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The assessment of pressure vessels operating at low temperature

Date of publication:
March 2020
Series code:

This guidance is aimed at users of pressure vessels in low temperature duty and the competent persons who carry out periodic inspection and integrity assessment of these vessels.

Low temperatures can adversely affect the tensile toughness of commonly-used materials; including certain steels used in pressure vessel manufacture. These materials experience a shift, from ductile to brittle behaviour, if the temperature is reduced below their transition point.

Loss of material ductility at low temperature can contribute to an increased risk of catastrophic brittle failure, of process equipment.

The purpose of this guidance is to help users of pressure systems, and their competent persons, to establish procedures that can be used for assessing whether an operational pressure vessel is safe to operate at low temperatures.

Updated: 2021-03-03