Support Types of Vessels


1- Vertical Equipment


  • Application: Small vertical drums to very large vessels and spheres up to 80 feet in diameter such as Spherical Pressurized Storage Tanks

  • The maximum ratio of support leg length to drum diameter is typically 2:1.
  • Cross bracing between the legs is typically used to help absorb wind or earthquake loads, specially for leg height more than 7 ft.

  • More common in chemical industry


  • Application: Small to medium diameter Vertical Vessel (1 to 10 ft.)
  • Light weight to heavy weight Application
  • Reliable support
  • Height-to-diameter ratios in the range of 2:1 to 5:1.
  • The bolt holes are often slotted to permit free radial thermal expansion of the drum


  • Application: Tall Tower
  • A support skirt is a cylindrical/ conical shell section that is welded either to the lower portion of the vessel shell or to the bottom head (for cylindrical vessels).

  • Skirts are welded to the vessel near the mid-plane of the shell.
  • It is normally not necessary for the skirt bolt holes to be slotted
  • The skirt is normally long enough to provide enough flexibility so that radial thermal expansion of the shell does not cause high thermal stresses at its junction with the skirt

  • More common in refinery industry

2- Horizontal Equipment


  • One saddle support is normally fixed or anchored to its foundation. The other support is normally free to permit unrestrained longitudinal thermal expansion of the drum

  • Number of Saddles: 2

Angle/ Nothing:

  • Buried pressure vessels may be supported with two longitudinal angles to prevent from additional rotation during installation


  • It is not common but horizontal vessels may be supported with 4 legs

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