Large diameter rupture discs

Paul Boughton

Roger Bours reveals how the latest generation of rupture discs is proving popular at chemical processing plants.

Large capacity chemical processing plants require unique pressure relief solutions as part of their plant safety strategy. Using safety or pressure relief valves is often found to be impractical due to the limited availability of such reclosing devices in the required sizes and materials. Instead, plant safety personnel have traditionally relied on reverse-acting rupture discs to achieve the required performance characteristics and service life expectations. Historically, most of these reverse-acting rupture discs have assisted opening technologies, such as knife blades or a cutting edge.

Such assisted opening technologies have provided a viable alternative to pressure relief valves in these large discharge capacity applications, but they do have limitations. Performance issues can arise from corrosion of the knife blade welds and/or damage to the cutting edges. To guard against reduction in disc performance resulting from these issues Fike developed a new concept called G2 Technology, applied in the Atlas and Axius families of rupture discs.

Rupture discs manufactured with G2 Technology use sophisticated laser and mechanical scoring techniques to achieve accurate opening while eliminating technologies that can reduce the service life and reliability of the disc. G2 controls the set pressure through patented technology, while the score line providing the opening is created through non-work hardening technologies. This results in extended service life, higher allowed working pressures and improved cost of ownership to the industry users.

Having initially introduced the G2 technology with the Axius, Axius SC and Atlas product line, Fike has expanded the offering to include new, larger sizes. Nominal sizes 24in, 28in and 32in (DN600, DN700 and DN800) will be available in the first quarter of 2015, with further expansion of the size range coming soon after.

The expanded range will initially be available for gas and vapour applications in 316/316L stainless steel. The standard features offered will include non-fragmenting opening with an unequalled maximum allowed operating pressure up to 95% of the burst pressure. The clamping arrangement will be available for most of the standard flange connections applied in the industry. The expanded G2 rupture disc range will now allow for such users of large diameter rupture discs to consider substantial improvements in safety and cost of ownership.

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Roger Bours is director, Pressure Relief at Fike in Herentals, Belgium.

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