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Pressure vessel

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A pressure vessel is a closed container designed to hold gases or liquids at a pressure
different from the ambient pressure.
The pressure differential is potentially dangerous and many fatal accidents have occurred
in the history of their development and operation. onsequently, their design,
manufacture, and operation are regulated by engineering authorities backed up by la!s.
For these reasons, the definition of a pressure vessel varies from country to country, but
involves parameters such as ma"imum safe operating pressure and temperature.
% &ses
' (hape of a pressure vessel
o '.% onstruction materials
o '.' (caling
'.'.% (pherical vessel
'.'.' ylindrical vessel !ith hemispherical ends
'.'.) ':% ylindrical vessel !ith hemispherical ends
'.'.* +as storage
o '.) (tress in thin,!alled pressure vessels
o '.* Winding angle of carbon fibre vessels
) -esign and operation standards
o ).% .ist of standards
* Alternatives to pressure vessels
/ 0istory of pressure vessels
1 (ee also
2 3"ternal links
4 Further reading
5 6eferences
%7 8otes
[edit] Uses
A pressure tank connected to a !ater !ell and domestic hot !ater system
A specific !ater pipe made for use !ith pressure vessels. The pipe can sustain high
pressure !ater and is relatively small
9ressure vessels are used in a variety of applications in both industry and the private
sector. They appear in these sectors as industrial compressed air receivers and domestic
hot !ater storage tanks. :ther e"amples of pressure vessels are: diving cylinder,
recompression chamber, distillation to!ers, autoclaves and many other vessels in mining
or oil refineries and petrochemical plants, nuclear reactor vessel, habitat of a space ship,
habitat of a submarine, pneumatic reservoir, hydraulic reservoir under pressure, rail
vehicle airbrake reservoir, road vehicle airbrake reservoir and storage vessels for liquified
gases such as ammonia, chlorine, propane, butane and .9+.
[edit] Shape of a pressure vessel
9ressure vessels may theoretically be almost any shape, but shapes made of sections of
spheres, cylinders, and cones are usually employed. A common design is a cylinder !ith
hemispherical end caps called heads. ;ore complicated shapes have historically been
much harder to analy<e for safe operation and are usually far more difficult to construct.
Theoretically, a sphere !ould be the optimal shape of a pressure vessel. &nfortunately, a
spherical shape is difficult to manufacture, therefore more e"pensive, so most pressure
vessels are cylindrical !ith ':% semi,elliptical heads or end caps on each end. (maller
pressure vessels are assembled from a pipe and t!o covers. A disadvantage of these
vessels is that larger diameters make them relatively more e"pensive, so that for e"ample
the most economic shape of a %,777 litres =)/ cu ft>, '/7 bars =),177 psi> pressure vessel
might be a diameter of 5%*.* millimetres =)1 in> and a length of %,27%.4 millimetres
=12 in> including the ':% semi,elliptical domed end caps.
[edit] Construction materials
(teel 9ressure ?essel
+enerally, almost any material !ith good tensile properties that is chemically stable in
the chosen application can be employed.
;any pressure vessels are made of steel. To manufacture a spherical pressure vessel,
forged parts !ould have to be !elded together. (ome mechanical properties of steel are
increased by forging, but !elding can sometimes reduce these desirable properties. @n
case of !elding, in order to make the pressure vessel meet international safety standards,
carefully selected steel !ith a high impact resistance A corrosion resistant material
should also be used.
(ome pressure vessels are made of !ound carbon fibre held in place !ith a polymer. -ue
to the very high tensile strength of carbon fibre these vessels can be very light, but are
much trickier to manufacture.
:ther very common materials include polymers such as 93T in fi<<y drinks containers
and copper in plumbing.
[edit] Scaling
8o matter !hat shape it takes, the minimum mass of a pressure vessel scales !ith the
pressure and volume it contains and is proportional to the strength to !eight ratio of the
construction material.
[edit] Spherical vessel
For a sphere, the mass of a pressure vessel is
M is mass
P is the pressure difference from ambient, i.e. the gauge pressure
V is volume
B is the density of the pressure vessel material
C is the ma"imum !orking stress that material can tolerate.
:ther shapes besides a sphere have constants larger than )D' =infinite cylinders take '>,
although some tanks, such as non,spherical !ound composite tanks can approach this.
[edit] Cylindrical vessel with hemispherical ends
For a cylinder !ith hemispherical ends:
6 is the radius
. is the middle cylinder length only, and the overall length is . E '6
[edit] 2:1 Cylindrical vessel with hemispherical ends
@n a vessel !ith a ':% aspect ratio:
[edit] Gas storage
@n looking at the first equation, the factor 9?, in (@ units, is in units of =pressuri<ation>
energy. For a stored gas, 9? is proportional to the mass of gas at a given temperature,
=see gas la!>
The other factors are constant for a given vessel shape and material. (o !e can see that
there is no theoretical Fefficiency of scaleF, in terms of the ratio of pressure vessel mass
to pressuri<ation energy, or of pressure vessel mass to stored gas mass. For storing gases,
Ftankage efficiencyF is independent of pressure, at least for the same temperature.
(o, for e"ample, a typical design for a minimum mass tank to hold helium =as a
pressurant gas> on a rocket !ould use a spherical chamber for a minimum shape constant,
carbon fiber for best possible B D C, and very cold helium for best possible M D pV.
