High Temperature Pressure Vessel Reactor


Our client had a requirement for a custom-designed high-temperature pressure vessel reactor which was suitable for use in a glovebox environment. Commercially-available pressure vessel reactors were available but were not suitable for this particular application.


The design brief was as follows.

  • A pressure vessel reactor capable of operating at pressures of up to 30 Bar and temperatures of up to 600 Celsius was required to perform ageing experiments on polymer materials.

  • The pressure vessel needed to be manufactured from 316 stainless steel.

  • A removable heating mantle was required which was to employ a multiple-redundant fail-safe system to protect against over-heating.

  • The pressure vessel also needed to employ a multiple-redundant fail-safe system to protect against over-pressure and a means of minimising the risk of over-pressurisation of the glovebox during, for example, uncontrolled depressurisation of the pressure vessel.

  • The entire device needed to be compliant with various product safety regulations, including those related to pressure vessels and electrical equipment.

  • A further design constraint was that the entire pressure vessel reactor device, including heating mantle, needed to be designed in such a way as to allow partial dismantling so that it could be posted into a glovebox via a 10" (250 mm) diameter access port and re-assembled in-situ by a glovebox operator using only basic tools.
Dip probe

Initial design

APL's Skills & Capabilities

After reviewing a number of commercially-available high-temperature pressure vessel reactors, our recommendation was to design and manufacture a device from the ground up. Our client accepted this recommendation and we initiated a design review to come up with some concept designs which we could present to our client.

After agreeing a way forward, we designed and manufactured four working prototype devices which were completed within approximately 4 months. These devices have now been in use for more than 2 years and have proved to be very reliable.

High temperature pressure vessel reactor
High temperature pressure vessel reactor

PVR unit

PVR unit with heating mantle removed

The User's Manual for the Pressure Vessel Unit can be downloaded here