4 Types of Pressure Vessels Based on Industrial Use

An orange pressure vessel tank.Pressure vessels are integral components in many industries, as they are designed to hold liquids and gases that produce various products and solutions we consume. But different pressure vessels accomplish different things, making it crucial for industrialists to select the right pressure vessels for their industrial applications. This post will highlight four types of pressure vessels (and their subcategories), along with their functions.

  • Heat exchangers

To transfer heat between two fluids or more. The efficiency of these pressure vessels depends on the flow and thermal properties of the liquids they’re heating.

The efficiency of heat exchangers depends on their conductive partition, which assists in transferring heat from a hot fluid to the cold fluid. First, the partition uses convection to transfer heat from the hot liquid to an adjacent surface of the wall. Second, via conduction, the heat transfers through the side of the wall surface. Third, the heat transfers from the wall into the cold liquid, once again, through convection. 

  • Boilers

Boilers are pressure vessels that essentially function as heat transfer equipment. Their purpose is to heat liquids, often to facilitate fluid transfer from liquid to a vapour phase, usually in the boiler. 

The vapour in the boiler often services comfort heating or power generation functions. Examples of the former include providing hot water to residential and commercial facilities, while the latter may involve using steam pressure to accelerate turbines. 

The use of boilers is widespread across various industries. They’re found in many settings ranging from hospitals and hotels to steam engines and nuclear power plants. 

  • Process pressure vessels

Process vessels are pressure vessels in which industrial processes occur. They use varying levels of internal pressure, which changes to ensure the substance involved transforms into its target form. 

Many applications use these pressure vessels. For example, industrialists use process vessels for applications that involve the decantation and distillation of petrochemicals and food or beverages. They’re also used for the mixing and agitation of substances in the pharmaceutical, biotech, and cosmetic industries.

Process vessels are the broadest category of pressure vessels since some serve specific purposes. They include the likes of distillation columns, which promote the separation of solid-liquid and liquid mixtures and chemical reactors that hold and stir compounds during chemical processes. 

  • Storage pressure vessels

Storage vessels are less sophisticated than other pressure vessels, yet they play an essential role in most industrial applications. Their primary purpose is to hold liquids, vapours, and gases temporarily. Usually, industrialists use storage pressure vessels at the end of a process or to store a finished product. An example is the use of storage vessels to store pressurized gases and liquids in their final form. 

Which pressure vessels will best serve your industrial needs?

When selecting a type of pressure vessel, the nature of the application will dictate what type is best. In many cases, the required type of pressure vessel will be apparent. For example, a heating application will likely require a boiler, while a liquid or gas processing vessel will require a process vessel. Less commonly, industrials may be able to use more than one type of vessel, having to make the decision based on factors such as efficiency and cost.  

Here at Wattco, we offer a range of pressure vessel solutions that can facilitate your industrial applications and their requirements. We can also build custom solutions to ensure you meet specific pressure settings if current commercial models don’t suffice. 

Get a quote for your pressure vessel today. Our representatives will help you find the exact setup needed for your industrial needs.