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
eBook ISBN:
Print ISBN:
Print 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