Great photo of Institute of Mechanical Engineers in 1885 - link within below..

Pressure vessels - A basic history since 1870 and product outline:
Abbotts & Co. has been building pressure vessels since it began back
in 1870. It began by making boilers for the British admiralty, and continues today manufacturing a diverse range of vessels for a wide range of industries.
Check out the Instsitue Of Mechanical Engineers visit Photo of 1885:
Back in the beginning pressure vessels and boilers were manufactured from riveted steel plates (boilerplate), today electric welding has made that process obsolete in all but the most traditional restoration workshops.
I had a look at a Wikipedia reference for pressure vessels and got this: A pressure vessel is a closed container designed to hold gases or liquids at a pressure different from the ambient pressure. The end caps fitted to the cylindrical body are called heads.
The legal definition of pressure vessel varies from country to country, but often involves the maximum safe pressure (may need to be above half a bar) that the vessel is designed for and the pressure- volume product, particularly of the gaseous part (in some cases an incompressible liquid portion can be excluded as it does not contribute to the potential energy stored in the vessel.) In the United States, the rules for pressure vessels are contained in the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code.
( Abbott and co website gives more info on current methods:) and
Pressure vessels are used in a variety of applications. These include the industry and the private sector. They appear in these sectors respectively as industrial compressed air receivers and domestic hot water storage tanks, other examples of pressure vessels are: diving cylinder, recompression chamber, distillation towers, autoclaves and many other vessels in mining or oil refineries and petrochemical plants, nuclear reactor vessel, habitat of a space ship, habitat of a submarine, pneumatic reservoir, hydraulic reservoir under pressure, rail vehicle airbrake reservoir, road vehicle airbrake reservoir and storage vessels for liquified gases such as ammonia, chlorine, propane, butane and LPG. Steel Pressure Vessel
In the industrial sector, pressure vessels are designed to operate safely at a specific pressure and temperature, technically referred to as the "Design Pressure" and "Design Temperature". A vessel that is inadequately designed to handle a high pressure constitutes a very significant safety hazard. Because of that, the design and certification of pressure vessels is governed by design codes such as the ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code in North America, the Pressure Equipment Directive of the EU (PED), Japanese Industrial Standard (JIS), CSA B51 in Canada, AS1210 in Australia and other international standards like Lloyd's, Germanischer Lloyd, Det Norske Veritas, Stoomwezen etc.
Pressure vessels can theoretically be almost any shape, but shapes made of sections of spheres, cylinders and cones are usually employed. More complicated shapes have historically been much harder to analyse for safe operation and are usually far harder to construct.
Theoretically a sphere would be the optimal shape of a pressure vessel. Unfortunately the sphere shape is difficult to manufacture, therefore more expensive, so most of the pressure vessels are cylindrical shape with 2:1 semi elliptical heads or end caps on each end. Smaller pressure vessels are arranged from a pipe and two covers. Disadvantage of these vessels is the fact that larger diameters make them relatively more expensive, so that for example the most economic shape of a 1,000 litres (35 cu ft), 250 bars (3,600 psi) pressure vessel might be a diameter of 914.4 millimetres (36 in) and a length of 1,701.8 millimetres (67 in) including the 2:1 semi elliptical domed end caps.
(Air receivers are a basic form of pressure vessel - web site link for more info below:
Generally, almost any material with good tensile properties that is chemically stable in the chosen application can be employed.
Many pressure vessels are made of steel. To manufacture a spherical pressure vessel, forged parts would have to be welded together. Some mechanical properties of steel are increased by forging, but welding can sometimes reduce these desirable properties. In case of welding, in order to make the pressure vessel meet international safety standards, carefully selected steel with a high impact resistance & corrosion resistant material should also be used.
This is a very general outline
Abbott & Co.(Newark) Ltd Newark Boiler Works Northern Rd Newark Notts. NG24 2EJ Tel: 01636 704208 Fax 01636 705742
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