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Types of pressure relief valves

Pressure relief valves are commonly used for protection of equipments against internal over pressure. Following are the main relief valve types commonly used in the industry. Before getting into the relief valve types, some terms need to be described. Superimposed back pressure Superimposed back pressure is the static backpressure that exists on the outlet of the pressure relief valve, when the valve is closed. This pressure can be constant or variable depending on the conditions in the flare system before the relief valve can discharge. Built-up back pressure Built-up back pressure is the backpressure generated due to pressure losses at the outlet of an open relief valve when it is discharging. This pressure depends on the downstream pressure in the flare header to which the relief valve is discharging and the relieving flowrate which is being discharged. When the relief valve is discharging, effects of superimposed and built-up back pressure exist together and felt as the combined back pressure. Conventional pressure relief valves (PRVs) Operational characteristics of this pressure relief valve are directly affected by back pressure changes. For conventional safety relief valve, only the superimposed back pressure affects the opening characteristic and set pressure value, but the combined back pressure (superimposed backpressure plus built up backpressure) affects the blowdown characteristic and re-seat pressure value. A conventional pressure relief valve is not used when the built-up backpressure is greater than 10% of the set pressure at 10% overpressure. A higher maximum allowable built-up backpressure may be used for overpressure greater than 10%. Advantages of conventional relief valves are reliability and versatility. These relief valves are most reliable when sized properly and can be used in a wide range of services. Disadvantage of these relief valves is the effect of backpressure on the relieving pressure of valve and hence pressure accumulation in the protected equipment. Also for high built up backpressure values generated by higher pressure loss in the relief valve discharge line, chattering can occur in these relief valves. Balanced Bellows relief valve Effect of back pressure on the operational characteristics of the valve is minimized by incorporating bellows. The bellows encircle an area equal to the inlet orifice area. This area is maintained free from the effect of back pressure from the discharge side of the relief valve. The

space enclosed by bellows is freely vented to air. Thus the opposing pressure on the inlet fluid is generated by the spring alone without contribution from any sort of backpressure. For these relief valves allowable back pressure is 10 – 50% of the set pressure. Advantage of using balanced bellows relief valves is no effect of back pressure on the relieving pressure and pressure accumulation. The spring is isolated from discharge fluid from the bellows, hence risk of corrosion mitigated. These relief valves get special consideration when there is high combined backpressure on the relief valve. Disadvantage can be said to be the susceptibility of bellows to fatigue and failure and possibility of release of flammable or toxic process fluids being discharged to atmosphere through bellows vent. Pilot operated relief valve In pilot operated setup, main relief is combined with and controlled by a smaller self actuated pilot valve. This relief valve valve uses the process fluid itself, circulated through a pilot valve, to apply the closing force on the safety valve disc. The pilot valve is itself a small safety valve with a spring. The main valve does not have a spring but is controlled by the process fluid from pilot valve. This arrangement allows operation of pilot operated valves with a very narrow margin between set pressure of the relief valve and operating pressure of the protected equipment. Hence these relief valves are particularly used for services where relief valve inlet line pressure drop is high (typically higher than 3% of set point) or when back pressure is high. Allowable back pressure is typically more than 50% of the set pressure. Disadvantage of using pilot operated relief valves can be blockage of the pilot valve inlet outlet tubing by foreign matter such as hydrate, ice, wax etc. Vacuum relief This valve is designed to admit external fluid to prevent an excessive internal vacuum.

