Delaware Valley Steel is a lead steel distributor and processor located in the Philadelphia suburb of Upper Darby, PA area. We serve the tri-state region, but also offer national shipping options. We provide an array of products and services and are happy to answer any questions you may have. One of our specialties is PVQ steel plates.

We can both supply and process the PVQ plates for you. Check out our services to see just what our team of specialists can provide, or continue reading to learn more about what exactly PVQ steel plates are.

So- what is PVQ steel plate exactly? PVQ is an acronym for Pressure Vessel Quality. That means any steel plate using this designation is designed for use in pressure vessels.

These pressure vessels are normally some type of closed container meant to hold any gas or liquid that is held at a pressure much different than its surrounding ambient pressure. Certain industries are known to use pressure vessels including rotating machinery manufacturing and the power generation industry.


What Are PVQ Steel Plates Made Of?

By far, most PVQ plates are comprised of the carbon version, A516, or the alloy grade, A387. Delaware Valley Steel maintains a vast inventory of both of these grades. Some people use forgings that are similar in characteristics to these plate grades—SA105 and SA 182 F11 or F22.

A516 outsells A387 by a wide margin. It is far and away the most widely used PVQ grade. A516 is characterized by being easily formed, welded, and machined. In fact, it will display similar characteristics as A36 in these regards. A516 also has a much better grain structure than A36. We have found that many of our customers have eliminated any rejections for porosity by switching from A36 to A516. Over 1.5″ thick, A516 must be normalized to meet the specification requirements. This additional heat treating results in even further grain structure and requirement, and normally improved toughness.

The other big advantage of the A516 grades is they do not carry a heavy price premium to the common A36 structural grade.

A387, on the other hand, has a fair amount of chrome and molybdenum added, which makes machining, welding, and forming still straightforward. However, more care must be taken than in carbon grades. A387 is always normalized regardless of thickness. It is then either tempered or annealed, depending on the specification.


Benefits of Using PVQ Steel

It didn’t take engineers long to realize the advantages of using the PVQ grades not just in pressure vessels, but also in any other design requiring higher strengths, better “toughness” (as defined by Charpy V-Notch testing), and better grain structure resulting in superior Ultra Sound Testing results. These applications include turbine manufacturing, compressors, heat exchangers, and virtually hundreds of other applications. This is why Delaware Valley Steel carries A516 through 14″ thick, and A387 through 8″ thick.

Please contact us today with any questions regarding PVQ steel plate grades and how they can benefit your company. We have many customers that now specify A516 over A36 because of its superior grain structure and better physical strengths. We can burn all thicknesses to any shape or saw cut for flat bar applications. We look forward to assisting you with any of your PVQ steel plate requirements.

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