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Thread: Some questions regarding pressure vessels

  1. #1
    Associate Engineer
    Join Date
    Jun 2018

    Confused Some questions regarding pressure vessels


    My field is not engineering, so I'm wondering if someone can answer some questions related to pressure vessels, specifically those that are of stainless steel, and are capable of operating at temperatures of up to 150 degrees C/300 degrees F.

    1. If a vessel is obtained in a "bare" form without gauges, etc., is it generally legal for anyone to add these things, provided a certified engineer inspects the vessel prior to use?

    2. What sorts of clamps and pipes are used in conjunction with these vessels? I'm guessing they're some sort of "ANSI" standard, but what? I searched for "pipe clamps" at McMaster and didn't find the sort of thing that would be used to secure pipe ends in a manufacturing setting. Where should I look for these sorts of products?

    3. What would be a good type of thermometer to use with such a vessel? I've seen threaded thermometers that are rated to 400 PSI, but only to a temperature of 72F. Would an external thermometer that somehow attaches to the outside of a non-jacketed vessel generally be approved by regulatory authorities, or must a thermometer be interior?

    4. What sorts of heaters are used for such vessels, internal electric? If so, I'm guessing these go for about $1,000 or so, right? Is it practical to use an external heater, such as some sort of large mantle under a pressure vessel?

    5. Are pressure relief valves generally just on top of the vessel, or are they routed far away from workers, through a ceiling, etc.?

    6. Is there such a thing as cooling coils that can be routed through vessels? If so, do they work by simply having cold water routed through the coil from a reservoir, then into some other reservoir? In such a case, I'd guess that water first exiting the cooling coil would be in the form of very hot steam. Is this generally just vented into the atmosphere?

    7. Is there anything I really should know that's not addressed in state regulations?

    8. Would a magnetic stirrer using a stir bar an external stirring apparatus be preferable to a stirring impeller that enters through a port?

    9. Is there danger in using these vessels overfilled/underfilled? I have heard that there are dangers if they are empty, but that certainly won't be the case.

    Last edited by ernst_filmore; 06-22-2018 at 07:04 PM.

  2. #2
    Associate Engineer
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    For some reason, I can't seem to edit the post. One more question: Is it concern to determine the maximum rate at which the vessel could be warmed from ambient to target temperature, then cooled from target temperature back to ambient temperature? Is it possible to change temperature so quickly as to cause warping of the vessel? Intuitively, it seems that if cold water were sprayed on the vessel, there would be a problem, but more customary means of cooling would not present a problem. Can anyone comment?

    Thanks again.

  3. #3
    Lead Engineer
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Houston TX USA
    Your laundry list of questions is too extensive for a response on this forum and much of it is covered by either ASME Section 8 Pressure Vessel Code and/or Section 9 Boiler Code, both of which are several volumes covering all aspects of material, design and fabrication requirements.

    If this is a serious project, you are best advised to contact a code certified supplier/fabricator of these types of vessels with your inquiry

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