Pressure Vessel Design And Manufacture

Reaction Vessel and Distillation Column for Chemoxy, Billingham

Customer: Chemoxy

Location: Billingham, UK


Chemoxy International are Europe’s largest independent contract manufacturers synthesizing specialty chemicals and solvents for blue chip brands across the continent. Eager to expand their Billingham plant, they commissioned us to build numerous pressure vessels for the new distillation plant.


To fit out their newly expanded plant, Chemoxy required numerous vessels including a scrubber vessel with column, reflux drum, separator and distillation column capable of accommodating the many and varied chemical processes needed to produce their specialist chemicals.


To increase the durability, lifespan and reduce corrosion of their new pressure vessels, the client specified the new items to be manufactured from 316L stainless for the vessels and duplex stainless steel (DSS) for the column instead of the carbon steel that was used to build the original vessels in the previous plant.

The units had to be completely re-designed and engineered to accommodate the changes in materials along with 3rd party verification. The internals were also updated along with providing new sensor brackets including nucleonics.

Duplex is notoriously difficult tough to form and weld, not least because improper technique can ruin ferrite to austenite ratios or lead to the formation of intermetallic phases, accelerating corrosion and increasing the risk of mechanical failure in the weld zone.

Stainless and duplex are prone to contamination from mild or carbon steel dust. This means that stainless pressure vessels can’t be fabricated in close proximity to other carbon equipment – and that great care has to be taken when welding; using power tools with mild steel bits or even drawing on stainless with pens or markers that have previously been used to draw on mild steel sheets can cause problems.


Glacier has its own large stainless-area segregate area and fully filtered clean room that can be used to fabricate exotic alloy pressure vessels in a controlled environment.

Our team of engineers are also well-versed in the need to protect exotic metals from contamination with mild or carbon steel dust - so manufacturing Chemoxy’s vessels to spec was well within our capabilities.

Once this was done, we set about engineering and manufacturing the vessels; taking care to ensure that the correct techniques and materials were used throughout. The column was also provided partially dressed in platforms and ladders to cut down on the cost associated with installing these elements in situ - Saving Chemoxy valuable time and money.

Once the vessels had been finished and inspected by our engineers, we shipped them to the client’s expanded site where they were erected and commissioned.


Chemoxy now have durable and resilient pressure vessels – effectively doubling the capacity of their Billingham plant and allowing them to manufacture speciality chemicals and cosmetic ingredients for clients all over the world.

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