Design and Certification of Pressure Vessel to meet AS1210

Pressure vessels are a type of static equipment used to store or process fluids that are higher or lower than the ambient pressure. These vessels are widely used across industries for a variety of purposes such as storage, heat exchanging, decantation, industrial mixing etc.

Pressure vessels can be classified as follows:

According to use:

  • Storage
  • Process

According to Shape:

  • Cylindrical
  • Spherical

According to orientation:

  • Vertical
  • Horizontal

Codes and standards concerning pressure vessels and the compliance to these standards are legally enforced and vary across countries. These codes provide guidance on design, materials of construction, fabrication, inspection, and testing. In Australia, the code used for pressure vessels is AS1210.  American Society of Mechanical Engineers Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code (ASME BPV Code) is also used in conjunction with AS1210 for the purpose of design.

AS1210 concerns itself with areas of pressure vessels such as:

  1. Construction of power boilers
  2. Materials
  3. Construction of heating boilers
  4. Nondestructive examination
  5. Instructions for the care and operation of heating boilers
  6. Guidelines for the care of power boilers
  7. Construction of pressure vessels
  8. Welding and brazing qualifications
  9. Fiber-reinforced plastic vessels
  10. Instructions for in service inspection of nuclear power plant components
  11. Instructions for construction and continued service of transport tanks

There are various parameters to be kept in mind during the design of a pressure vessel such as:

Design Temperature

Different temperature allowances are tolerance limits used above and below normal operating temperatures.

Maximum allowable stress is highly dependent on temperature, as the material property of metals change with change in temperature. There are mechanisms to prevent operation of a vessel at temperatures higher than which the maximum allowable stress was evaluated.

There is also a minimum temperature above which the vessel is guaranteed to operate safely. This is due to  metals becoming brittle at low temperatures The minimum design metal temperature (MDMT) is the lowest temperature that the vessel can operate in.

While specifying maximum and minimum temperatures, disturbances caused by upstream processes and external factors need to be considered. Some of these factors are transient conditions, upsets, auto-refrigeration, climate, other cooling factors.

Design Pressure

Vessels are often designed to operate above the maximum operating pressure.  Vessels that will experience positive external pressure, must have a design pressure based on the maximum difference between internal and external pressure

Vacuum vessels must be designed to resist a negative pressure of 1 ATM. The large surface areas of some vessels can cause a vessel collapse even with a small negative pressure. Circumstances that may lead to vacuum conditions include startup/shutdown procedures, cooling vessels with condensable vapors, pumping or draining without proper venting, or vacuum storage.

Design Loads

Pressure vessels and their support structures must be able to counter deformation and collapse when subjected to loads which are classified into major and subsidiary loads.

Loads classified as major loads include design pressure(Including pressure heads) maximum operational weight, wind, seismic loads, and auxiliary loads supported by the vessel.

Loads classified as subsidiary loads include local stresses caused by supports, internal structures, and connecting pipes, shock loads caused by change in fluid levels, bending moments due to displacement of center of pressure, thermal expansion/contraction, and those caused by fluctuations of temperature and pressure.

Corrosion Allowances

Corrosion allowance is the extra thickness provided to vessel walls to counteract the thinning caused due to corrosion which compromises mechanical integrity. In case of negligible corrosion or the complete absence of corrosion designs can be made considering zero corrosion allowance.

What CSA Engineering offer

At CSA Engineering we offer pressure vessel design and 3D modelling services. We supply drawings, calculations, and certification of designs as per AS1210 and ASME BPV Section 8 requirements.

We also project manage fabrication of pressure vessels along with complete inspection reports.

Why Pressure Vessel Certification is critical:

To ensure safe operation of pressure vessels it is required that their designs are subject to comparison with the recognized standards. This ensures compliance with design criteria and structural integrity for operational conditions. Pressure vessels are required to be registered if they fall under hazard levels A, B, C or D. Failing to do so can result in punitive action. Our team of qualified engineers ensure that the designs are compliant according to AS1210 and AS1228. Further certifications and/or compliance with other standards such as AS1418 (in case of portable pressure vessels) will also  be ensured depending upon the design and functionality of the pressure vessel.

We specialize in a broad range of standard and non-standard pressure vessel designs, furthermore we also provide design verification through Finite element analysis (FEA) according to the requirement.

The services we specialize in include:
  • Pressure vessel PDF drawing conversion to AutoCAD and solid modeling for analysis
  • 2D Installation, assembly, exploded and detailed manufacturing drawings
  • Design, drawings and required layout vessels for maximum performance
  • Heat transfer and fluid flow analysis using Computational Fluid Dynamics.
  • Service life assessment.
  • Stress formation and concentration for identification of critical part
  • Complete design and fabrication
  • Design reports of certification
  • Design modification to ensure compliance and better performance.

Contact CSA Engineering Gold Coast for a free consultation
CSA Engineering your South East Queensland Structural Engineers
Noel Singh – Engineering Fellow with Engineers AustraliaRPEQ
Phone : 0452 292 355

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