Pressure Vessel & Other Equipment Design

From start to completion, your pressure vessel design and verification will be handled in the most professional manner by CDMS Engineering. We have 30 years’ worth of experience in dealing with pressure equipment ranging from pressure vessel design to heat exchanger design.

Starting with you initial enquiry, CDMS will guide you through the requirements of your job or project. We will always involve you in the decision making process with clear and concise job proposals at every stage of your project. We value regular communication with you and provide you with written project status reports to ensure you are fully briefed on the progress of your project.

Please send through your enquiry today via email to and we will call you to discuss your project.

Heat Exchanger Design

In addition to pressure vessels, CDMS is experienced in the structural and mechanical design, material specification and design verification of shell-and-tube heat exchangers including floating head and U-tube exchangers, plate exchangers and air-cooled condensers for heating and cooling of liquids and gases in industrial, oil & gas and mining applications. CDMS undertakes mechanical design of heat exchangers in compliance with Australian Standard AS 1210, TEMA and part UHX of ASME VIII Div. 1 for shell and tube heat exchangers. We also have experience in the design verification of plate heat exchangers to AS1210 and ASME VIII-1, as well as Air Cooled Heat Exchangers (ACHE) to API 660. Design of waste heat recovery coils and headers typically involve a combination of piping and vessel design standards, along with design and compliance to API 530 and API 560, both of which CDMS has routinely performed verifications. We have the in-house capability to design and shop detail the full spectrum of heat exchangers for all operating temperatures, pressures and configurations.

Regulatory Compliance

CDMS is ISO 9001:2015 certified in compliance with AS 3920.1 to provide services for the verification of pressure equipment. Design verification is required as part of design registration process with the Statutory Authorities in all states and territories where the equipment is to be operated.

CDMS can also assist with managing the process of design verification and registration with the applicable Statutory Authority, to provide operators with plant that is ready for install and item registration (where required). Where older designs are found to be unregistered or non-compliant, CDMS can assist with retrospective design, verification, and the successful registration of equipment.

Pressure Vessel Design

CDMS is renowned for its high quality and accurate pressure vessel design and design verification work. They provide services to local, national and international clients, owners, owner-operators, fabricators and consultants, all in strict accordance with our ISO 9001:2015 accredited Quality System.

CDMS undertakes design and calculations of pressure vessels in compliance with Australian Standard AS 1210 and other International Standards like ASME VIII Division 1 and 2 and BS PD5500. CDMS also has capability for Design by Analysis according to ASME VIII Div. 2 Part 5, using both linear and non-linear stress analysis. We have the in-house capability to design and shop detail the full spectrum of vessels for all operating temperatures, pressures and environmental conditions including offshore and on-ship.

Our company has a wealth of experience with the fabrication, lifting, transportation and installation of vessels and can provide relevant studies, calculations and methodology documents as required. Please refer to our page on specialist services for more information on third party verification, fitness-for-service assessments, re-rating of existing vessels and advanced Finite Element Analysis.

High Pressure Equipment

CDMS has experience in designing very high pressure equipment, up to 70 MPa design pressure with 1.3m internal diameter, which requires special consideration in material selection and fabrication process. Due to thicknesses required at these pressures, welding can be prohibitive and whole forgings are used where possible. Where welding is required, special weld procedures and material specifications are required to prevent cracking in the welds. Special consideration must be paid to deformation and flanged joints design in specifying of the appropriate gasket type to avoid leakage. CDMS also has experience in designing high pressure threaded connections.

Pressure Equipment FAQ

What types of registrations are required in Australia for pressure equipment?

There are two types of registration:
(1) design registration, which is a one-off process for every unique design.
(2) item (or plant) registration, which is the registration of actual plant as required by the regulations.

When does a pressure vessel need to be registered?

This is determined by Australian Standard AS 4343 Pressure equipment – Hazard levels which categorizes pressure equipment as hazard level A, B, C, D or E  which corresponds to high, medium, low, extra low and negligible hazard. Designs registration is required for hazard level A, B, C and D.  In most states plant registration is required for hazard level A, B and C.

What are the requirements of regulations for design registration?

