The Importance of Testing Pressure Vessels

The use of high-pressure systems is crucial to a number of industries and applications. The applications range from the manufacturing of aeronautical components to medical implants. The highest quality is necessary to design engineer and manufacture these systems from safe and reliable operation.  Equally important is the testing and inspection needed to evaluate their condition for continued safety and reliability. This inspection should be a standard part of regular periodic maintenance.

At Engineered Pressure Systems, we provide inspection and testing service for both our vessels and competitors’ vessels.  We utilize highly qualified Inspectors for each inspection. Each inspection is based on the individual design and material of the vessel. The testing performed is Nondestructive Test Inspections (NDT) methods.

This inspection applies detection methods to verify there are no defects that would diminish the effectiveness of the pressure retaining structure to continue to withstand in-service operating loads. It also evaluates the condition of the vessel to detect any maintenance or operating conditions that could reduce the life of the vessel.  To ensure maximum effectiveness and optimal vessel operation, periodic inspection is highly recommended.

Specific methods to use for NDT inspections of vessels include:

  • Magnetic Particle and dye penetrant Inspection: One of the best methods to use, this method detects surface and near subsurface flaws.  This location is where most defects initiate.
  • Ultrasonic Inspection: By penetrating   sound through and reflecting from the pressure vessel wall, this method detects surface and subsurface flaws.
  • Acoustic Emissions Testing: This method uses the sound emitted for a defect in the vessel when it is growing. It requires that the vessel be pressurized to a stress higher than recent pressurization’s. This method enables an inspection of geometries not accessible by any other nondestructive testing.

EPSI engineers can determine the right method to use for a particular vessel. It’s important to develop a periodic nondirective examination plan and remember to schedule testing according to the plan.


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