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.
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.
PVR unit with heating mantle removed
The User's Manual for the Pressure Vessel Unit can be downloaded here