Work Health and Safety (WHS) Regulations in Australia require that designs of pressure equipment categorised as hazard level A, B, C or D according to the criteria in Section 2.1 of AS 4343 Pressure equipment – Hazard levels must be registered with a WHS Regulator in a state or territory.
As part of the registration process, a pressure vessel design must be checked and verified by an independent design verifying body that the design complies with the original design code and/or Australian standard AS1210 Pressure vessels.
Designer, manufacturer, importer, owner or supplier can apply for a design registration number.

When design-registered equipment is altered in such a way that it constitutes a major change in its design, the design registration becomes invalid and a new design registration number must be obtained from WHS Regulator for the equipment. The person designing the alteration should carry out a risk assessment on the altered vessel and consider all hazards. For pressure equipment that has been altered, a verification statement is also required stating that the alterations comply with a published standard.

The design registration number obtained is used for item registration.

Does pressure piping require design registration?


Do small volume vessels require design registration?

Vessels greater than 0.05L in volume may require design registration depending on vessel contents (pressurising fluid) and design conditions.

Do non-metallic pressure vessel designs require registration?

Yes. Pressure vessels made of plastics, fibre-reinforced plastics, glass or other non-metallic materials with a hazard rating A, B, C and D in accordance with Australian Standard AS 4343 also require design registration in Australia.

What is the procedure of design registration?

Briefly, the following documents, as applicable, are prepared and submitted to WHS Regulator for approval and registration:
– an application form signed by applicant, designer and design verifier
– a design verification statement to the satisfaction of the WHS Regulator stating that the design of pressure vessel complies with the design code or Australian standards (AS1210, AS4343) and engineering principles used in the design
– a third party certified representational drawing of the pressure equipment
– determination of Hazard Level to AS4343
– AS/NZS ISO 9001 Certificate of design verifier
– a registration fee

What is the difference between a Designer and a Verifier?

The verifier and designer will both be experienced pressure vessel designers.  The designer will prepare the design so that it is safe considering not just design standards but also the arrangement of the design so it can be used and maintained safely.  The verifier will review the design and confirm it meets the agreed design standards.  The verifier will have no input into design decisions to ensure a truly independent review.

Do all pressure vessels need used in Australia to be designed in accordance with Australian Standards?

The Australian Standard AS 1210 Pressure Vessels provides a sound basis for pressure vessel supply and provides advantages over other standards over the life of the vessel.  It is not mandatory that pressure vessels are designed to this standard however where AS 1210 is not used a published international Standard or national Standard should be used.  For any pressure vessel the design and associated information must be provided in English.

Does the designer or the Verifier need to be Australian or based in Australia?

A designer statement must be made to the authority registering the design that the duties of the designer have been completed and this person needs to be within the jurisdiction of the authority registering the design.

In some states the verifier must reside within Australia.  Verifiers are expected to have sufficient knowledge of the regulations applicable in the state of design registration.

Who can apply to register designs?

This varies between state regulations but generally the pressure vessel designer, owner, manufacturer, importer or supplier can apply for design registration.  The verifier cannot be the applicant.

If a design is registered in one authority does it need to be registered in other states?

No. A pressure vessel design registration in any State will be recognised by all other States.

Do we need to stamp design registration number on vessel or a nameplate?

Per Australian codes, design registration number provided by WHS Regulator must be stamped on each vessel or etched on a nameplate that is permanently attached to the vessel.

Certification and registration of imported pressure equipment

Verification of the design of imported equipment is carried out in accordance with AS 3920 by a certified design verifying body such as CDMS Engineering.

Where disputes between the manufacturer and the design verifying body or the need for interpretations arise, the dispute or interpretation shall be referred to the WHS Regulator or to Standards Australia.

Certification by CDMS Engineering

After a design has been reviewed, subject to its compliance with the code requirements, a design verification certificate will be issued. Original copy of the certificate will be submitted to the WHS Regulator for registration and a copy of the certificate will be forwarded to the applicant for reference.


The details of the design in our possession are disclosed only to the regulatory authority, certifying body, or a person authorized by the owner of the design.

For further information . . .

Please email your specific questions about pressure vessel design registration to