The new SPV directive (2014/29/EU) has been published and came into force on 20th April 2016 to replace directive 2009/105/EC.
- Simple pressure vessels are intended to contain air or nitrogen at a gauge pressure greater than 0.5 bar but less than or equal to 30 bar, and not intended to be exposed to heat.
- Simple pressure vessels must be manufactured in series production and be of welded steel or aluminum construction with a total pressure.volume (PS.V) product not exceeding 10,000 bar.litres.
- The minimum working temperature must be no lower than – 50 °C and the maximum working temperature must not be higher than 300 °C for steel and 100 °C for aluminium or aluminium alloy vessels.
- The vessel shall be made of either:
(i) a cylindrical part of circular cross-section closed by inwardly dished and/or flat ends which revolve around the same axis as the cylindrical part; or
(ii) two dished ends revolving around the same axis.
- All vessels whose PS.V is more than 50 bar.litres (category A in the UK Simple Pressure Vessels Regulations 2016) must meet the essential safety requirements outlined in Annex 1 of the Directive. They must have Notified Body acceptance, the CE mark and the other specified information shown on the vessel and be issued with appropriate instructions.
- All vessels whose PS.V is less than 50 bar.litres (category B in the UK Simple Pressure Vessels Regulations 2016) must be manufactured in accordance with engineering practice recognized as sound in an EEA State and bear the specified inscriptions (but not the CE mark).
Directive 2009/105/EC has now been replaced by directive 2014/29/EU. There is a two-year transition period (which ended on 20th April 2016), at which point all simple pressure vessels will need to conform to the new directive.
All declarations of conformity will need to be updated with the new reference number 2014/29/EU.
The Simple Pressure Vessels Directive is one of a series of measures intended to create a single European market in which the technical requirements for goods are identical.
The purpose of the SPVD is to provide for a legal structure whereby certain types of pressure vessel can be manufactured and sold throughout the European community without having to go through a local approval regime in every member state. The means by which this is achieved is to ensure common standards of safety for all such vessels sold within the European Economic Area. Manufacturers are therefore able to meet the requirements for approval in any member state of the EU, and do not have to repeat the process when selling goods in any other state.
In most cases, manufacturers will have their vessels approved in their home state. Manufacturers outside of the EU may also have approvals and test work undertaken at their own factory (and in many cases this is obligatory) but responsibility for compliance with the requirements of the directive will ultimately rest on the person responsible for placing the product on the market within the EU.
Definition and scope
Simple pressure vessels are intended to contain air or nitrogen at a gauge pressure greater than 0.5 bar but less than or equal to 30 bar and not intended to be exposed to heat. They must be manufactured in series production and be of welded steel or aluminium construction with a total pressure.volume product not exceeding 10,000 bar.litres.
The Directive categorizes vessels according to their stored energy, expressed in terms of the product of maximum working pressure in bar and its capacity in litres (PS.V). Different provisions apply to each category of vessel which fall into two main categories those whose PS.V is more than 50 bar.litres, and those whose PS.V is 50 bar.litres or less. The former, is then further divided into sub-categories depending on the PS.V value above 50 bar.litres.
Although the Directive applies to the vast majority of common pressure containers designed for containing air, the scope is actually very strictly defined. Included would be most compressor receivers, but any vessel not designed for air or nitrogen or not made of ordinary steel or aluminium is automatically excluded, as are any vessels with a design pressure greater than 30 bar or over a certain size.
Products falling outside the scope of the Simple Pressure Vessels Directive will almost certainly fall within the scope of the Pressure Equipment Directive.
The Directive applies to any Simple Pressure Vessels 'placed on the market' or 'brought into service' within the EU. This means that they explicitly apply to any vessel which is sold by one company to another, or to a private user, and they also apply to any vessel which is made or imported for the manufacturer/importer's own use.
Date of Application
The Directive required member states of the (then) EEC to introduce the requirements of the Directive from 1st July 1990. In practice, not all member states achieved this - in the UK, for instance, the Regulations implementing the Directive were brought into force on 31st December 1991 and transitional arrangements applied until 30th June 1992.
Categories of vessel
The Directive categorises vessels according to their stored energy, expressed in terms of the product of maximum working pressure in bar and its capacity in litres (PS.V). Different provisions apply to each category of vessel.