[edit] Stress in thinwalled pressure vessels
(tress in a thin,!alled pressure vessel in the shape of a sphere is:
Where CG is hoop stress, or stress in the circumferential direction, p is internal gauge
pressure, r is radius of the sphere, and t is thickness. A vessel can be considered Fthin,
!alledF if the radius is at least '7 times larger than the !all thickness.
(tress in a thin,!alled pressure vessel in the shape of a cylinder is:
Where CG is hoop stress, or stress in the circumferential direction, Clong is stress in the
longitudinal direction, p is internal gauge pressure, r is radius of the cylinder, and t is !all
[edit] !inding angle of car"on fi"re vessels
Wound infinite cylindrical shapes optimally take a !inding angle of /*.2 degrees, as this
gives the necessary t!ice the strength in the circumferential direction to the longitudinal.
[edit] #esign and operation standards
9ressure vessels are designed to operate safely at a specific pressure and temperature,
technically referred to as the F-esign 9ressureF and F-esign TemperatureF. A vessel that
is inadequately designed to handle a high pressure constitutes a very significant safety
ha<ard. Hecause of that, the design and certification of pressure vessels is governed by
design codes such as the A(;3 Hoiler and 9ressure ?essel ode in 8orth America, the
9ressure 3quipment -irective of the 3& =93->, Japanese @ndustrial (tandard =J@(>, (A
H/% in anada, A(%'%7 in Australia and other international standards like .loydIs,
+ermanischer .loyd, -et 8orske ?eritas, (toom!e<en etc.
8ote that !here the pressure,volume product is part of a safety standard, any
incompressible liquid in the vessel can be e"cluded as it does not contribute to the
potential energy stored in the vessel, so only the volume of the compressible part such as
gas is used.
[edit] $ist of standards
H( *55*
A(;3 ode (ection ?@@@ -ivision %
A(;3 ode (ection ?@@@ -ivision ' Alternative 6ule
A(;3 ode (ection ?@@@ -ivision ) Alternative 6ule for onstruction of 0igh
9ressure ?essel
A(;3 9?0: =(afety (tandard for 9ressure ?essels for 0uman :ccupancy>
H( //77
A- ;erkblJtterasa
A( %'%7
@(: %%*)5

[edit] %lternatives to pressure vessels
-epending on the application and local circumstances, alternatives have come about
!hich can replace pressure tanks. An e"ample to this is in the private sector =for use in
domestic !ater collection systems>. 8on,pressure vessel systems are increasingly seen
no storage tank or pump at all =gravity controlled systems>
systems are usually created by placing the !ater harvester on an elevation =e.g.
rooftops>. This !ill produce about 7./ 9(@ per foot of !ater head =height
difference>. 0o!ever, municipal !ater or pumped !ater is typically around 57
or !ith either inline pump controllers or pressure,sensitive pumps
[edit] &istory of pressure vessels
.arge pressure vessels !ere invented during the industrial revolution, particularly in
+reat Hritain, for making steam engines.
-esign and testing standards came about after some large e"plosions caused loss of life
and led to a system of certification.
[edit] See also
.ook up Pressure vessel in
Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
American (ociety of ;echanical 3ngineers =A(;3>
?essel nameplate
;a"imum Allo!able Working 9ressure =;AW9>
;a"imum Allo!able 9ressure =;A9>
;inimum -esign ;etal Temperature =;-;T>
?apor,.iquid (eparator or Knock,:ut -rum
?orte" breaker
Hottled gas
ompressed natural gas
omposite over!rapped pressure vessel
Fire,tube boiler
+as cylinder
0ead =vessel>
Water !ell
6ain!ater harvesting
6elief valve
(afety valve
(hell and tube heat e"changer
Water,tube boiler
[edit] '(ternal lin)s
Wikimedia ommons has media related to:
Pressure vessel
A(;3 Hoiler and 9ressure ?essel !ebsite
Journal of 9ressure ?essel Technology
3& 9ressure equipment !ebsite
3& (imple 9ressure ?essel -irective
3& lassification
[edit] *urther reading
;egyesy, 3ugene F. ='77*, %)th ed.> Pressure Vessel Handbook. 9ressure ?essel
9ublishing, @nc.: Tulsa, :klahoma, &(A. -esign handbook for pressure vessels
based on the A(;3 code.
[edit] +eferences
A.. &gural, (.K. Fenster, Advanced (trength and Applied 3lasticity, *th ed.
3.9. 9opov, 3ngineering ;echanics of (olids, %st ed.
;egyesy, 3ugene F. F9ressure ?essel 0andbook, %*th 3dition.F 9? 9ublishing,
@nc. :klahoma ity, :K
[edit] ,otes
%. - 6ichard Hudynas, J. 8isbett, (higleyIs ;echanical 3ngineering -esign, 4th ed., 8e!
Lork:;c+ra!,0ill, @(H8 524,7,72,)%'%5),', pg %74
'. - ;@T pressure vessel lecture
). - +as cylinders ,, 0igh pressure cylinders for the on,board storage of natural gas as a
fuel for automotive vehicles
*. - -omestic !ater collection systems also sometimes able to function on gravity
/. - Alternatives to pressure vessels in domestic !ater systems
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