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Can I Reuse My Stainless Steel Pressure Vessel?

Maybe you’ve got one lying around in the lab from a previous experiment, or you’ve found one being sold online at a cheaper price. But is it safe to reuse a stainless steel pressure vessel?

It depends on several factors: the condition of the vessel, the specifications it was designed for, the environment it will be used in, and the requirements of your planned use.

How can I tell if I can reuse my pressure vessel?

First, you’ll want to find out as much information about the pressure vessel as you can. Collect any old maintenance and certification records for the vessel. Check old project notes for details on how it was used, and what requirements it was originally designed to meet. Ideally, you’ll find information on the following:

  • The material
  • Any standards it was designed to meet
  • When the vessel was manufactured
  • The maximum pressure it was designed to withstand (when new)
  • Maintenance records
  • When and how the vessel was used

Compare the collected data to the requirements your new project has. Does the vessel exceed those specifications with a sufficient factor of safety? If so, you might be able to use it, and next you’ll want to closely inspect it.

What should I look for when inspecting a used stainless steel pressure vessel?

There’s several things to keep in mind when inspecting an old pressure vessel. Start by visually inspecting it. Go over every inch of the vessel, looking for any signs of wear or damage, including failing welds, dents and scratches, or rust spots and other signs of corrosion. Pay close attention to mounting points, and remember to check the fittings as well.

Once you’re certain the vessel is sound, you’ll want to make sure it can still safely maintain the pressures you need for your new application. This is best left to a professional who has the equipment and knowledge to safely test your vessel before you start using it.

Where can I learn more?

Rexarc is happy to answer more in-depth questions on reusing pressure vessels, including about your specific planned use and requirements. We’re experts in pressure vessels, and we want to share that expertise with people so they can make economical choices while still being safe. Reach out to us here, or learn more about our company here.



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