What is a pressure vessel?

What is a pressure vessel?

Pressure vessels are an essential part for use in several industries, with a vital need to be manufactured to the highest possible quality to ensure maximum efficiency and safety. In this guide, we’ll be exploring what a pressure vessel is, where they are used, and how Tanfield can help.


Defining a pressure vessel 

A pressure vessel is a secure container that is designed to hold various vapours, liquids, and gases. Pressure vessels can come in different shapes and sizes depending on their specific applications. They can work at pressures higher or lower than the outside ambient air pressure to ensure their contents are effectively stored. A typical model of a pressure vessel is a long cylinder combined with two heads. However, other specific industry examples include flash drums, separators, reactors, and heat exchangers. 

How do pressure vessels work? 

The main purpose of a pressure vessel is to reach the level of pressure that is needed to make an application function. Pressure can be delivered directly through release gauges or valves, or indirectly using heat transfer. It’s vital that the operation of a pressure vessel is kept below its maximum working temperature and pressure in its safety limits. A pressure vessel should only be used by qualified personnel because if there is an accidental release or leak, the contents within could be damaging to the environment around the vessel and pose a significant risk to staff. 

Industry uses of pressure vessels

In the oil and gas industry, pressure vessels are typically used to allow physical and chemical processes to happen safely at increased pressures and temperatures. The pressure vessels used in this industry are commonly constructed from carbon steel and stainless steel, with several key components being required to ensure the external body is usable, including vessel internals and distillation trays. 

Pressure vessels are important to the energy industry through their use for hot water storage, particularly expansion vessels. Expansion vessels or tanks are essential to protecting closed water heating systems from building up too much pressure. As the water gets warmer in the vessel, the pressure can increase by around 4-4.5% in a sealed system. The tank itself is partially filled with air to absorb the excess water pressure that occurs from thermal expansion.  

Pressure vessels are utilised by the chemical sector for the execution of chemical reactions. These reactions combine elements to create something new. They can also split one product into many or remove specific details to create something different. When a chemical reaction occurs in a pressure vessel it needs to be able to withstand the fundamental change in the contents from one type of product to another. 

How can Tanfield help? 

Tanfield Metal Spinner are experts in creating specialist metal spun parts for pressure vessels. Our team have the knowledge and experience in various metal spinning processes to form products that are essential to pressure vessels and the industries they are used in, including pressure vessel dished ends. 

We offer a wide range of sizes in the metal spun parts we can provide for pressure vessels, from 46mm to 1573mm. This allows to meet the exact specifications our clients need. In addition, we can also offer treatments to spun parts with our finishing processes to enhance the properties of the metal that make it beneficial for the intended application in the pressure vessel. 

As with all our metal spinning services, we adhere to ISO 9001 standards when creating parts for pressure vessels to always deliver the highest quality products that meet customer expectations. Pressure vessels need to operate at the highest standard to consistently withstand high levels of internal pressure. Our forming process ensures that the integrity of the materials is maintained to allow the spun parts to fully adhere to industry standards and requirements for its specific application.



Whether you’re looking for dished ends for pressure vessels or other important metal spun parts to suit your industry application, Tanfield Metal Spinners can help. Contact us today by email at talktoanexpert@metal-spinners.com, by phone at 0191 4193377 or leaving an enquiry through our form online and one of our team will get in touch with you as soon as possible to discuss your project needs. 

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