connections
  • Inspect interior of vessel for blistering, cracks, deformation, corrosion, or other defects

You must conduct external inspections on the device focusing on:

  • Inspect the entire exterior for leakage of liquid, vapor or gas.
  • Inspect bolts, nuts, vessel surface and flange connections for other defects and corrosion
  • Shell head and surfaces are inspected for bulges, blisters, and any other deformations
  • Inspect the welded joints and adjacent areas for defects or cracks
  • Vessel and vessel connections are inspected for cracks, deformations, cuts, gouges, nozzles, reinforcing plates and manholes
  • Check the mountings to see if they allow for good expansion and contraction
  • Inspect external coverings for defects, corrosion resistant coatings and insulation.

During inspection, the inspectors have to:

  • Conduct hydrostatic pressure test
  • Inspect the release valves of the Custom pressure valve to ensure they are functioning properly
  • Perform a stress analysis to determine whether the device is good for use
  • Continuously collect thickness data to determine whether this device has changed due to use
  • Collect visual data which includes the condition of the device, condition of welds, joints, insulation or structural connections

What are the Pressure Rating for Custom Pressure Vessels?

The PSI for Custom Pressure Vessels are:

15 – 150,000 PSI and more

This device can withstand very high pressures as shown above.

How does Pressure Vessel compare to Storage Tanks?

Air storage tank

Air storage tank

A storage tank is an equipment specially designed to contain gases/liquids with a specified leak rate.

A pressure vessel, on the other hand, is built to hold/store liquids/gases at specified pressure with specific safety factor.

While Pressure vessels can operate at high pressures, storage tanks operate under very little or no pressure.

The internal design pressure: storage tanks have a below PSI 15, while pressure vessel has above PSI 15.

When it comes to size, storage tanks are larger than pressure vessels.

While the design codes for pressure vessels is ASME Section VIII Division 1,2, & 3. For storage tanks is AWWA D100 Welded Steel Tanks for Water Storage.

The second design code for pressure vessels is API 620.

This code aids in the design and construction of Large, Welded, Low-Pressure Storage Tanks with a maximum pressure and temperature of 15 psig and 250°F respectively.

The other design code is API 650 for welded steel tanks used for oil storage.

It is specified for service instead of one with a maximum pressure and temperature of 2.5 psig and 90°C nonrefrigerated respectively.

How do you Manufacture Custom Pressure Vessel?

You can follow the following process to manufacture Custom pressure vessel.

First, select the right raw materials which could be the welding rods, wires, rods, pipes or forgings.

All these aid in the formation of a high-quality final Custom pressure vessel.

These parts must be made using materials that can operate under difficult conditions.

When choosing material, pick one with the following properties:

  • High tensile strength
  • High degree of mechanical strength
  • High impact resistance
  • High corrosion resistance
  • Chemically stable materials

Next, cut the raw materials according to your specific needs/requirement.

Machine work on all the parts that require cutting.

To make the dish-head, slice the metal in correct shape and thickness using industrial circular shears and plasma cutting machines.

When you cut the material to form, you build a dish-head and it involves a spinning process.

Once you have the parts, assemble them in readiness to form the final product.

After this step, prepare the surface of the materials for a meticulous welding process.

When cleaning the parts, ensure that you prevent any cross-contamination and guard against after-rust, especially if you are using a steel brush or grinder.

Lastly, weld the parts of the pressure vessel assembly together and then inspect the device before releasing it into the market.

Pressure vessel

Pressure vessel

Is there Recommended Thickness for Custom Pressure Vessels?

The recommended thickness for Custom Pressure Vessels is from 0.100″ Up to ¾” thick.

The minimum wall thickness can be 1.5 mm (1/16 inches) excluding the corrosion allowance.

When presenting design information for your Custom pressure vessels, you have to ensure that the thickness of your device is adequate.

This will help it withstand extreme pressure, temperature and mediums.

Thickness of pressure vessel

Thickness of pressure vessel

How Often should you Inspect Pressure Vessels?

Inspections are an important aspect of the maintenance of a Custom pressure vessel.

You should inspect your pressure vessels at least every 5 years.

