Pressure vessels are closed containers designed to hold gases or liquids at a pressure substantially different from the ambient pressure. They have a variety of applications in industry, including in oil refineries, nuclear reactors, vehicle airbrake reservoirs, and more. The pressure differential with such vessels is dangerous, and due to the risk of accident and fatality around their use, the design, manufacture, operation and inspection of pressure vessels is regulated by engineering authorities and guided by legal codes and standards. Pressure Vessel Design Manual is a solutions-focused guide to the many problems and technical challenges involved in the design of pressure vessels to match stringent standards and codes. It brings together otherwise scattered information and explanations into one easy-to-use resource to minimize research and take readers from problem to solution in the most direct manner possible.

Key Features

    • Covers almost all problems that a working pressure vessel designer can expect to face, with 50+ step-by-step design procedures including a wealth of equations, explanations and data
    • Internationally recognized, widely referenced and trusted, with 20+ years of use in over 30 countries making it an accepted industry standard guide
    • Now revised with up-to-date ASME, ASCE and API regulatory code information, and dual unit coverage for increased ease of international use


    Entry and mid-level Mechanical Engineers who specify, design, operate, install, inspect or manufacture pressure vessels and related equipment in a process, chemical, civil, petroleum or nuclear engineering setting. Job titles include: Pressure Vessel Design Engineers, Reliability Engineers, Fixed or Principal Equipment Engineers, Maintenance Engineers, Piping Engineers, Plant Engineers, and Commissioning Engineers.

    Table of Contents

    Preface to the 4th Edition

    1. General Topics

    Design Philosophy

    Stress Analysis

    Stress/Failure Theories

    Failures in Pressure Vessels



    Thermal Stresses

    Discontinuity Stresses

    Fatigue Analysis for Cyclic Service


    Cryogenic Applications

    Service Considerations

    Miscellaneous Design Considerations

    Items to be Included in a User’s Design Specification (UDS) for ASME VIII-2 Vessels


    2. General Design

    Procedure 2-1: General Vessel Formulas [1,2]

    Procedure 2-2: External Pressure Design

    Procedure 2-3: Properties of Stiffening Rings

    Procedure 2-4: Code Case 2286 [1,8,21]

    Procedure 2-5: Design of Cones

    Procedure 2-6: Design of Toriconical Transitions [1,3]

    Procedure 2-7: Stresses in Heads Due to Internal Pressure [2,3]

    Procedure 2-8: Design of Intermediate Heads [1,3]

    Procedure 2-9: Design of Flat Heads [1,2,4,5,6]

    Procedure 2-10: Design of Large Openings in Flat Heads [1]

    Procedure 2-11: Calculate MAP, MAWP, and Test Pressures

    Procedure 2-12: Nozzle Reinforcement

    Procedure 2-13 Find or Revise the Center of Gravity of a Vessel

    Procedure 2-14: Minimum Design Metal Temperature (MDMT)

    Procedure 2-15: Buckling of Thin Wall Cylindrical Shells [21]

    Procedure 2-16: Optimum Vessel Proportions [16-20][16-20]

    Procedure 2-17: Estimating Weights of Vessels and Vessel Components

    Procedure 2-18: Design of Jacketed Vessels

    Procedure 2-19: Forming Strains/Fiber Elongation


    3. Flange Design


    Procedure 3-1: Design of Flanges [1–4]

    Procedure 3-2: Design of Spherically Dished Covers

    Procedure 3-3: Design of Blind Flanges with Openings [1,4]

    Procedure 3-4: Bolt Torque Required for Sealing Flanges


    No. of pages:
    © 2012
    Print ISBN:
    Electronic ISBN:

    About the author

    Michael Basic

    Michael Basic has nearly a decade of experience in the design of pressure vessels, storage tanks, and other related equipment. He is a Registered Professional Engineer in the state of California and currently works for Fluor in southern California.

    Affiliations and Expertise

    Professional Engineer, Fluor, California, USA