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  1. Jacketed Vessels: What You Need to Know

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    jacketed-reactorMany industries work with products that require processing or storage at specific, uniform temperatures to ensure performance and longevity. To achieve this, jacket coverings on containers enable accurate control within a vessel for constant or precisely cycled temperatures. Stainless steel jacketed vessels play a crucial role in manufacturing, without which companies could incur losses due to product spoilage. 

    A jacket creates a cavity between itself and the vessel walls, in which a network of interconnected tubes circulates heating or cooling fluid to raise or lower the temperature of the container and its contents. To address applications in diverse industries, there are a variety of types of jacketed vessels available for optimally regulating temperature.

    Types of Jacketed Vessels

    Stainless steel jacketed vessels vary in their mode of heat transfer, size, and pressure rating, among other factors.

    Jacketed Vessels: What You Need to Know

    Conventional Jacketed Vessels

    Conventional jackets use fluid media like water and oil to facilitate heat transfer between the jacket and the container. Users install the jacket around the container to create an annular space, or an inner and outer wall for the vessel, that later fills with the desired fluids. In many jacket configurations, the designs utilize a baffle welded on the jacket’s internal side that regulates fluid flow. These jackets are often thicker than other types to make up for their design’s lack of reinforcement, which does make them more costly. They also achieve the lowest pressure drop of all types. Conventional jackets are ideal for low-pressure operations of less than 50 psi, though they can also handle certain applications for high internal pressures—up to twice the jacket’s pressure. They’re mainly fitted for smaller containers with a maximum capacity of 100 gallons.

    Dimple Jacketed Vessels

    Jackets for these vessels are dotted with dimples across their surfaces, and these divots enhance turbulence within the moving fluids of the jacket, increasing the transfer of heat. Dimple jackets are a popular choice as they are thinner and more affordable than the conventional variety without sacrificing strength. They’re also quite versatile, as dimple jackets are available in a variety of sizes, shapes, and pressure ratings that allow for usages beyond just tanks. This helps them to accommodate larger containers for temperature regulation and pressure ratings of as much as 300 psi. However, dimple jacketed vessels are not suitable for running thermal operations that cycle between exceptionally low and high temperatures.

    Half-Pipe Coil Jacketed Vessels

    Manufacturers can weld a half-pipe coil jacket to a vessel, wrapping it around the container underneath the jacket. The split pipe configuration can regulate the fluid path to raise or lower the temperature of the full vessel or individualized portions of it. Half-pipe coil jackets are pricey given their lightweight metal construction, but not as expensive as conventional jacketed vessels. They are ideal in extremely high-pressure environments as they have a rating of 750 psi. Additionally, they are the best choice for liquid heat transfer as well as high-temperature applications.

    Internal Coils

    Internal coils are an additive feature inside a vessel rather than being an actual jacket. This means that they come into direct contact with the container’s contents, for which they are meant to provide heat transfer. Within the vessel, they will either loop around the internal wall in a spiral configuration or be situated at the container’s base. They can withstand the highest pressures of these heat transfer devices—up to 900 psi, internally or externally. However, it is important to consider the vessel contents prior to installing an internal coil, as certain substances may corrode the coil’s metal casing.

    Industries That Use Jacketed Vessels

    Temperature regulation and thermal cycling are vital to the processes of numerous industries. These sectors include:

    •     Chemical and petrochemical
    •     Cosmetics
    •     Distilling and brewing
    •     Food and beverage processing
    •     Healthcare
    •     Industrial operations
    •     Manufacturing
    •     Pharmaceutical
    •     Roofing and asphalt

    Partner With American Alloy for Custom Fabrication

    Well-built stainless steel jacketed vessels will reliably regulate material temperatures in thermosensitive industrial processes, providing manufacturers with a sure way to avoid losses during production. At American Alloy Fabricators, Inc., our team specializes in designing and manufacturing custom jacketed vessels as well as other ASME-certified metal equipment. We utilize multiple grades of stainless steel for our stainless steel jacketed vessels, along with other material options such as Monel, Inconel, Hastelloy, AL6XN, and Alloy 20, to fabricate high-quality vessels, tanks, reactors, and more in virtually any size. We can also assist our clients in the biotechnology, chemical, food processing, and pharmaceutical industries with consultation services, welding, and metal finishings.

    To learn more about our capabilities and how American Alloy can support your operations, contact us today.

