Tank / Pressure Materials Weight Calculation Formula

08/24/2008 6:40 AM

Is it possible to explain the FORMULA in a simple way how to calculate the weight of TANKS or Pressure Vessels. Think that you are beginner and explain pls.

Re: Tank / Pressure Materials Weight Calculation Formula

08/25/2008 4:39 PM

It's simple, if you think about it. Most pressure vessels have circular sections; they are made up of pieces of spheres and cylinders. If they aren't shaped that way, they will assume such a shape when pressurized, just before they blow. Consider a cylinder of diameter D and a cm. or inch long. Mentally cut it across the diameter and ask yourself what it takes to hold the two half-circles together. The total force is pressure (in appropriate units) times D times the length. So, if it's ten inches in diameter, and the pressure is 1000 psi., the force pulling the halves of the tank apart is 10,000 pounds per inch of length. Knowing the tensile strength of the material (in pounds per square inch, for instance), you can figure how thick it must be to withstand 10,000 pounds force. Knowing the thickness, you can calculate the weight of the whole thing. Don't forget the appropriate safety factors and such.

Any good handbook on Mechanical Engineering or a strength of materials text will have a similar analysis, and the author will be better qualified than I am. You did say you wanted simple.