Difference between Pressure Safety Valve and Pressure Relief Valve
‘Pressure Safety Valve’ and ‘Pressure Relief Valve’ are commonly used terms to identify pressure relief devices on a vessel. Frequently these terms are used interchangeably and it may entirely depend on a particular project or company standards to identify all the pressure relief devices either as ‘safety valves’ or as ‘relief valves’ or sometimes even as ‘safety relief valves’. Although freely used interchangeably, these terms differ in the following aspect,

API 527 Seat Tightness of Pressure Relief Valves API 2000 Venting Atmospheric and Low-Pressure Storage Tanks . but gradual if the pressure is increased gradually.Pressure Relief Valve – is the term used to describe relief device on a liquid filled vessel. A relief valve is commonly used to protect pressure vessels against damage from overpressure. the valve opens almost fully. Rupture devices are also sometimes used instead of pressure relief valves. When the set pressure of the valve is reached. For such a valve the opening is proportional to increase in the vessel pressure. For such a valve the opening is sudden. Hence the opening of valve is not sudden. Standards and codes for relief devices on pressure vessels Following codes and standards are usually followed in the petroleum industry for design of pressure relief valves and other pressure relief devices. API RP 520 Part I Sizing and Selection of Pressure-Relieving Devices (Pressure Safety Valves -PSVs or Pressure Relief Valves – PRVs) in Refineries API RP 520 Part II Installation of Pressure-Relieving Devices (Pressure Safety Valves -PSVs or Pressure Relief Valves – PRVs) in Refineries API RP 521 Pressure relieving and depressuring systems API 526 Flanged Steel Pressure Relief Valves. Pressure Safety Valve – is the term used to describe relief device on a compressible fluid or gas filled vessel.

columns and certain piping segments etc. Some common causes of over pressure which are considered for pressure relief valve sizing are described in this article. For this purpose usually a hydraulic calculation should be done for PRV discharge line to determine the back pressure at the relief valve. heat exchanger etc). The over pressure cause corresponding to this flowrate is then known to be the governing case for pressure relief valve sizing. section VIII ASME B31. relieving flowrates are calculated and the maximum of these flowrates is selected for PRV sizing. The pressure relief valve set point should be such that relief valve will open before the maximum allowable accumulated pressure (MAWP) is reached in the vessel. thus protecting the equipment from damage. However combination of a variety of causes may lead to over pressure in these equipments which may exceed the maximum allowable working pressure (MAWP) value. absence of an outlet for this fluid results in fluid accumulation and build-up of pressure.5 Flanges & Flanged Fittings Over pressure cases for Pressure Relief Valve (PRV) sizing Separator vessels. storage tanks. . are designed to handle certain operating pressure. Pressure Relief valves (PRV) are used to relieve the pressure in these equipments before it can cross the maximum allowable working pressure.ASME section I.3 Petroleum Refinery Piping ASME B16. Blocked discharge case This case refers to closure of a valve on the outlet of equipment (vessel. which on addition to the pressure drop across pressure relief valve gives the pressure accumulation the equipment. If the fluid still continues to flow into the equipment. EnggCyclopedia’s PRV sizing calculator for blocked liquid discharge and for blocked gas discharge can be used to design a pressure relief valve for these scenarios. This pressure build-up can go as high as the design pressure of upstream pumps or compressors combined with the height of the liquid column upstream. For several possible causes of over pressure in the vessel. The PRV size is based on a minimum relieving flowrate which can prevent the build up of pressure in the protected equipment from exceeding the MAWP limit. The normal inlet flow in this case in this case should be considered as the minimum relieving flowrate. heat exchangers.