  2. Stainless Steel Tanks: A Quick Guide

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    Stainless steel is an optimal material for tank fabrication due to its corrosion resistance. An iron alloy, it is the chromium content in stainless steel that generates a thin resistant layer of metal oxides. This capability enables numerous industries like food and beverage, cosmetics, medicine, and even chemical processing to safely use stainless steel tanks for storing water, alcohol, acid, gases, and more without degrading the tank or contaminating its contents. As manufacturers can customize stainless steel tanks in a variety of sizes, shapes, configurations, and material selections, learn more about the options for stainless steel tanks to determine which will best suit your application.

    Types of Stainless Steel for Tank Fabrication

    With multiple types of stainless steel available, the underlying alloy formation can determine which type of stainless steel is optimal for your storage tank needs.

    • Stainless steel 304 and 304L. These stainless steel types are popular for their affordability and corrosion resistance in most applications. 304 usually consists of 18-20% chromium and 8-12% nickel. The composition of 304L is similar, but with a lower carbon content to prevent sensitization. Lowering the chromium carbide content improves corrosion resistance for high-heat applications.
    • Stainless steel 316 and 316L. Stainless steel 316 has a higher resistance to corrosion than 304 because of its 2-3% molybdenum content, lending it to common uses in chemical and marine storage applications. At 10-14% nickel, the nickel counteracts molybdenum’s ferritic-forming characteristic. The low carbon version of grade 316, 316L, safeguards against sensitization in high-temperature environments like 304L.
    • Duplex stainless steel. Duplex stainless steel combines the benefits of austenitic and ferritic materials, maintaining corrosion resistance as an austenitic metal but also adding mechanical strength, a ferritic characteristic. At 20-28% chromium, 5-8% nickel, and 2-5% molybdenum, this metal alloy is highly resistant to stress corrosion cracking. Also, duplex stainless steel is typically less expensive given the lower percentage of nickel in its makeup, and the option of using thinner sheets without sacrificing strength. 

    Types of Stainless Steel Tanks

    Once you have chosen the appropriate stainless steel for your application, there are numerous tank types on the market to best deliver the functionality you need, including:

    • Single-walled stainless steel tanks. Most single-walled tanks have a simple, cylindrical construction, with horizontal or vertical orientation options. These storage tanks offer high-level corrosion resistance to internal and external corrosive agents, and are commonly accompanied by a concrete structure as a secondary method of containment.
    • Double-walled stainless steel tanks. These tanks feature a primary tank with a secondary wall built around it to protect against fluid leakage. They are ideal for petrochemical applications and EPA compliance. Some varieties contain insulation to safeguard against heat transfer from external temperature variations.
    • Stainless steel clad tanks. As an alternative to pricey tanks with thick stainless steel construction, single- or double-side cladding a carbon steel tank with thin stainless steel sheets adds corrosion resistance to the tank. 
    • Jacketed stainless steel tanks. Used in conjunction with cooling towers or boilers, a jacketed steel tank allows fluid to pass through the area between two plates of stainless steel, cooling or heating the tank contents as required without mixing with them.
    • Stainless steel process tanks. These tanks help process the substances they store by dissolving, mixing, or otherwise agitating tank contents. To achieve this, process tanks may utilize a variety of tools like paddles or mixing heads. For added versatility, some process tanks come with specialized features like insulation, dual walls, and monitoring devices for a tank’s level, pressure, and temperature.
    • High-pressure stainless steel tanks. For high-pressure applications, stainless steel adds the strength necessary to ensure safe operation. High-pressure stainless steel tank fabrication should follow strict standards like the ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code.
    • Compressed air tanks. Stainless steel is ideal for compressed air tanks for its corrosion resistance, given that the tank will be exposed to air and moisture. With the immense pressure contained in these tanks, they must be strong for serving as air buffer or receiver containers. Again, quality tanks will conform to the ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code.

    Stainless Steel Tanks From American Alloy

    American Alloy Fabricators, Inc. has a proud history of more than 30 years of delivering quality fabricated products domestically and internationally. Our facility has the capacity for us to manufacture horizontal and vertical tanks in diameters of up to 10 feet. They are non-code and work under atmospheric pressure, with a wide array of applications to give our tanks greater versatility of use. We custom-design and build ASME-certified stainless steel tanks to meet your unique operational needs as well as your schedule, with fast turnaround and on-time delivery. 

    We pride ourselves on our superior customer service. Contact us today for more information on our extensive options for tank storage solutions.