A pressure vessel is a container, typically a tank, used to contain liquids or gases at pressures extremely different from that outside of the pressure vessel. There are three major components of a pressure vessel:
Every pressure vessel components manufacturer knows that the shell casing can be of almost any shape, but they are typically round shapes such as cylinders and spheres. Cylindrical shapes are the most common design because the shape is easy to manufacture, easy to inspect to assure that it is safe, and good for storing pressurized gases and liquids. Spheres are better shapes for pressure vessels because they are twice as strong as a cylinder with the same wall thickness, but they are very difficult to manufacture and more expensive as a result. Shell casings that are more angular or in complex shapes are considered harder to inspect and weaker in general.
Since the nozzle is designed to penetrate the shell casing to serve as an opening, it is always considered to be the weakest point of a pressure vessel. So, it is critical that the nozzle design is strong enough to maintain the pressure inside of the vessel safely. As a result, these forged nozzles often use flanges to reinforce the strength of the nozzle based on the function of the pressure vessel.
The head is the part that closes the end of a pressure vessel. Curved heads are ideal–and the most common shape in pressure vessels–because they are lighter, cheaper and stronger than flat heads.
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