However, you have to conduct an inspection of the pressure vessel once you have installed it, and this is before putting it into service.

What are the Quality Standards for Custom Pressure Vessel?

Some of the quality standards include:

ASME standards; ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code Section VIII. It includes the rules involved in the construction of a Custom pressure vessel.

API 510; this standard is for pressure vessel inspection, especially in the North American market. API 510 is suitable for the repair, maintenance and alteration of the vessel.

API 572; is mainly for the inspection of the Custom pressure vessel.

OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration); the users/handlers of this device have to comply with these mentioned safety standards.

1915 Subpart K; is for containers, vessels and drums.

What Causes Failure in Pressure Vessels?

Failure is the state in which damage is accumulated a specific extent, and the rigidity, strength, or function of the device cannot meet the use requirements.

Some of the causes of failure in pressure vessels are:

·         Heat Action

Custom pressure vessels are made using different materials that can withstand extreme heat in the chemical and nuclear processes.

However, when a material is exposed to extreme and continuous heat, it may weaken especially along the joints leading to fractures or pits.

·         Medium Environment (Corrosion and erosion).

When a device is made of steel material are used in a corrosive medium, it likely gets corroded. There will a reduction in the thickness of the device’s walls.

Also, there will be material structure change/local corrosion caused by pits and bulging deformation.

Eventually, the pressure vessel experiences a fracture after a long time.

  • Excess pressure
  • External mechanical force

There are short-term, long-term and cyclic failures.

·         Ductile Rupture

Under the action of loads and pressure, the resulting stress value approaches or reaches the strength limit of the wall causing a fracture.

This failure occurs due to the internal pressure being too high, thinned walls, improper material selection or if the material selection does not meet the safety requirements.

·         Leakage at Joints

There could be leakage at joints due to excessive deformations.

The sealing surface could have failed as the nozzle loosened.

As a result, there could be poisoning and explosion accidents, combustion, and significant environmental pollution.

·         Brittle Fracture

This fracture results when some form of pressure/stress is applied to the wall of the device. Defects in the material alone could cause brittle fracture.

·         Instability Failure

It occurs due to compressive stress. This failure occurs when there is a sudden loss of the original geometry of the Custom pressure vessel.

What are the Design Specifications of Vertical Pressure Vessel?

The design of a Vertical pressure vessel using the ASME Codes.

ASME Section VIII and Division 1 are involved in the design.

Different components of the Vertical pressure vessel are designed through calculating the right design factors such as stress analysis, head, shell and others.

The most used vertical pressure vessel has a long length with a two-headed cylinder.

·         Shell

When designing the shell of this device, the welding operation process and thickness of the shell is important.

The shell is thick enough to allow the various chemical or nuclear reactions occur.

·         Head

Head of Vertical pressure vessel is curved to reduce thickness, resist pressure and cost reduction. Even though there are several types of heads, semi-elliptical head is the most common one.

Semi-elliptical heads are deeper, durable and more spherical.

There are hemispheric heads which give good pressure distribution.

Dished heads/shallow heads are better because they depict a better balance between manufacturability and strain minimization.

This type of head can get slightly thicker, is much easier to form and can get to the same pressure resistance.

Dished heads have two designs; torispherical or semi- elipsoidal

·         Nozzle

When designing nozzles, you have to support them to prevent or avoid any failure.

·         Support Base

When designing this device, the support size, bases, weight, volume, and environmental factors have to be taken into consideration.

The number of legs of the device depend on the weight of the device itself as well as the size of the material stored within.

·         Thickness

To calculate the thickness of a Custom pressure vessel, you use a specific equation.

However, this equation is often minimal hence there is need to add different allowances.

·         Middle Section

The middle section is often cylindrical.

It is constructed from a piece of rectangular steel without perpendicular edges hence providing a good pressure distribution of the involved tension.

Note: design every part of the device individually to gain an accurate design.

How does Boiler compare to Pressure Vessels?

A pressure vessel is a sealed tank built to store both liquids and gases at high pressures.

A boiler is a closed pressure vessel used to heat fluids.

It produces steam under high pressure as it helps power a specific machine/other.

The boiled fluids are involved in power generation, cooking, water heating, sanitation and central heating.

