Pressure vessels are designed to hold liquids and gasses at a different pressure than the normal ambient pressure. They have a vast use in the industry and even in the private sector. Since they are operating under a great pressure, if not handled properly, pressure vessels might be the cause of catastrophic accidents. The ASME certified vessels are designed to sustain the suitable pressure of the gas or liquid, while at the same time provide safety for the surrounding.
Historically, pressure vessels were the cause of many devastating events, which lead the industry to produce safer vessels. The modern vessels are put through different ultrasonic and radiographic testing, and they are made out of stronger and more durable materials. Most of today’s pressure vessels are made out of steel, yet there are vessels made from other materials depending on the industry. For example, carbonated beverage containers are made out of PET polymer, and copper is used as a material for producing pressure vessels for plumbing. There are also concrete (PCV) pressure vessels.
Pressure vessels are used in many different domains, both in the industry and in the private sector. For domestic use, they may serve as hot water storage tanks for example. Their use is larger in the industry sector, since they can be used as distillation towers, pressure reactors, liquid storage, oil refiners, and even for storing dangerous chemicals such as ammonia, chlorine, propane and butane.
Vessels that are ASME certified are labelled industry safe, since they have many different safety features in order to decrease the risk of potential accidents. The most important mechanism is the “leak before burst” feature. This allows the crack in the vessel to expand through the vessel wall, in order to allow the fluid to escape from the inside and to reduce the pressure. If the pressure is lowered, then the potential malfunction will have smaller consequences. Another safety mechanism are the safety valves. They allow the pressure in the container to be released in order to avoid excess pressure to build up inside.
In order for a vessel to receive an ASME stamp, there are some regulation that need to be followed in the production process. The ASME pressure vessels need to be hydrostatically and vacuum leak tested, they need to have a polished and electro polished finish, and the welding and the calculation software need to be done in accordance to the ASME regulations.
The good thing about ASME certified vessels is the fact that besides they are safe, they can also be made to your liking. Such vessels can be precisely cut to fit the client’s requests, and they can be produced in different sizes. Usually, vessels are up to 12 feet in diameter, and have an empty weight of about 20.000 pounds. The material can be chosen in accordance to what the client needs to store in the vessels, and it can be made out of stainless steel, high alloy materials, aluminum, nickel, hastelloy alloy, carbon steel etc.
All in all, ASME certified vessels are safe to use in every industry, as long as they are operated in accordance to the given regulations. Contrary to the vessels used in history, today’s pressure vessels are designed not only to serve the purpose they are made for, but also to keep the environment and the people in the surrounding safe.