Resulting rise in process temperature can cause over pressure in the protected equipment. Heat exchanger tube rupture The tubes in a heat exchanger are prone to failure due to variety of reasons such as corrosion.Inadvertent opening of upstream valves Inadvertent opening of valves located at high pressure sources upstream to the protected equipment can result in over pressure in the equipment. can result in over pressure in related equipments. Utility failure Failure of utilities such as electricity. independently available utility alternatives can lower the risk of possible over pressure and should be given consideration at the design stage. since a pressure relief valve is usually not able to protect equipment against ‘water hammer’ where pressure can rise to many multiples of operating pressure in matter of milliseconds. fuel. Transient pressure surge Possibility of ‘water hammer’ in a liquid filled system has to be carefully evaluated. cooling water etc. In such a case flow of fluid from high pressure side of the exchanger to low pressure side causes overpressure on the low pressure side of the exchanger. vibration. Partial failure In case one source of utility fails but another independent source is still available in parallel to bear complete or part of the extra load caused by partial utility failure. . For instance. Thus. the partially available utility can be considered to evaluate possible over pressure in the protected equipment. the ability of the low pressure side to absorb this overpressure has to be examined and requirement of a relief valve has to be reviewed. EnggCyclopedia’s PRV sizing calculator for liquid filled vessel and for gas filled vessel can be used in this case for design of the PRV. Fire case Equipment exposed to plant fire has a risk of overpressure in case of fire. electricity (for air cooler fans or cooling water circulation pumps) or cooling water failure may result in failure of heat exchangers to meet the duty. possibility of utility failure should be carefully considered. instrument air. steam. When analyzing the possibility of over pressure in equipment. resulting from fluid expansion or vaporisation. PRV takes much longer time to respond to such overpressure creating possibility of equipment damage. In this case. This flow can drive the equipment pressure upto design pressure of the upstream high pressure source. The extra flow coming as a result of valve opening should be relieved in this case to protect the equipment. thermal shock etc.

availability of materials and thickness of material used usually leads to a vessel exceeds the minimum requirements imposed by design pressure. This design pressure value is used to determine the minimum thickness for all vessel elements. For such a vessel the MAWP is greater than design pressure. Process change / Reaction change In some cases. a significant change in operating process parameters (such as temperature of a cryogenic fluid) can change making the equipment susceptible to damage (temperature of equipment drops below minimum design metal temperature or MDMT).Pulsation dampener has to be used in this case as a protection measure. For reacting systems. . ‘steam hammer’ can occur similar to the water hammer. by applying vessel design rules to the design pressure. These possibilities have to be carefully examined for designing the relief valves. Set Pressure Set pressure of a relieving device on a pressure vessel is the pressure when the relieving device just starts to open. MAWP is equal to the design pressure. Key pressure values for relief devices on vessels Maximum Operating Pressure This is the maximum value of pressure. MAWP has to be at the least equal to design pressure. MAWP is commonly calculated for a fabricated vessel. In case of systems filled with gases. design pressure value should be used as a conservative replacement for MAWP. Design pressure is less than or equal to the Maximum Allowable Working Pressure (MAWP). For a vessel which only meets the minimum requirements imposed by design pressure. During fabrication. reactions can shift equilibrium resulting in excess gas or excess heat thus causing over pressure. Maximum Allowable Working Pressure (MAWP) The maximum allowable working pressure is the highest pressure that the vessel can withstand based on actual nominal vessel thickness excluding the allowances provided for corrosion and loadings other than pressure. When MAWP value for a fabricated value is not available. Design Pressure Design pressure for a vessel is taken by adding a suitable margin to the maximum possible pressure during normal operation. expected during normal operating of the vessel.

This pressure value is lower then the set pressure and is commonly reported as a percentage of the set pressure value. Note that they may differ slightly from one project to another.Pressure Accumulation Maximum allowable accumulated pressure is specified for a vessel protected by a pressure relief device. The difference is that overpressure is reported as a percentage of the set pressure of relieving device. Blowdown Blowdown is the pressure when the pressure relief valve closes this discontinuing the relieving flow. then overpressure becomes equal to pressure accumulation. This pressure is commonly expressed as a percentage of Maximum Allowable Working Pressure (MAWP). It is the maximum allowable pressure during discharge from the relieving device. This percentage is determined by the governing case for opening of the relief valve protecting the vessel. vessel protected for fire case has a maximum allowable accumulated pressure which is 121% of the MAWP. Pressure Relief Valve Vacuum Relief Valve . If the relieving device is set to open at Maximum Allowable Working Pressure (MAWP). Overpressure Overpressure is similar to pressure accumulation value described above. Safety Valves P&ID Symbols Commonly used P&ID symbols (Piping and Instrumentation Diagram symbols) for safety valves. For instance.

