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What Are the Applications for Pressure Vessels in Power Generation?

Pressure vessels work hand in hand with heat exchangers, especially where steam, oil, and gas are involved. Applications include:

  • Boiler drums
  • High-pressure containment systems
  • Steam generation vessels

Nuclear, hydroelectric, geothermal, steam, biomass, and other types of power generators use pressure vessels at many points of the process. The purpose is to maintain liquids and gases within safe operating ranges. Often, pressure vessels play a pivotal role in heating or cooling steam to the appropriate temperature for various stages of energy generation.

Why Are Heat Exchangers Important in the Power Industry?

All power plants depend on heat dissipation or transfer for energy generation operations, even renewable energy systems. Some heat exchangers help cool turbine lubricating oils and others focus on managing steam temperatures efficiently. Common applications include condensers, coolers, heaters, boilers, reboilers, and evaporators.

At Hillman, we supply a large variety of non-ferrous metals for heat exchanger systems, including:

  • Shell-and-tube heat exchangers
  • Plate heat exchangers
  • Coil heat exchangers
  • Lube oil coolers and rotor air coolers
  • Gas coolers for electrolysis

Choosing the correct metal for each application is vital for worker safety, process efficiency, equipment durability, and system performance.

How Do Non-Ferrous Metals for Heat Exchanger Systems Compare?

In the power industry, alloy materials are popular due to their excellent temperature resistance and strength characteristics. There are many outstanding non-ferrous metals for pressure vessels and heat exchangers, such as:

  • Stainless steel (304/304 and 316/316L): High strength with reduced weight and wall thickness, plus better ductility and weldability than carbon steel
  • Specialty nickel alloys (Monel 400 and alloy 800T): Exceptional heat resistance, corrosion resistance, and thermal expansion protection
  • Copper-nickel alloys (C70600 and C71500): Superior corrosion resistance for seawater applications, along with high ductility and temperature resistance

Other non-ferrous metals, such as naval brass and copper, stand out because of their exceptional heat transfer profile.

How Can You Choose the Right Non-Ferrous Metals for Pressure Vessels?

At Hillman, we've been delivering precision metals that U.S. industries rely on for over a century. Take advantage of our extensive experience to find the ideal metal type, grade, thickness, form, and finish for your organization’s power generation operations. Contact us for detailed specs on non-ferrous metals for heat exchanger and pressure vessel components.

Industries Served

We serve major producers in military and commercial shipbuilding, water purification, valves and condensers. As a reference, Hillman Inc. has supplied data on the many metal consuming industry services. 

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Our Processing Services

    • Our processing services include cutting to length, shearing, and sawing standard and custom shapes. We can also create custom shapes or semi-finished parts, ready for your final finishing and assembly. Working directly from your CAD/DXF file or drawing, we can water jet machine complex parts out of virtually any material.
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