A steamboat explosion in 1865 killed more people than the sinking of the Titanic.
1,800 souls were lost when a steamboat called the Sultana met its demise just outside of Memphis, Tennessee. The tragic incident occurred when the boats’ poorly maintained boiler violently exploded.
Preventable pressure vessel and boiler related incidents continued to wreak havoc in the years to come. Luckily, these types of incidents aren’t frequently heard of today.
This is because a strict set of rules was put in place for the construction of pressure vessels and boilers. Failing to maintain properly certified equipment can cost you money and lives.
Do you have a pressure vessel fabricator with the right certifications? Read this article to determine whether or not you’re running a safe operation or an accident waiting to happen.
Rules Set Forth by the ASME
In a response to a series of tragic events, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) created a set of rules. These rules are used for directing the design and inspections of a pressure vessel fabricator or boiler.
The set of codes is called the Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code or BPVC. The advancement of the nuclear industry coupled with power and chemical discoveries have allowed for new equipment designs to take place.
However, standard vessels are still used by a large number of companies. Next, we will look at what qualifies as standard equipment and who qualifies to construct them.
Standard Pressure Vessel Fabricator Rules
A standard pressure vessel is built following the Division 1 of Section VIII in the BPVC. These construction guidelines can be applied to almost all vessels operating under 3,000 psi.
Before manufacturing can take place, you have to find an ASME certified fabricator. Without a certified individual, your equipment will never be able to pass the certification mark set forth by the ASME.
The fabricator will understand all of the specifications to produce a safe piece of equipment. The design pressure and design temperature have to be able to withstand extreme and fluctuating conditions.
Also, superior quality materials have to be used to stand up against the highs and lows of pressures and temperatures. A few of the sturdy materials that can be used to fabricate a pressure vessel include:
- Stainless steel
- High alloy materials
- Carbon steel
What Is an ASME Certified Fabricator?
Mechanical engineers bring a high level of expertise to the table. You would never want to invite a non-engineer to construct your pressure vessel. This is why certification can help maintain a healthy, safe workplace.
An ASME certified fabricator will have already demonstrated their capabilities in regards to manufacturing. The ASME provides an easy to use certificate holder search.
You can immediately receive up to date information about current, suspended, terminated and withdrawn certificates. Examples of certificates your fabricator might hold include but aren’t limited to:
- ASME SEction 8 Div 1
- U,R,S & UM stamps
- ISO 9001: 2015 certified
- CE, PED, and CRN
Final Element Analysis
Finally, you’ll need to hire a company to conduct FEA (Finite Element Analysis) calculations. This analysis uses a highly efficient computerized method to test your equipment.
You’ll be able to learn how your equipment reacts to heat, fluids flowing, real-world elements, and other physical variables.
An FEA will provide you with the highest level of certainty. You’ll have peace of mind knowing that your equipment was properly designed and can perform with optimum safety.
Connect with Experts in the Industry
Here at Meadows Analysis & Design LLC, we provide quality solutions for companies that need custom mechanical engineering services. We’d be happy to answer any questions you might have about your pressure vessel fabricator.
Contact us today to schedule your FEA analysis. Take a moment to review all of the different service options we have available for your company.
You can also visit our blog for more insightful information about the world of mechanical engineering.