It could be argued that pressure equipment design is fully mature. Aside from placing increased attention on regions of localized stress, offered by Finite Element Analysis (FEA), there is little else that can be done, from a design standpoint, to reduce manufacturing costs of pressure equipment. This paper builds on previous work undertaken by the authors that questioned the use of weld efficiency based on partial and no volumetric inspection. It proposes a new class of pressure vessel where the fabricator has control over the weld efficiency factor, thus enabling the opportunity for reduction in pressure vessel costs for a certain range of products. This paper addresses three key topics:
1. The historical basis and justification for the use of weld efficiency factors;
2. The design principles behind the proposed new vessel class, and;
3. The advantages, conditions and challenges faced in implementing the new vessel class.
The intent of this paper is to explore the opportunity for an advancement in pressure equipment design and its fabrication.