Learning Center for Boilers and Pressure Vessels
Stationary Engineers and Boiler Operator Certification: Chemical plants, refineries, buildings, and industry use an enormous variety of boilers and pressure vessels of all kinds in their operations. The operators who run and maintain them require licensing and/or certification. The categories include stationary engineer, high pressure boiler operator, low pressure boileroperator, boilermaking, etc.
In addition to passing exams which test theoretical and practical, operators learn on the job. As they progress, they require higher levels of certification involving more complex processes and responsibilities.
Pressure Vessel Design: Although normally the purview of the mechanical, chemical, or some specialty engineer, operators often contribute their on-the-job experience to fine-tuning pressure vessel design in complex operations.
A drive down Hwy 225 in Houston toward Baytown will show one a stationary parade of pressure vessels of all types and sizes...work for lots of operators and engineers.
Pressure Vessel Fabrication: Shops fabricating pressure vessels employ highly skilled welders, metal workers, pipe fitters and other specialty trades. Many are constructed of high strength and unusual metal alloys requiring specialty welding techniques and materials.
Pressure vessels need extensive testing both in the fabrication before delivery and on site after installation. Testing is ordered both by the customer or his agent to insure conformance to the design specifications, and by the building code authority having jurisdiction in the area.
Pressure Vessel Maintenance: Once built and in service, operating under sometimes great stress, pressure vessels need intermittent and scheduled long-term service. Some need periodic resuscitation of catalytic agents; some like distillation towers need to be disassembled by high-lift equipment.
Entering pressure vessels for maintenance always requires special personal protective equipment and a source of oxygen...empty tanks retain the sometimes toxic residue of their former contents.
Heat Exchangers: There is a great variety of heat exchanger types and mechanisms serving industrial and building systems. They can be used to dissipate heat in an exothermic chemical process, or capture heat as a positive input in some other companion process.
Turbines: Gas and steam turbines present design problems in achieving ever greater efficiencies. Increasingly high rates of rotation challenge metallurgical alloy selection and machining.