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Practical Guide

to Pressure Vessel


Sunil Pullarcot

FACT Engineering and Design Organisation

Kerala, India










Copyright © 2002 Marcel Dekker, Inc.


ISBN: 0-8247-0740-0

This book is printed on acid-free paper.


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Copyright 2002 by Marcel Dekker, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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Copyright © 2002 Marcel Dekker, Inc.


Twenty years ago, after completing my degree in mechanical engineering, I began my career in a pressure vessel fabrication company. Because I was a newcomer to the industry, I sought a reliable reference explaining fabrication and the correspond- ing procedures of quality assurance and control (QAC). I came across books such as Pressure Vessel Design Manual , by Den- nis R. Moss, and Pressure Vessel Handbook , by Eugene F. Megyesy, but these were confined to aspects of design. The ASME code and the other national codes were the only docu- ments available for reference. The ASME code provided all the expected specifications but failed to suggest the means of achieving compliance with such specifications—perhaps because it was intended for engi-

Copyright © 2002 Marcel Dekker, Inc.

neers with an insight into the underlying logic of the code. Thus, my efforts to understand the code led only to further confusion. This book summarizes my efforts, over 20 years, to bridge the gap between code specifications and the procedures neces-

sary to comply with them. It can be considered a guide to and clarification of the ASME code—encompassing fabrication, in- spection, testing, and documentation. Because the book offers wide coverage of fabrication (from organization setup to final testing and documentation), it also promotes uniformity in

manufacturing, inspection, testing, and documentation. Chapters 1 through 10, which are based on my experience in QAC and heavy fabrication, are dedicated to practical as- pects of fabrication, beginning with organizational require-

ments and leading up to the final documentation of the vessel. Chapters 11 to 16 describe procedures that are essential for conducting various inspections and tests. Chapter 17 ad- dresses welding procedure specifications, the procedure quali-

fication record, and welder qualification tests. Chapters 18

and 19 detail a typical quality plan and an inspection and test plan, which is also included in QAC documentation. Chapter 20 provides recommended tolerances for vessels; such toler- ances, which vary only slightly between most consultants, are usually not given in the code. Chapter 21 consists of excerpts from ASME Section VIII Div(1) (1998 edition), which is fre- quently referred to during manufacture. Because the code is continually updated to incorporate the latest available data, users of this book are encouraged to refer to these sections from the latest editions of the code as they become available. The book is written based on the requirements of ASME Section VIII Div(1). Other sections of the ASME code, such as V and IX, are also referred to for the full coverage. Even though the book is based only on ASME codes, it could be ex- tended to other codes for pressure vessels, because the rela- tionship between fabrication and nondestructive testing (NDT) is the same regardless of the code used. I would like to acknowledge the assistance and coopera-

Copyright © 2002 Marcel Dekker, Inc.

tion I have received from the learned surveyors of Lloyd’s Reg- ister, ABS Industrial Verification, Det Norske Veritas, and Hartford Steam Boiler. The continued interaction I have had with these third-party inspection agencies has been a tremen- dous help in giving this book its present shape. Similarly, the technical and moral support extended to me by my colleagues at FACT Engineering and Design Organisation (FEDO) has played a vital role in my completion of this work.

Sunil Pullarcot

Copyright © 2002 Marcel Dekker, Inc.



Part I


  • 1. Introduction

  • 2. Organization

  • 3. Manufacture of Components

  • 4. Manufacture of Vessel

  • 5. Nondestructive Testing

  • 6. Pad Air and Preliminary Hydrostatic Testing

Copyright © 2002 Marcel Dekker, Inc.

  • 7. Postweld Heat Treatment

  • 8. Hydrostatic Testing

  • 9. Post – Hydrostatic Test Cleaning

  • 10. Documentation

Part II


  • 11. Radiographic Testing Procedure for Pressure Vessels

  • 12. Ultrasonic Testing for Pressure Vessels

  • 13. Magnetic Particle Testing for Pressure Vessels

  • 14. Liquid Penetrant Testing for Pressure Vessels

  • 15. Furnace Postweld Heat Treatment for Pressure Vessels

  • 16. Hydrostatic Testing of Pressure Vessels

  • 17. Quality Assurance and Control in Welding

  • 18. Quality Plan

  • 19. Inspection and Test Plan

  • 20. Standard Tolerances for Pressure Vessels

  • 21. ASME Exhibits

Copyright © 2002 Marcel Dekker, Inc.

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