Both pressure vessels and boilers can withstand very high pressure, and this is shown by their high PSI ratings.

What is the difference between a Reactor and Pressure Vessel?

A reactor is the vessel where the actual reaction process occurs.

There are Reactor Pressure Vessels in nuclear plants; it contains the reactor core, core shroud and nuclear reactor coolant.

A pressure vessel, on the other hand, is a sealed container specially designed to hold/store liquids and gases at high pressure.

Tibular reactor

Tubular reactor

What are the Design Parameters of Custom Pressure Vessels?

Below are the design parameters of a Custom Pressure Vessel.

         i.            Allowable Stress

Apart from placing into consideration expected the load/stress of the device, you can include additional stress measurements.

       ii.            Design Pressure

The device will be exposed to significant pressures while under operation.

When designing the Custom pressure vessel, ensure that it is made using a material that can withstand high pressures.

Also, ensure that it has the right thickness degree to withstand the high pressures.

     iii.            Corrosion Allowance

The thickness of the device’s wall determines whether corrosion will likely take place.

When calculating the right equation, make sure that there is adequate allowance for corrosion, fabrication thinning, material supply tolerances and erosion.

     iv.            Shape

When designing your Custom pressure vessel, you have to choose one with a suitable shape. There are spherical, conical, torispherical and other shapes of Custom pressure vessels. The geometry of your device can reduce the common problem of strain.

Spherical Custom pressure vessels are however difficult to build.

       v.            Heads

You can choose the most suitable head for your Custom pressure vessel.

There are hemispheric heads, shallow heads, torispherical heads, and semi-elliptical heads.

Semi-elliptical heads are more spherical, deeper, and durable making them easier and costly to construct.

They can be used in more applications than torispherical heads.

Suitable for applications with slightly higher pressures.

  1. Maximum safe operating pressure and temperatures
  2. Minimum design temperature (brittle fracture)
  3. Safety factor

Which Material do you use to make Custom Pressure Vessel?

Your selected materials must have some set properties.

They include notch toughness, reduction and elongation of the fracture area, availability, fatigue strength and alteration and ageing under working conditions.

Some of the materials used to make Custom pressure vessels are:

  • Low Alloy Steels
  • High Alloy Steels
  • Carbon Manganese Steel
  • Carbon Steel
  • High Duty Bolting material
  • Austenitic stainless steels
  • Non-ferrous materials (aluminum, copper, nickel and alloys)

What are the Safety Features of Custom Pressure Vessel?

Pressure vessels are possibly very dangerous hence they are built/designed with safety consideration in mind.

The two main safety considerations in the design of a Custom pressure vessel are:

·         Leak before Burst

This feature is specially designed to enable Custom pressure vessels to crack instead of explode. According to AIAA metallic pressure vessel standard and ASME Boiler and Pressure Code, all pressure vessels must have the leak before burst feature.

Instead of allowing the device to suddenly burst, this feature enables a Custom pressure vessel to crack and them leak fluids.

It, therefore, provides a safer option for releasing pressure in case of a failure.

·         Safety Valve

They are also called relief valves.

They enable quick release of pressure so that the required pressure is not exceeded to a catastrophic level during use.

What are the available Sizes of Custom Pressure Vessels?

The sizes of Custom Pressure Vessels are often customized.

Manufacturers develop different sizes of this device.

The size of a pressure vessel can be 350 tons, 200’ in length, 4” thick and a 16’ diameter.

How much does Custom Pressure Vessel Cost?

Custom Pressure Vessels are cost-effective, although they are more costly than standard pressure vessels.

The price of the manufacture of your Custom pressure vessel is based on a client’s exact design specifications.

The prices on the following factors:

  • Additional custom standards
  • Temperature and pressure ratings that determine pressure vessel wall thickness
  • Special opening closures
  • Welding requirements
  • Device shape (cones or spheres)
  • Size of the device
  • Materials of construction
  • Specifications for platforms and ladders
  • Quick opening heads (Autoclaves)

The rates for manufacturing Custom pressure vessels are realistic and competitive.

This is because manufacturers use cost-effective fabricating techniques while emphasizing the quality of the vessel construction.

