Safeguarding high pressure reactors

Paul Boughton

Polyetheylene was first produced in the UK in the 1930s by heating ethylene gas at very high pressures to produce a white solid. Today’s production processes can be divided into two distinct ‘high-pressure’ and ‘low pressure’ operations to produce low-density polyetheylene (LDPE) and high-density polyetheylene (HDPE). Both production processes require specialist overpressure protection, but LDPE production is particularly dangerous due to the extreme pressures involved.

Rupture discs from Rembe protect a number of LDPE plants around the world. Rembe was recently approached a leading multinational company to protect its polymer plant in Belgium and help to bring it in line with European regulations on pressure equipment.

“The challenge of high-pressure applications such as LDPE production is one that our engineers relish, and we are proud to be able to protect such processes,” said Claire Lloyd from Rembe.

For this project, Rembe used its expertise in high-pressure rupture disc applications to produce a batch of specially designed welded assemblies that have a much longer life span than such applications can usually expect.

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