How Often Does A Pressure Vessel Need To Be Inspected

Pressure vessels hold both toxic and non-toxic fluids. The slightest malfunctioning of a pressure vessel can cause significant harm to industrial workers. Are you worried about the safety of your workers when handling pressure vessels? Worry no more. 

At Sherwood Engineering, we make sure your pressure vessels are inspected thoroughly and in the right way. We understand that it is easy to forget about inspection dates. We keep clear records to ensure you do not miss out on an inspection. Please contact us today to access our quality services. 

What Is A Pressure Vessel? 

A pressure vessel is a container that holds vapours, gases, and hot liquids at a pressure higher or lower than the normal pressure. Each vessel has its pressure vessel safety limit. 

Types Of Pressure Vessels 

Pressure vessels are mainly classified according to their purpose. Here are the main pressure vessels you need to know. 

1). Storage Vessel

This type of pressure vessel is used to hold industrial-purpose gases and liquids. It can be used to store finished products or hold fluids used in manufacturing. Storage vessels are mainly made of carbon steel. 

2). Boilers

These types of pressure vessels are heat transfer equipment. Their primary purpose is to heat liquids. In most instances, they are used to change liquids into vapour form. They use fuel, nuclear power, or electric power as heat sources. The vapour formed is used to generate power for heat application. Boilers endure high pressure and thermal stress. 

3). Heat Exchangers

These pressure vessels are used to transfer heat between fluids. They experience a lot of stress due to temperature differences between the hot and cold liquids and hence need regular service inspection. 

4). Process Vessels 

These are containers where industrial processes occur. Internal pressures in the vessels are determined by the industrial process the vessels are used for and the transformation of the substance involved. Types of process vessels include: 

  • Distillation Columns – These are used to separate mixed liquids based on their differences in volatility. 
  • Chemical Reactors – These are used to contain catalysts and reactants during chemical reactions.
  • Industrial Mixers – These are pressure vessels used to emulsify and homogenise substances. 

Top 5 Things You Must Know About Pressure Vessel Inspection 

Pressure vessel inspection is crucial in avoiding pressure vessel failure. Here is what you must know about pressure vessel inspection. 

1). Ensure that only certified professionals inspect accurate identification of weak areas in a pressure vessel.

2). Inspectors must adhere to established industry standards during an inspection.

3). An inspector could be required to conduct internal and external inspections as follows:

  • Internal inspection is done when the vessels are empty to identify corrosion, wear, and tear levels. 
  • External inspections can be done when the vessel is in operation and is carried out on the outside to examine the functioning of external components. 

4). Frequency of inspection depends on the hazard levels of a pressure vessel. You need to use the services of a competent person who will inspect your vessels and guide you on how frequently the inspection should be carried out. 

5). Pressure tests should follow inspection:

  • Leak Tests – These are used to confirm the maximum leaks that can be allowed in vacuum and pressure vessels.
  • Hydrostatic Tests – These are carried out to test the leaks and strengths of pressure vessels.
  • Mechanical Integrity Tests – These are used to check buckling or instability on pressure vessels.
  • Pneumatic Tests – These are carried out where traces of a testing medium are not allowed or recommended. They should only be carried out when necessary. 

What Is The Frequency Of Pressure Vessel Inspection?

For safe working, you should regularly inspect pressure equipment as per the manufacturer’s recommendations. Inspection relies on several factors, including hazard levels and the type of pressure level. 

Steam boilers should go through inspection and tests every year. Air receivers and steam receivers must go through inspection and running tests after every two years. 

Autoclaves need to go through two types of inspection. You should carry out an inspection and run tests after every two years. The external shell inspection and complete insulation removal should be done after six years. 

After every ten years, all types of pressure vessels need to have gone through at least one thickness gauging and hydrostatic test. 

Final Thoughts

The testing and inspection of pressure vessels should never be ignored. Pressure level inspection requirements are given to enhance industrial safety. Pressure vessels come in different types and designs and are used for different purposes. Similarly, they require different kinds of inspection that you should know. 

Register Your Pressure Vessel Design 

At Sherwood Engineering, we offer you professional inspection for all types and designs of pressure vessels. Our experts have years of experience and are all certified. 

Give us a call at (02) 9437 3566 or leave an enquiry if you would like to learn more about our pressure vessel engineering design and support services.