Pressure vessels are the names given to closed containers that house gases or liquids at a significantly different pressure to ambient pressure. Given that safety and reliability are two key factors in the utility of pressure vessels, their production process is tightly controlled and the products are often tested for quality.
A range of materials can be used to fabricate pressure vessels, including pressure vessel steel. Pressure vessel steel, as the name suggests, is specifically designed and engineered to meet the stringent regulations regarding the manufacture of pressure vessels.
Pressure Vessel Steel: What Is It?
Some of the characteristics that distinguish pressure vessel steel are high toughness, tensile strength, notch toughness, ductility and fatigue characteristics.
As a result of these versatile characteristics, pressure vessel steel is used in a huge range of industries and can be found in compression chambers, petrochemical facilities, domestic water storage tanks, pneumatic reservoirs and LNG tankers, amongst others.
Uses for Pressure Vessel Steel
Thanks to its myriad of qualities, pressure vessel steel is used to hold and house a range of substances at various volumes and temperatures.
Pressure vessel steel is understandably often utilized within the oil industry (both onshore and offshore) in various applications, as well as within the gas production industry and the petrochemical industry. Such industries naturally demand extremely high standards in terms of quality, testing and conditions of supply.
Pressure vessel steel is also found within above-ground storage tanks, which are utilized in the storage of chemicals, fuels and petrochemicals. They are also used for belowground storage tanks and for storing chemicals and fuels that are partially stored below the ground.
This material is additionally used in railroad tank cars, which transfer fuels, chemicals and liquids from production locations to locations designated for usage and storage.
The Process of Making Pressure Vessels
Many pressure vessels are made with either stainless steel or carbon steel. The pressure vessel steel parts are welded together to make spheres or cylinders.
To prevent mechanical compromise during the welding process, it is necessary to undertake some precautions to determine the properties of the pressure vessel steel used in the forged parts. Taking these precautions helps to enhance the mechanical strength of the materials as well as the overall finished pressure vessel.
Pressure vessels are also manufactured utilizing a partially load-bearing liner - typically made from metal, ceramic materials or a polymer. This liner is essential when it comes to bearing the load of the interior pressure, as well as acting to prevent leaking and to protect the vessel steel from the substance within.
It is imperative that pressure vessels are held to stringent production and manufacturing standards.
Masteel’s Pressure Vessel Steel
Masteel offers a variety of pressure vessel steel which is suitable for use within a variety of applications. For instance, ASTM A537 pressure vessel steel is used for fusion-welded pressure vessels. These plates are quenched, normalized and tempered to obtain increased yields and tensile strengths.
The ASTM A516 grade pressure vessel steel has excellent notch toughness levels. Masteel supplies a range of grades that boast different tensile strengths and thicknesses to suit specific customer needs.
ASTM A285 pressure vessel steels have thicknesses of up to 50 mm and are highly weldable, helping maintain internal robustness. This pressure vessel steel is therefore restricted to low-pressure, temperature-controlled vessels due to its low tensile strength.
This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Masteel UK Ltd.
For more information on this source, please visit Masteel UK Ltd.