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a) DESIGN PRESSURE .............................................................................................3

b) DESIGN TEMPERATURE .....................................................................................3

c) MATERIAL OF CONSTRUCTION (MOC)..............................................................4

c) VESSEL THICKNESS ............................................................................................4

d) HEAD SELECTION AND THICKNESS ..................................................................7

e) TOTAL DEAD WEIGHT LOADS OF VESSEL ........................................................8

f) WIND LOADING ...................................................................................................11


Operating pressure = 1115 kPa

Unit conversion ( kPa to bar) = 1115 kPa x 0.01 bar / 1 kPa

= 11.15 bar (absolute)

Pressure gauge = Pressure absolute - Pressure atmospheric

= 11.15 bar - 1.01325 bar

= 10.1368 bar

Design pressure = 1.1 x Operating pressure

= 1.1 x 10.1368 bar

= 11.1504 bar

Unit conversion (bar to N/mm2) = 11.1504 bar x 0.1 N/mm2 / 1 bar

= 1.1150 N/mm2


Operating temperature = 78.67 °C -153 °C / 173.606 °F - 307.4 °F

Design temperature = 1.1 x Maximum operating temperature

= 1.1 x 307.4 °F

= 338.14 °F

The material choosen for construction of the reactive distillation column is

Stainless Steel Type 304(L). Stainless steels have an excellent track record and are
the materials of choice for numerous applications especially in chemical industries.
Stainless steels offer excellent corrosion resistance in various process conditions,
coupled with good strength, ductility, toughness and ease of fabrication. Stainless
steel are readily available worldwide in a wide variety of product forms. In addition,
stainless steels are easily maintained to give an attractive, hygienic and high-tech

The advantages of stainless steels allow them to be used cost-effectively. This

has been demonstrated extensively and successfully in chemical plants in all main
geographic producing regions.Often using stainless steels allows designers to use
lighter walled piping systems, or thinner walled tanks and process vessels. This
results in construction, handling and fabrication costs which are frequently lower when
stainless steels are used compared to much heavier carbon steels. Standard
austenitic stainless steels Type 304(L) is capable of meeting most of the corrosive
conditions encountered in chemical production and handling equipment, and are
therefore widely used and recognized as cost-effective and reliable materials
solutions (Kristina O., 2014).

The type of joint efficiency choosen is Double welded bolt joins with full degree of
radiographic examinations.

Maximum allowable stress,S

The maximum allowable stress is determined from typical maximum allowable stress
for plate under ASME BPV Code Sec. VII D.I. At design temperature 338.14 °F and
SS 304(L) as material of construction, the maximum allowable stress obtained from
Table 13.2 (Ray Sinnot and Gavin Towler, 2009) is 12.9 ksi.

Unit conversion (ksi to N/mm2 ) = 12.9 ksi x 6.8948 N/mm2 / 1 ksi

= 88. 9429 N/mm2

Maximum allowable joint efficiency, E

The strength of a welded joint will depend on the type of joint and the quality of the
welding. For double welded bolt joins and full degree of radiographic examination, the
maximum allowable joint efficiency obtained from Table 13.3 (Ray Sinnot and Gavin
Towler, 2009) is 1.0.

For cylindrical shell, the minimum thickness required to resist internal pressure can be
determined from the equation specified by the ASME BPV Code (Sec VII D.I Part

i) Pressure on circumference (Hoop stress) : t = PiDi / 2SE - 1.2 Pi

ii) Pressure on axial (Longitudinal stress) : t = PiDi / 4SE + 0.8 Pi


Pi = Design pressure, N/mm2

Di = Internal diameter of shell, mm

S = Maximum allowable stress, N/mm2

E = Joint efficiency

i) Pressure on circumference (Hoop stress) :

t = (1.1150 N/mm2) x (1520mm) / [(2 x 88.9429 N/mm2 x 1 ) -

(1.2 x 1.115 N/mm2)]

= 9.5997 mm ≈ 10 mm

ii) Pressure on axial (Longitudinal stress) :

t = (1.1150 N/mm2) x (1520mm) / [ (4 x 88.9429 N/mm2 x 1) + (0.8 x

1.1150 N/mm2) ]

= 4.7518 mm ≈ 5 mm

The ASME BPV Code Sec VII D.I has specifies a minimum wall thickness of 1/16
inc (1.5 mm) not including corrosion allowance, and regardless of vessel dimensions
and material construction. A general guidelines are given as belows for wall thickness
of any vessel which should not be less than the value including corrosion allowance of
2 mm.

