5 Types of Pressure Vessels and What They Are Used for

The pressure vessel is a staple in many plants and facilities across several industries. It’s a container generally designed to store and transport fluids or gases at a controlled pressure level. High Quality pressure vessel fabrication is needed to ensure that the vessel can carry out its function for a long time while being exposed to different elements. 

This article rounds up the five most common types of pressure vessels and their purposes. 

Storage Vessels. As their name indicates, storage vessels are high pressure vessels used to hold liquids or gasses for an extended period of time. They come in various shapes, sizes, and orientations and can be made from different materials (the most popular of which is carbon steel). Storage vessels are used for various applications, including oil and gas production, chemical processing, and food and beverage production. They are also used in a variety of other industries, including automotive manufacturing, aerospace engineering, and power generation. 

Heat Exchangers. A heat exchanger is a type of pressure vessel that transfers heat between at least two fluids. Also commonly made of carbon steel, they perform the critical role of removing or reusing heat, a component that often negatively impacts several industrial processes. The way this vessel operates depends on the fluids’ thermal and flow properties. Heat exchangers are usually used in food and the bioprocessing industries as well as water processing facilities. 

Boilers. These high pressure vessels are utilized to create steam using fuel, nuclear, or electrical power. Inside a boiler, the transformation of liquid to vapor takes place, and the steam generated in the process is used for various heating applications. You can commonly find boilers in power generation facilities. 

Process Vessels. These containers are constructed to facilitate a wide range of processes such as mixing of fluids, agitation, distillation, separation, and decantation. Process vessels are further categorized into different types, depending on the process that they provide a secure place for it to occur. For instance, distillation columns are made to separate liquids from each other. Decanters can separate a mixture of liquids or liquids and solids. Industrial mixers, on the other hand, can combine liquids or solids. 

Chemical Reactors. These types of pressure vessels process vessels specially built to hold reactants and catalysts required in certain chemical reactions. These reactants can emit or absorb, depending on the heat of the particular chemical reaction that’s taking place. As these reactants transform into another product, the internal pressure in these tanks also increases. Find the right reactor vessel manufacturer to fabricate what you require. Not all fabricators are qualified to make this piece of equipment.

Adhering to Pressure Vessel Fabrication Standards

The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) provides hundreds of codes and standards to promote quality mechanical engineering when fabricating devices such as pressure vessels. 

Ordering your pressure vessels from an ASME pressure vessel manufacturer — no matter what type of vessel you need — will assure you that your containers are designed and constructed to the highest standards of quality. Adhering to ASME codes also helps minimize your vessels’ environmental impact by reducing the risk of leakage and accidents.

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