The 1st category (category A in the UK Simple Pressure Vessels Regulations 2016) consists of vessels whose PS.V is more than 50 bar.litres, and is divided into:
- Vessels whose PS.V is more than 3,000 but not more than 10,000 bar.litres
- Vessels whose PS.V is more than 200 but not more than 3,000 bar.litres
- Vessels whose PS.V is more than 50 but not more than 200 bar.litres
The 2nd category (category B in the UK Simple Pressure Vessels Regulations 2016) consists of vessels whose PS.V is 50 bar.litres or less.
The safety requirements for a vessel whose PS.V is more than 50 bar.litres (category A in the UK Simple Pressure Vessels Regulations 2016) are that:
- It meets the essential safety requirements outlined in Annex 1 of the Directive
- It has 'safety clearance' i.e. the successful involvement of a Notified Body
- The CE marking and the other specified information is shown on the vessel
- It is provided with appropriate instructions
The safety requirements for a vessel whose PS.V is less than 50 bar.litres (category B in the UK Simple Pressure Vessels Regulations 2016) are that:
- It is manufactured in accordance with engineering practice recognised as sound in an EEA State
- It bears the specified inscriptions (but not the CE marking)
Safety requirements for vessels whose PS.V is more than 50 bar.litres
1. The essential safety requirements
The essential safety requirements cover the design, manufacturing processes and material requirements. However, if the vessels are made in conformity with a harmonised European standard they will be presumed to comply with the essential requirements.
The relevant harmonised standards include:
- EN ISO 9606-1 Qualification testing of welders - Fusion welding - Part 1: Steels
- EN 10207 Steels for simple pressure vessels - Technical delivery requirements for plates, strips and bars
- EN ISO 15614-1 Specification and qualification of welding procedures for metallic materials - Welding procedure test - Part 1: Arc and gas welding of steels and arc welding of nickel and nickel alloys
- EN ISO 15614-2 Specification and qualification of welding procedures for metallic materials - Welding procedure test - Part 2: Arc welding of aluminium and its alloys
2. Notified Bodies
The involvement of a Notified Body is required for two purposes:
- The verification of the design and manufacture of a vessel by type approval or a design assessment
- Assessment of the manufacturer's arrangements for quality control of series production
Which of these functions the Notified Body has to perform, and in what way, is a function of the category of the vessel.
3. The CE mark and other specified markings
Vessels must be marked with:
- maximum working pressure in bar
- maximum working temperature in °C
- minimum working temperature in °C
- capacity of the vessel in litres
- name or mark of the manufacturer including their address
- type and serial or batch identification of the vessel
- the CE logo
- the last two digits of the year in which the CE marking was affixed
- the identification number of the Notified Body responsible for quality system assessment
Safety requirements for vessels whose PS.V is less than 50 bar.litres
Vessels whose PS.V is less than 50 bar.litres are subject to much less complex requirements than those above 50 bar.litres and do not require Notified Body involvement. Instead they must be manufactured in accordance with “engineering practice recognised as sound in an EEA state”. In practice, this means that the ASME codes or the former BS 5500 could be used, or any EU member state's pressure vessel code from before harmonisation under the Pressure Equipment Directive.
Vessels in this category must not carry the CE logo. However, they should carry all of the other information required for vessels above 50 bar.litres except for the notified body number. This status is analogous to the 'Sound Engineering Practice' category of the PED.
Relationship with PED
SPVD predates the Pressure Equipment Directive (PED) by a margin of several years. In practice, SPVD covers a small sub-set of equipment, which would otherwise be within the scope of PED; the structure and requirements of SPVD are similar to those of PED.
There has been discussion about the possibility of repealing SPVD and simply covering all pressure vessels under PED (unless they are subject to the Transportable Pressure Equipment Directive) but to date it has been concluded that this would simply be an administrative measure to suit the legislators and industry is comfortable with both directives continuing side by side for the foreseeable future.
Relationship with TPED
Pressure equipment (primarily vessels) which is intended to be transported by road, rail or air are the subject of a more specific directive, the Transportable Pressure Equipment Directive (TPED) and so are excluded from SPVD. The requirements of the TPED are more stringent, particularly with regard to Notified Body involvement
As with all CE marking directives, the actual requirements for any piece of equipment under the directive are complex and dependent on not only the design but also the type of user, the intended use and sometimes even what is claimed in the instructions or sales literature.
For further advice specific to your products, please contact us at Conformance and we will be pleased to discuss your needs. If you'd like us to prepare a no-obligation quote for assisting you with CE marking your products, please take a look at our page, which gives details of the information required in order to be able to give you an accurate idea of the costs and procedures involved.