Determining when to replace a pressure tank or vessel can be challenging. Beyond obvious factors such as the vessel no longer functioning, the unit having bad performance and the prospect of the unit requiring significant repairs, there are also less obvious reasons to replace a pressure tank or vessel. These include, changes in regulations, the introduction of newer, innovative pressure vessel designs and finally, the need to improve overall performance of processes. Admittedly, some circumstances will have some overlap but all are excellent reasons to consider pressure vessel replacement.
Pressure vessels and tanks by nature are subject to serious stresses. Over time these stresses can degrade the performance of the vessel. Even before the end of the equipment’s life cycle, the performance can be reduced significantly. This could cause the vessel to require replacement instead of repair. In some situations, once a repair regime is begun, it will have to be maintained and this can represent serious cost issues. Therefore, in these cases, it might be more cost effective to replace the unit. This can be especially true if the replacement will have even better performance than the previous vessel or tank.
There are important debates occurring in the regulatory arena on both the State and Federal level that could have important impacts on the processes used by, in and around pressure vessels. While most of these are primarily related to environmental regulations, market forces also have an effect on the regulatory situation. In addition, as new situations are encountered and assimilated, these changes are applied to the codes concerning the construction and operation of pressure vessels and therefore can require retrofitting of existing vessels. In some situations, this can necessitate the replacement of a vessel instead of just a repair or refit circumstance.
Innovative Designs and Materials
New materials are being brought online for use in all manner of fabrications. These new materials range from adjustments in simple alloys to the advent of metamaterials down to the individual design elements of different pressure tanks and vessels. These new designs and materials offer enhanced efficiency and effectiveness over previous iterations. Additionally, many newer materials for pressure vessels reduce the chances of further replacements before vessels reaching the end of their life cycle. This is especially true in tank materials, as these have undergone significant improvement over that of just a few decades ago. To take advantage of these new efficiencies and effectiveness, the existing vessel must be replaced.
Beyond a wholesale failure of the vessel, there is no ironclad rule for determining when a pressure tank or vessel requires replacement. However, beyond the generalities of issues and concerns with the vessel, replacing a vessel to fully take the opportunity to improve both your process and bottom line, is more than enough of a reason to consider a replacement.