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Classification of Pressure Vessels Based on Their Geometry and Purpose

Both industry and the private sectors use pressure vessels for various applications. A pressure vessel is a container designed to hold gases or liquids at pressures higher than the surrounding atmosphere. You can classify pressure vessels according to function, material, shape and wall thickness. A pressure vessel can either be spherical or cylindrical. To help you understand, here are the types of pressure vessels according to geometry and purpose.

Classification According to Function

Spherical Pressure Vessel (Sphere)

This style is ideal for storing high-pressure fluids. A spherical is a durable structure. The uniform dissemination of stresses on the sphere’s surfaces indicates that no weak areas exist. Spheres, on the other hand, are far more expensive to produce than cylindrical vessels.

A great advantage is that spherical storage tanks have a smaller surface area per unit volume compared to other vessels. This means that heat transferred from warmer environs to the fluid in the sphere is smaller than in cylindrical vessels.

Cylindrical Pressure Vessels

Cylindrical pressure vessels are the most widely used vessels. That is due to their versatility and lower manufacturing costs than spherical pressure vessels. They lack the strength of spherical vessels. However, the fittings needed to connect the heads reduce the total strength of the vessel. Shells and heads are the end closures of cylindrical vessels composed of a cylinder known as the shell. The weld line is the metal portion that joins the head to the shell. The tangent line denotes the start of the head’s curvature.

The various types of heads that you can find on cylindrical vessels are as follows:

●       Hemispherical head: A sphere is an optimal shape for a head. That is because the pressure in the vessel is evenly distributed throughout the surface of the head. As a result, the radius of the spherical head equals the radius of the vessel’s cylindrical section.

●       Ellipsoidal head: A 2:1 elliptical head is another name for this. Because the height of the head is only a quarter of the diameter, the shape of this head is cheaper. Its radius varies along its major and minor axes.

●       Torispherical head: These heads feature a fixed radius (CR) dish, the size determined by the type of torispherical head. The knuckle is the transition between the cylinder and the dish. The knuckle is toroidal in form.

Classification by Function

The types of pressure vessels based on intended application are storage tanks, heat exchangers, and process vessels.

Heat Exchangers:

Heat exchangers allow heat to transfer from one product to another without bringing the two fluids into direct contact. For example, pressure vessel manufacturers in India use a series of metal tubes in the most standard pressure vessel heat exchangers. One product runs through the tubes while another flows around them. This allows heat to move from one product to another.

You can find this pressure vessel in waste processing establishments or by heavy equipment manufacturers. That is where heat exchangers are frequently employed to salvage heat from waste gases.

Storage Containers

The different storage containers required for industrial processes are the most common type of pressure vessels. Although heavy equipment manufacturers can also use certain spherical storage tanks, these typically correlate to vertical or horizontal variety. These pressure vessels come in various sizes and are primarily used to hold liquids. Pressure vessel manufacturers build them from various materials depending on the job or the substance they will be holding. 

Carbon steel is the most popular. They employ internal liners of different materials and the vessel’s external material. This enables the use of a material for external construction that would be detrimental if exposed to the product. As a result, they can build the storage vessel. As a result, the storage vessel goes through construction at a lower cost than if the manufacturer used a particular material.

Process Vessels 

These adaptable pressure vessels are frequently employed as part of a production process line. Different tanks work together to process a product. Said process vessels are components that allow various processes to take place. Examples are breaking down a product, combining a product, deleting certain pieces or aspects of a product, and more. Process vessels collaborate with the other three common types. They are bespoke designs for a specific process requiring unique or many construction materials. To mention a few, you can find process vessels in paint manufacturing, refineries, and food processing plants.

These typical kinds can, of course, be further classified by other factors. They all need the right design, adequate material selection, and excellent construction. A weakness in any of these can offer a barrier to the process and product delivery.

Jack henry
Jack henry
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