Pressure vessels are leak-proof containers that store liquid or gas. Pressure vessels of various sizes and shapes have been produced for different purposes. Generally, preferred geometries are spherical, conical, and cylindrical.
A typical model is the combination of a long cylinder with two heads. Pressure vessels work at internal pressures higher or lower than air pressure. Besides, the operating temperatures of these systems differentiate.
They are “containers designed to hold vapors, liquids, or gases at a specific pressure”.
Pressure vessels are designed to work by reaching the level of pressure required to make an application function, like holding air in a scuba tank. They can deliver pressure either directly through valves and release gauges, or indirectly via heat transfer.
Potential pressure levels range from 15 psi up to around 150,000 psi, while temperatures are often above 400°C (750°F). A pressure tank can hold anywhere from 75 liters (20 gallons) to several thousand liters.
Here are some of the most common types of pressure vessels:
- Storage tanks/vessels. Often constructed of carbon steel, storage vessels are typically used to store liquids and come in a variety of sizes.
- Boilers. Usually made of alloyed steel so that it can withstand high pressures and temperatures, a boiler is a vessel whose purpose is the creation of hot water or steam, which is then used as a power source for various operations.
- Heat exchangers. Carbon steel is also a common material used for constructing heat exchangers, which are used in a huge range of industrial applications, from industrial processing to food service.
- Process vessels. Typically made of carbon steel and used to perform some kind of processing of a material (as the name implies) process vessels are used to combine, break down, or remove elements from a material.