Pressure Vessels to Infinity and Beyond

Welcome to All Sensors “Put the Pressure on Us” blog. This blog brings out pressure sensor aspects in a variety of applications inspired by headlines, consumer and industry requirements, market research, government activities, and you.

Pressure Vessels to Infinity and Beyond

Well, maybe not quite that far. As noted in an earlier Put the Pressure on Us blog, a pressure vessel is a storage tank or vessel that has been designed to operate at pressures above 15 psig. The Office of Safety and Mission Assurance Division of National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) reports that there are approximately 10,000 ground-based Pressure Vessels and Systems (PVS) across the agency.

However, there are out of this world applications, too. One example is the pressure vessel built for the crew compartment of the Orion spacecraft. In this pressure vessel, flight crews will live and operate the spacecraft on flights from the Earth to cislunar (within the Moon’s orbit) space and back. While the vacuum of space exists outside of the vessel, an earthlike 15 psia pressure must be monitored and controlled inside to support the crew.

In contrast, an unpressurized lunar rover is being pursued as part of NASA’s project to land the first woman and the next man on the Moon by 2024. In this case, the astronauts’ suit will regulate the pressure the aliens from earth will need to survive.

The crew module pressure vessel for NASA’s first crewed Orion spacecraft. Source: NASAspaceflight.com

The crew module pressure vessel for NASA’s first crewed Orion spacecraft. Source: NASAspaceflight.com

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Pressure Vessels

Welcome to All Sensors “Put the Pressure on Us” blog. This blog brings out pressure sensor aspects in a variety of applications inspired by headlines, consumer and industry requirements, market research, government activities, and you.

Pressure Vessels

Industrial pressure vessels, essential to the continual processing and manufacturing by industrial and commercial enterprises, have three common types: storage vessels, heat exchangers and process vessels. In general, a pressure vessel is a storage tank or vessel that has been designed to operate at pressures above 15 psig. The pressure can be either internal or external.

A vertical pressure container. Courtesy: Buckeye Fabricating

A vertical pressure container. Courtesy: Buckeye Fabricating.

According to the report “Pressure Vessel – Global Market Outlook (2019-2027),” the Global Pressure Vessel Market accounted for $40.85 billion in 2019 and is expected to reach $67.6 billion by 2027, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.5% during the forecast period.

In addition to industrial and commercial applications, there are many government pressure vessels as well. For example, the Office of Safety and Mission Assurance Division of U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) reports that there are approximately 10,000 ground-based Pressure Vessels and Systems (PVS) across the agency.

The pressures contained by these vessels can vary considerably. As a result, the NASA standard “NASA Requirements for Ground-Based Pressure Vessels and Pressurized Systems (PVS)” (NASA-STD-8719.17, Revision: C, Dated 2017-08-09) specifically includes systems often referred to as “low pressure” such as building and facility services equipment (such as shop air), laboratory systems and vacuum systems. To cope with the wide range of pressures, the sensors and measuring systems to monitor and control these vessels can vary widely as well.

Do you have a pressure sensing question? Let us know and we’ll address it in an upcoming blog.
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The Nileometer: Measuring Water Depth before Pressure Sensors

Welcome to All Sensors “Put the Pressure on Us” blog. This blog brings out pressure sensor aspects in a variety of applications inspired by headlines, consumer and industry requirements, market research, government activities, and you.

The Nileometer: Measuring Water Depth before Pressure Sensors

In the middle of the Sahara Desert, annual flooding of the Nile River gave life and allowed Egypt to rule in ancient times and thrive today.  Every year from June to mid-September, the Ethiopian Highlands in Africa experienced rain storms that washed mineral-rich volcanic topsoil into the Blue Nile River. The water flow carried the topsoil thousands of kilometers along the Nile and deposited the topsoil along its banks and in the fertile Nile Delta at the Mediterranean Sea.

However, the floods were unpredictable. While they couldn’t control the river, the Egyptians did measure the amount of annual flooding to predict the future crop harvest with strategically placed demarkations that are now called nileometers.

Nileometer at Elephantine Island in Aswan, Egypt | Photo by Ferrell Jenkins

Rather than simply using the steps to indicate the water level, the nileometer at Elephantine Island in Aswan, Egypt provides improved resolution for annual water level comparisons.
Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Built in the 1960s, the Aswan High Dam, or simply the Aswan Dam, now provides control for the annual flooding. With the availability of low cost and accurate pressure sensors from All Sensors, groves do not have to be cut in structures to measure the water level on the Nile or anywhere where accurate water level information is required.

Do you have a pressure sensing question? Let us know and we’ll address it in an upcoming blog.
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It’s HIP to Use Pressure

Welcome to All Sensors “Put the Pressure on Us” blog. This blog brings out pressure sensor aspects in a variety of applications inspired by headlines, consumer and industry requirements, market research, government activities, and you.

It’s HIP to Use Pressure

The hot isostatic pressing (HIP) process uses the combination of high pressures and high temperatures to densify engineering ceramics and hard metals. The results of this process, densification and removal of porosity, lead to improved mechanical properties such as increased strength and reliability.

In the process, pressures up to 207 MPa (30,000 psi) may be combined with temperatures as high as 2000°C (3,632°F), however, some HIP processes can go as high as 414 MPa (60,000 psi). An inert gas (typically Argon or Nitrogen) sealed within a pressure vessel ensures that pressure is applied uniformly (isostatic pressure) from all sides. The inert gas helps to reduce any oxidation effects.

A pressure vessel is used in the HIP process. Source: AZO Materials
A pressure vessel is used in the HIP process. Source: AZO Materials

HIPing, as it is also called, is used in many engineering ceramic applications to increase the density of the material and increase the strength and reliability of the components. Examples include:
⋅ silicon nitride ball bearings
⋅ body armor
⋅ zirconia and alumina dental implants
⋅ multi-layer capacitors
⋅ downhole oilfield components
⋅ sputtering targets

Comments/Questions?
Do you have a pressure sensing question? Let us know and we’ll address it in an upcoming blog.
Email us at info@allsensors.com