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Violations of Pressure Vessel Codes
Those familiar with design, manufacture, testing and operation of Pressure Vessels will agree that in each of these activities, violation of the codes are encountered due to various reasons. This article highlights some of the violations often encountered in the case of unfired Pressure Vessels, during practical application, with the sole objective of increasing awareness and elimination of such violations to continuously improve safety standards.
Normally employed methods of testing are Hydrostatic and Pneumatic tests in addition to rarely used test like “Helium Test” etc. Pneumatic test is widely used to achieve minimum down time and economy and convenience of testing as compared to hydrostatic tests. It is also useful to detect very fine leak paths which may not be found in Hydrostatic Test. However it is not as safe as hydrostatic tests. The energy stored in a vessel under hydrostatic pressure is very very less as compared to that of vessel under same pressure with Air. This stored potential Energy gets converted to kinetic energy at the time of rupture and that is what makes pneumatic test very dangerous.