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Do You Need a Custom Pressure Vessel?

Pressure vessels are used across dozens of industries in everything from researching new technologies to studying the stars. They’re highly specialized pieces of equipment with specific design requirements to ensure the safety of the people using them, so while there are some options available to purchase off the shelves, a lot of projects require custom pressure vessels. So how can you find out which option is for you?

What kinds of pressure vessels are commercially available?

The vast majority of commercially available pressure vessels are designed to withstand around 200 psi of pressure difference between the contents of the vessel and the atmosphere. They’re often made with stainless or carbon steel, and have limited temperature ranges they can operate in. Here’s a list of the most common limitations commercially available pressure vessels have:

  • Predetermined geometry/dimensions
  • Predetermined fittings/mounting points
  • Most designed to hold compressed air
  • Pressure range from 15 psi to 200 psi
  • Temperature range from -20 to 400 F

The following table has some more details on each limitation and what kinds of projects might not be a good fit for a pre-made pressure vessel:

Diagram listing some of the requirements pressure vessel projects might have

When would I need a custom pressure vessel?

Each project is going to have its own specific needs, but often aerospace and research applications will have special requirements that don’t match prefabricated vessels. If your project only needs a pressure vessel to hold compressed air at room temperature and you’ve got plenty of space to set up the plumbing and other equipment, a commercial pressure vessel might be a good option. If any of your project requirements exceed the limitations above, you might need to get a pressure vessel custom designed and built.

If you’re not sure, reach out to us! Rexarc specializes in designing and building custom pressure vessels. We’re experts on what requirements necessitate custom work, and we’re happy to answer questions.



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