Reverse engineering of nitrogen pressure vessel​





Reverse Engineering, Pressure Vessels




The challenge

DOCAN were contracted to produce an engineering documentation pack for a pressure vessel for which there is currently no existing documentation.

Given the absence of any original design/verification documentation, DOCAN completed a Reverse Engineering (RE) exercise on the vessel to produce the engineering documentation pack.

reverse engineering of a nitrogen pressure vessel

The DOCAN solution

Reverse engineering was completed by:​

  1. Complete surveying and measurement to characterise the main features of the vessel, namely:​

a. Material identification via chemical analysis and hardness measurement.​

b. Ultra-Sonic Thickness Measurement (USTM).​

c. Exterior dimension measurement via 3D laser scanning.​

2. Consolidate all survey results into a single reference source which provides a record of all key vessel dimensions.​

3. From the survey results, establish a suitable design code that correlates with the material mechanical properties and design features of the vessel.​

4. Produce a set of engineering calculations using proprietary pressure vessel design software to verify that the as-built vessel complies with the adopted design code.​

5. Produce an engineering GA drawing for the vessel which includes all significant design features and can be used by the client (or others) as a record of the vessel’s as-built condition.

nitrogen pressure vessel

The outcome

The main outcomes from this work were:​

  1. Design code PD 5500 was selected as an appropriate design code against which a design basis for the vessel can be established​
  2. Steel grade BS1501-151-430A was established as a suitable grade of steel upon which to determine the minimum thickness requirements of the vessel.​
  3. The vessel’s internal design pressure was determined 14barg​
  4. The minimum thickness requirements of the vessel were determined.​
  5. The as-built vessel was determined as safe.
nitrogen pressure vessel reverse engineering

Project summary

TaskApplicationDOCAN ExpertiseUSTMLaser scanningXRF analysisHardness testingPv EliteSolidworksPD5500Pipe Stress AnalysisASME B31.3
SurveyingMaterials identification
Dimensional measurement
Pressure Systems EngineeringDesign code identification
Pressure vessel/piping calculations
Root Cause Failure AnalysisEngineering drawings