Table 1: Minimum thickness for shell based on ASME BPV Code Sec VII D.I

Vessel diameter (m) Minimum Thickness (mm)

1 5

1 to 2 7

2 to 2.5 9

2.5 to 3.0 10

3.0 to 3.5 12

Since the vessel diameter is 1.52 m which is in between 1 to 2 m, the minimum

thickness specified by ASME BPV Code Sec VII D.I is 7 mm. Hence, 10 mm is
choosen as the thickness for cylindrical shell.

Cylindrical shell thickness (ts) = Minimum thickness of shell + Corrosion allowance

= 10 mm + 2 mm

= 12 mm


The type of head selected is Ellipsoidal Heads. Ellipsoidal Head also called as 2:1
elliptical head. This resembles an ellipse with varying radius that results to a smooth
transition from the head to the cylindrical part of the vessel. The height of the head is
equal to the quarter of its diameter. This is the most common type used in the industry
and is touted as the most economical (Ray Sinnot and Gavin Towler, 2009).


Figure 1: Dimensions of ellipsoidal head.

The following equation can be used to calculate the minimum thickness required for
ellipsoidal head:

t = PiDi / 2SE - 0.2 Pi

Minimum head thickness = (1.1150 N/mm2) x (1520mm) / (2 x 88.9429 N/mm2 x

1 ) - (0.2 x 1.115 N/mm2)]

= 9.5394 mm ≈ 10 mm

Head thickness (th) = Minimum head thickness + Corrosion Allowance

= 10 mm + 2 mm

= 12 mm


Weight of shell, Wv

A much thicker wall will be needed at the column base to withstand the wind and dead
weight loads. As a first trial, divide the column into five sections (courses) with the
thickness increasing by 2 mm per section. Try 12 mm, 14 mm, 16 mm, 18 mm, 20 mm.
For preliminary calculations, the approximate weight of a cylindrical vessel with
domed ends and uniform thickness can be estimated from the following equation:

Wv = CwπρmDmg(Hv + 0.8 Dm) t x10-3

In which for steel vessel, the equation reduces to:

Wv = 240CwDm(Hv + 0.8 Dm) t


Wv = Total weight of shell excluding internal fittings,N

Cw = a factor to account for the weight of nozzles, manways, internal

supports, etc; which can betaken as 1.15 for distillation column

Hv = Height, m

g = gravitational acceleration, 9.81 m/s2

t = wall thickness, mm

ρm = density of vessel material, kg/m3

Dm = Mean diameter of vessel,m

However, equation only applies strictly to vessels with uniform thickness, it can be
used to get a rough estimate of the weight of this vessel by using the average
thickness in the equation, 16mm.

Dm = (Di + t x 10-3 )

=(1.52 m + 16mm x 10-3 )

= 1.536 m

Wv = 240CwDm(Hv + 0.8 Dm) t

= 240 x 1.15 x 1.536m x(40.5m + 0.8 x 1.536m) x 16mm

=283 045.4489 N

=283.0454 kN

Weight of plates

Plate area = π/4 x Di2 = π/4 x (1.52m)2 = 1.8146m2

For contacting plates, steel including typical liquid loading, the value of the weight of
fittings is 1.2 kN/m2.

Weight of a plate including liquid on it = Weight of fitting x plate area

= 1.2 kN/m2 x 1.8146 m2

= 2.1775 kN

Total weight of plates = Weight of a plate including liquid on it x Number of plates

= 2.1775 kN x 66 plates

= 143.7163 kN
Weight of insulation

The material choosen for insulation is fibre glass.There are few advantages of using
fibre glass as insulaion material. Fiber glass require no drying or curing time during
installation, and therefore do not introduce moisture into the cavity, unlike cellulose
and spray foam, which are typically applied wet. Because unfaced fiber glass is
inorganic, mold cannot feed on them like it can on other types of insulation. Moreover,
fiber glass does not have to rely upon harsh chemical fire retardants (Insulation
Institute Organization, 2016).

From (Ray Sinnot and Gavin Towler, 2009), typical values for density of fibre glass
was obtained;

Density of fibre glass = 100 kg/m3

From (Michael R., 2014), the selection of insulation thickness was made from
recommended thickness list based on operating temperature. Hence, at operating
temperature less than 200°C, the thickness of insulation choosen was 40mm.