Small Custom pressure vessels may cost around $10,000 – 50,0000.

Large Custom pressure vessels cost like the ones used in big industries such as Oil and Gas costs $100,000 – 1,000,000.

What is the Welding Process for Custom Pressure Vessels?

Welding pressure vessel

Welding pressure vessel

Custom pressure vessels are mainly involved in the distribution and high-pressure storage of gases and fluids.

The welding applied on the device has to be exceptionally high quality to withstand working conditions.

To easily pass the initial welding inspection of the pressure vessel and also save funds, you have to prepare a good surface.

There are some errors that may occur during welding, it is therefore important to be vigilant. Some of the errors include porosity in a weld, nitrides (a contaminant) can create porosity and brittleness, and inclusions (occur as a result of contaminants).

Manufacturers tend to use welding technique involving equipment that are semi-automatic, automatic and manual.

Regardless of the welding equipment chosen, the final device has to be of high-quality.

Semi-auto MIG welding can be utilized in this case.

The rate of wire feed and the arc length managed by the source of power, while wire position and travel speed are manual.

You pass a continuous solid wire electrode via a welding gun right into the weld pool hence merging two base materials.

Using welding gun, you send a shielding gas making sure to protect the weld pool from contamination.

Ensure that you use the right angles when welding the material; travel angle and work angle.

The work angle may be horizontal, vertical or perpendicular depending on how you want the pressure vessel to turn out.

Following welding, conduct a thorough inspection of the weld joints using ultrasonic inspection or X-ray.

X-ray inspection detects subsurface inclusions and cracking. It is very important for key weld joints like in nuclear plants and submarines.

Ultrasonic inspection detects subsurface and surface defects.

This process involves moving a high frequency soundwave via the weld and the metal.

Note: You can use different welding techniques to weld your Custom pressure vessels.

Which Industries use Custom Pressure Vessel?

Custom pressure vessels are applied in several different industries; however, three main industries cover the most market.

They include:

·         Oil and Gas Industry

In this industry, Custom pressure vessel is the receiver where chemical and physical processes occur at high pressures and temperatures.

·         Energy (Power Generation Industry)

Custom pressure vessel is needed in this industry to store harmful gases.

Excess gases must be stored in a container and custom pressure vessels are the best, especially in refineries.

Nuclear power plants apply the use of custom pressure vessels specially referred to as Reactor Pressure Vessels.

·         Chemical Industry

The Custom pressure vessel utilized in this industry entail having a chemical reaction takes place contributing to serious change in the container’s content.

What are the Required Certifications for Custom Pressure Vessels?

Below are some of the required certifications for Custom pressure vessels as applicable to your device.

  • ASME BPE standards
  • 3A standards
  • National Board “R” repair stamp
  • ASME Section VIII, Div. 1 “U”
  • CE/PED for Europe
  • USDA and FDA
  • MOM – Singapore
  • ASME B31.3 process piping
  • API-620 and API-650
  • CRN – Canada
  • OSHA
  • CSE (Confined Space Entry)
  • NR-13

What are the available Shapes of Custom Pressure Vessel?

There are three main shapes for our Custom pressure vessels, and they include:

Sphere-shaped; these are more stable.

The walls of this device bow due to pressure and shaping the container like a sphere takes advantage of this inherent tendency.

It has around twice the strength of a cylindrical Custom pressure vessel with the same thickness.

It is important to hold internal pressure.

Sphere shapped pressure vessel

Sphere shaped pressure vessel

Cylindrical; are cheaper and often with two-heads. It meets the needs of different pressure vessel applications. They are easier to construct unlike spherical vessels.

Cylindrical pressure vessel

Cylindrical pressure vessel

Conical; are equally easier to construct while retaining the resilient and robust geometry.

Head shapes; Torispherical heads (endcaps) dished or semi-elliptical or Hemi-spherical

Note: One can however choose any of these shapes for their Custom pressure vessels depending on their intended application.

Depending on your unique specifications, FilSon Filters offers perfect solutions for all your custom pressure vessel needs.

Contact us today for any inquires or questions about custom pressure vessels.

We guarantee you competitive prices on all our custom pressure vessels.

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