Thermal Vacuum Reactors & Pressure Vessels

Robust reactors for high value products

Precise temperature and pressure control are critical in the manufacturing processes of complex products including:

  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Healthcare products
  • Speciality chemicals
  • Premium foods

These processes require integrated systems that are designed with the process in mind and factors include:

  • Process validation – support IQ, OQ & PQ
  • Multi-product flexibility
  • Batch size flexibility
  • Minimise cycle time and clean down
  • Cycling durability at extremes of pressure and temperature

Greaves engineers work closely with our customers process experts to understand their challenges and ambitions in order to design the most appropriate manufacturing system for their needs. Key considerations include:

  • Heat transfer and cooling capacity
  • High viscosity flow and mixing tool combination
  • Fatigue analysis and cyclic operations to maximise lifespan
  • Jacket type and insulation for optimum heating/cooling time
  • Rapid vacuum cycle (optimise ullage)
  • Hazardous substances (ATEX, purging system)
  • Corrosive / abrasive substances (corrosion allowances, material selection)
  • Shaft seal specification for reliability/durability
  • Materials addition and product discharge (vacuum, pressure & gravimetric)

200L Jacketed Pressure Vessel

1000L Jacketed Pressure Vessel

Quality & Accreditation:

  • Radiography & ultrasonic
  • Dye penetration inspection
  • Magnetic particle inspection
  • Boroscope inspection
  • Hydrostatic pressure testing

Accreditation Bodies:

  • British Engineering Services
  • Bureau Veritas
  • Lloyds Register

Shaft sealing options

Shaft seal selection is a critical factor in specifying any mixing system. Greaves offers a comprehensive range of high performing seal options to meet the most demanding process requirements.

Thermal Vacuum Reactors & Pressure Vessels FAQ’s

  • Vessel volumes range from 1L for laboratory “pots” to 20,000L.
  • Maximum vessel volume depends on process-specific factors, including internal vessel pressure and pressure rating of the external jacket.
  • For small vessels up to 25 barg positive pressure
  • For larger vessels 10-12 barg positive pressure
  • Full Vacuum is available across all vessel sizes
  • Commonly, to remove any air entrained in the mixture caused by the addition of powders and/or high-speed mixing.
  • High viscosity mixtures can be particularly problematic as entrained air does not easily dissipate.
  • Vacuum can also be used to reduce operational issues for the addition of powders or liquids.
  • Greaves have a wealth of knowledge in shaft seals for hygienic applications, high pressure/temperature applications and high-speed applications. Options include:-
    • Lip seals.
    • mechanical seals (single or double acting).
    • Liquid or gas lubricated and dry running options are available.
  • Options include:-
    • Carbon Steel
    • 304 & 316L stainless steel
    • 316 Ti stainless steel
  • Vessels can be supplied jackets for :-
    • heating with water, oil or steam
    • trace heating to maintain product temperature
    • cooling using water or chilled oil
    • cooling to very low temperatures using a glycol mix.
  • Spiral baffle
  • limpet coil
  • dimple jacket
  • electric heating
  • Fatigue should always be consider with a pressure vessel, particularly a heated version.
  • Repeated cycles of both pressure and thermal expansion/contraction can cause mechanical stress.
  • The cyclic behaviour of the vessel must be considered in the design, installation, insulation, and transient operations (thermal shock).
  • Greaves can perform a fatigue analysis and certify vessels for cyclic operations. Detailed process spec is required to perform this service.
  • Load cells are the most used method.
  • Radar systems and level sensors are alternative options for precise monitoring of volume and fill levels.
  • A risk assessment should be carried out to evaluate the likelihood and impacts of leaks or failures. This will determine whether bunding is required.
  • The shape of the vessel base is an important factor in determining the fluid flow and consequently the process efficiency when mixing, discharging, and cleaning.
  • Greaves can supply CIP cleaning systems as required.
  • Careful system design is crucial to ensure avoidance of traps, shadows and difficult edges which could compromise the effectiveness of cleaning.