Pressure vessel (T272)

Subject Eng

Welcome to the T272 pressure vessel experiment in the OpenEngineering Laboratory. In this activity, you will interact over the internet with the pressure vessel experiment shown above to investigate strain in a pressure vessel. You would need to book a slot in order to get access to the pressure vessel experiment. The equipment is located in our laboratory at Walton Hall.

Strain in a thick-walled pressure vessel

The experiment allows you to investigate strain in a thick walled cylindrical pressure vessel due to internal pressure. The pressure vessel experiment consists of an aluminium alloy cylinder with a 75 mm outside radius and 18.5 mm internal radius. The cylinder is filled with oil and the pressure in the cylinder can be controlled using an electric pump controlled by the remote web interface.

The pressure vessel has been manufactured with 13 strain gauges attached at different locations and orientations, to measure the distribution of hoop and longitudinal strain in the cylinder wall.

In this experiment, you will perform two activities. First you will investigate strain gauge linearity, by measuring the strain at a point in the pressure vessel for a number of different pressure values. Second, you will perform an experiment to investigate the distribution of strain through the thickness of the pressure vessel wall for a particular pressure value. You will also compare your experimental results with the values predicted by the thick-walled pressure vessel theory.

The link to the booking system is below.

Please be aware that all bookings are in UK local time.


The OEL pressure vessel experiment is now available for students to use. The experiment is working correctly but you may experience a couple of minor issues when using the controls:

  1. If the motor does not start turning when you set the motor control switch to the forward direction (‘Fwd’), please wait a few seconds then set the control switch back to the ‘Off’ position and select ‘Fwd’ again. This should resolve the problem.
  2. It may not be possible to reduce the pressure down to 0 MN m–2 as instructed in the activity guide. If you experience this problem you should set the pressure to the minimum possible value (typically about 0.1 MN m–2) and make a note of this value when you record the data.

It is recommended you check the connection to the laboratory in good time before you attempt an experiment. This is particularly important if, for example, you change equipment, browser, location, or are accessing through a corporate network. To check your connection to the laboratory, please visit this link using the computer, browser, and network you intend using.

Please note

Recent changes to the Firefox and Chrome browsers to prevent nuisance advertisements mean that sound has to be turned off by default, otherwise the video content will not load automatically. Both sound and vision are seen as important to the laboratory experience, so we recommend that you turn up the volume once you have entered an experiment. You will find the Volume control at the bottom right of the Video panel.

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