Approximate volume of insulator = πDiHti

= π x 1.52m x 40.5m x 40 mm x 10-3

= 7.7359 m3

Weight of insulation = minsg

= Vins x ρins x g

= 7.7359 m3 x 100 kg/m3 x 9.81 m/s2

= 7 588 .9179 N

= 7.5889 kN
Double this to allow for fittings and etc = 2 x 7.5889 kN

= 15.1778 kN

Total dead weight = Weight of shell + Weight of plates & contents + Weight insulation

= 283. 0454 kN + 143.7163 kN + 15.1778 kN

= 441.9395 kN


According to (Ray Sinnot and Gavin Towler, 2009), for preliminary design studies, the
following data are used:

Wind speed = 160 kph (100mph)

Dynamic wind pressure = 1280 N/m2 correspond to wind speed

Mean diameter including insulation = Di + 2 (ts + ti)

=1520 mm + 2 (16 mm +40 mm) x 10-3

=1.632 mm

Loading (perlinear metre) Fw = Dynamic wind pressure x Mean diameter

= (1280 N/m2 x 1.632 m)

=2088.96 N/m

Bending moment at bottom tangent line: Mx = WX2 /2 whereby X=H and W=Fw

= 2088.96 N/m x (40.5 m)2 / 2

= 1 713 208.32 Nm
Analysis of stresses

At bottom tangent line:

i) Pressure stresses

P = Operating pressure in absolute = 11.15 bar

Unit conversion (bar to N/mm2) = 11.15 bar x 0.1 N/mm2 /1 bar

= 1.115 N/mm2

Longitudinal stress: σL = PDi / 4t

= 1.115 N/mm2 x 1520 mm / (4 x 16 mm)

= 26.4813 N/mm2

Hoop stress: σh = PDi / 2t

= 1.115 N/mm2 x 1520 mm / (2 x 16 mm)

= 52.9625 N/mm2

ii) Dead weight stresses

σw = Wv / π (Di + t) t

= 441.9395 x 103 N / π( 1520 mm + 16 mm) x 16 mm

= 5.7240 N/mm2 (compressive)

iii) Bending stresses

D0 = Di + (2 x ts)

= 1520 mm + (2 x 16 mm)

= 1552 mm

Iv = π/64 x (D04-Di4)

= π/64 x [(1552 mm)4-(1520mm)4]


σb = ± M / Iv x (Di /2 + t)

= ± 1 713 208.32 m x 103 / 2.2772 x 1010 mm4

x (1520mm /2 + 16 mm)

= ± 58. 3809 N/mm2

The resultant longitudinal stress is : σz = σL + σw ± σb

σw is compessive and therefore negative

σz (upwind) = 26.4813 N/mm2 - 5.7240 N/mm2 + 58.3809 N/mm2

= 79.1382 N/mm2

σz (downwind) = 26.4813 N/mm2 - 5.7240 N/mm2 - 58.3809 N/mm2

= -37.6236 N/mm2

As there is no torsional shear stress, the principal stresses will be σz and σh . The
radial stress, (Pi /2) = (1.115 N/mm2 / 2) = 0.5575 N/mm2. is negligible.

The greatest difference between the prncipal stresses will be on the downwind side:

52.9625 N/mm2 - (-37.6236 N/mm2) = 90.5861 N/mm2

Since the value of the principal stresses is more than the maximum allowable design
stress, the thickness must be increased in order to encounter this issue. The second
trial would start with thickness equal to 18 mm.

Note that the bending stress due to wind loading is much larger than the dead weight
stress. However, this issue could be encountered when the vessel is filled with water
or liquid. According to (Ray Sinnot and Gavin Towler, 2009), addition of water would
increase the dead weight stress by about a factor of 3. Hence, comparing the bend
stress due to wind load with dead weight of vessel filled with liquid, the bending stress
is still less a lot and hence are able to sustain the wind load.


Pw = 1280 N/mm²

The value is based on Engineering Sciences Data Unit (ESDU) Wind Engineering
Series. A wind speed of 160km/h is equivalent to a wind pressure of 1280 N/mm².


