Most pressure vessels are designed to include safety features. Smaller vessels are often created with a “yield before break” design, which allows them to bend or flex before any crack forms or grows in size. Larger vessels are often created with a “leak before burst” which allows for a crack in the vessel to grow and allow the contained substance to escape slowly rather than in one violent, explosive failure.
Vessel failures, usually undesired and unexpected, can have disastrous consequences when the vessel suddenly loses its ability to carry its intended load. Causes of pressure vessel failures have been traced to incorrect design parameters, poor execution of quality control during fabrication and welding, and changes in service condition. These inadequacies can result in pre-existing conditions that remain after design and manufacture, or later induced after some time-in-service to cause damage. In general, the failure of a pressure vessel is linked to either pre-existing or service-induced conditions. Pressure vessel failures can be quite catastrophic and documented incidents date back to the 1960s. On July 23, 1984, an explosion followed by a fire occurred at a petroleum refinery in Chicago, killing 17 people and causing extensive property damage. OSHA conducted an investigation into the failure of the pressure vessel that eyewitnesses identified as the initial source of the explosion and fire. This vessel was an amine absorber tower used to strip hydrogen sulfide from a process stream of propane and butane.
No matter the industry or setting your pressure vessel is used in, Encorus can help you ensure its integrity. Encorus Group has over 20 years of pressure vessel design and inspection experience. With two licensed Professional Engineers specializing in pressure vessel design on staff, we can assist in the design of a new vessel or the update or retrofit of an existing one. Encorus Group has designed a number of specialty vessels over the past two decades. Our engineers are on top of the changing requirements for pressure vessel design, and keep up with the latest education and guidance available. Safety and code compliance is our top priority. Should you need pressure vessel inspection, Encorus also has you covered. We have eight full-time mechanical integrity inspectors, five of whom hold the API 510 certification required for the inspection of in-service pressure vessels. They have inspected a collective total of over 15,000 pressure vessels across the country.
Starting with the 2021 edition of ASME code, it will be a requirement for the certifying engineer to be a Registered Professional Engineer. Vessel designs requiring a P.E. stamp must be done by or under the direct supervision of the P.E. Contact Dana Pezzimenti, PE, for matters pertaining to pressure design at 716.592.3980, ext. 128 or [email protected]. If you have inspection needs for a pressure vessel, contact Keith Taylor, Encorus’s Director of Mechanical Integrity, at 716.592.3980, ext. 143 or [email protected].