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Calculate the Wetted Surface Area of Pressure Vessels

By Babak Firoozi, Oilcor |

This article provides a comparative study of two approaches to protect ASME semi-elliptical pressure tanks from overpressure in the event of a fire Calculating the wetted surface area is a crucial step to protect American Society of Mechanical Engineers’ (ASME) pressure vessels from overpressure in the event of a fire. The historical approach relies on an analytical approximation, using a linear equation to calculate partial surface area of 2:1 semi-elliptical (SE) heads that has been published [1]. This article presents a rigorous numeric analytical method and compares partial surface area calculations of 2:1 SE heads using both methods.   Pressure relief from fire The loss of fluids from enclosed ASME pressure vessels as a result of overpressure due to fire is a major safety concern at chemical process industries (CPI) facilities. Such an event can not only lead to worker injury and damage to mechanical assets, but has the potential for catastrophic losses to the facility, the surrounding community and the environment, as well. Fire is often the cause of the greatest relief load through a pressure safety valve (PSV), and thus becomes a critical aspect of appropriately sizing the PSV. Fluids in a vessel absorb the heat of…
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