Fs = seismic coefficient x (area of element x weight of material)

Range for seismic coefficient is 0.1 to 0.3

Fs = 0.3 x 441.9395 KN

Fs = 132.5819 KN

The Seismic Coefficients are dimensionless coefficients which represent the

(maximum) earthquake acceleration as a fraction of the acceleration due to gravity.
Typical values are in the range of 0.1 to 0.3 Duncan, J.M. (2000).

Note: The acceleration due to gravity (g = 9.81 m/s2) is already incorporated into the
unit weight of material (remember that the dimensions of unit weight are force /
volume), and therefore does not explicitly appear in the above equation.


Critical buckling, σc = 2x104 N/mm²( )

= 206.17 N/mm²

σ max = σw + σb
= (5.7142 + 58.3809)N/mm²

= 64.0951 N/mm²

From the calculation, maximum compressive stress is less than critical buckling stress.
Therefore, the design is satisfactory.

Do ½
Stiffening ring, Lc = 1.11 ( t )

= 1.11(1552mm)( )½

= 16966.82mm

For any stiffening ring used must be spaced closer than Lc. The stiffening will not be
effective if the distance of stiffeners more than critical.


The method use to support a vessel depends on the size, shape and the weight of

the vessel, the design temperature and pressure, the vessel location and
arrangement, and the internal and external fitting and attachments. To design the
distillation column, the suitable vessel support is skirt support. It is because the shape
of distillation column is vertical and tall which the skirt supports can carry the weight of
the vessel and contents. Other than that, it is also can support superimposed loads
such as wind loads (Ray Sinnot and Gavin Towler, 2009).

From the calculation above,

Di = 1.520m

H = 40.5 m

ρw = 1000 kg/m³

g = 9.81 m/s²

Wv = 441.1808 KN

Mx = 2.088 KN/m
σw = 5.7142 N/mm²

σb = 58.3809N/mm²

Approximate weight = 4
x Di² x H xρw x g

= x (1.520m)² x 40.5m x 1000kg/m3 x 9 .81m/s²

= 720943.263 N

= 720.9433 KN

Total weight = approximate weight + weight of vessel

= (720.9433 + 441.1808)KN

= 1162.1241 KN

Assume common height of skirt 3m (Walas, S. M, 1990)

Bending moment at base of skirt = Mx x

2.088KN (40.5m + 3m)²

= x
m 2

= 1975.509KNm

First trial (take thickness skirt 16mm)

σbs = Π(Ds +tsk)tskDs

4 x 1975.509 KNm x 10³x10³

Π(1520 + 16)mm(16mmx1520mm)

= 67.3337N/mm²

total weight
σw (test) = Π(Ds+tsk)tsk
Π(1520 + 16)mm(16mm)

= 15.0519 N/mm²

The test condition is with the vessel full of water for the hydraulic test. For estimating
total weight, the weight of the liquid on the plates has been counted twice. The weight
has not been adjusted to allow for this as the error is small and on the safe side.

σw (operating) = Π(Ds+tsk)tsk

Π(1520 + 16)mm(16mm)

= 5.7142N/mm²

̂s (compressive) = σbs + σws(test)

Maximum σ

= (67.3337 + 15.0519)N/mm²

= 82.3856N/mm²

̂s (tensile) = σbs − σws(operating)

Maximum σ

= (67.3337 − 5.7142)N/mm²

= 61.6195N/mm²

Criteria for design:

Welded joint, E = 1

From table at ambient temperature T=20°C, stainless steel 304, Ey=200,000N/mm²:

Maximum allowable stress, Ss= 165N/mm²

̂s (tensile)61.6195N/mm²˂SsEsin θ

61.6195N/mm²˂165N/mm2 (1)(sin90)


̂s (compressive)˂0.125Ey(
σ ) sinθ
200,000N 16mm
82.3856N/mm²˂0.125 ( mm2
) (1520mm) sin90

82.3856N/mm²˂263.1579 N/mm²

Based on the calculation criteria for design, it is can conclude that both criteria are
satisfied. The thickness should add 2mm for corrosion which the thickness is equal to
Kristina, O. (2014, July 14). Stainless Steel Cost Efficient Materials for the Global
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Michael R. (2014, April). Thermal Insulation (Publication). ASsociation Of

Architectural Aluminium Manufacturers Of South Africa.

Insulation Institute Organization. (2016). Fibre Glass and Mineral Wool.

Engineered to Outperform. Retrieved December 25, 2017, from