Breathing Valve or Pressure / Vacuum Relief Valve Pressure Rupture Disc Vacuum Rupture Disc .

For protecting equipments that are not spared and equipments that cannot be isolated without disrupting the plant / unit a spare safety valve is recommended to be provided as shown in the sample drawing. Generally. Block valves should be provided upstream and downstream of the safety valves in case of shutdown and maintenance. the safety valve inlet / outlet nozzles are smaller than the corresponding line sizes. This change in diameter should be clearly indicated in the P&ID with reducer and expander. First of all a proper safety valve symbol should be selected to represent the control valve as per the project standards. 4.Pressure Safety Valves – Typical P&ID arrangement 1. Normally provision is made to keep these valves locked or . The sample drawing presented here represents a typical arrangement generally used to represent safety valves or relief valves on P&ID. 2. 3.

On an event which causes the pressure in a system or vessel to increase to a dangerous level. 7. For PSVs discharging to atmosphere. 6. its service (relief from where) . All the guidelines given here are very general and may be modified as per specific requirements of any particular project. General Data: . When a PSV is connected to the flare system. the user has to provide the Manufacturer with a specification sheet (datasheet) that specifies all necessary information for that relief valve. for closed/open drain systems or to atmosphere at a safe location for non-hazardous service. A vent valve is normally provided between the safety valve and upstream block valve. TSV) play an important role in ensuring safety in operation of a processing facility/plant. The spare safety valve is kept locked or sealed closed.Quantity of relief valve 2. 9. When ordering a safety relief valve. bypass should provided for safety valves for process or start-up requirements. as indicated in the sample drawing. Type. 8.Tag name. the pressure relief valve may be the ultimate device to prevent a catastrophic failure. Information of protected equipment by the relief valve . Typical Safety Relief Valve Datasheet A safety relief valve or pressure relief valve is a spring loaded valve that may be used as either a safety or relief valve depending on the application. inlet line. P&ID Number. 5. It serves as a protective device to protect a pressurized vessel or system from an over pressure event. The safety relief valves (PSV. Depending on the service handled. this is not required. the discharge from PSV can be either routed to flare system for hydrocarbon service. as indicated in the sample drawing. outlet line. the inlet line piping should be equipped with a spool piece to facilitate dismantling. Normally. (API RP 520).sealed open. number and size of bypass valves will depend on the project standards. The datasheet of a safety relief valve should include the following items: 1. The inlet lines to the safety valves are always sloped toward to protected equipment and the outlet lines from the safety valves are always sloped towards the flare header / the knock out drum or the safe location. 10.

tube rupture.Maximum operating temperature and relief temperature . In petroleum industry. 8. the API RP 520 “Design and Installation of pressure relieving system in refineries” are normally applied. Information of any accessories of the valve such as cap. bellows.Safe location for discharge 3. valve failure. power failure.Type of valve: conventional (whose operational characteristics are directly affected by change in the back pressure) or balanced type (that incorporate a bellows for minimizing the effect of back pressure on the operational characteristics of the valve) . etc. set pressure .Allowable pressure accumulation as % of design pressure . etc. flame arrester.Maximum relief pressure . 7. The standards applied for safety relief valve design and selection The standard applied for design of valve shall be specified in the specification.Maximum operating pressure. bonnet.Type of valve nozzle. 4. Type of safety relief valve . rupture disc.Maximum backpressure seen by the relief valve when discharging 5. disc. Notes: any note or specific requirement . lifting lever. spring. The governing case for relief valves can normally be one of the following: fire. Material of the valve This section shows the material selection of each component of the valve such as seat. 6. thermal expansion.Application of the valve: for safety (normally used with compressible fluids) or relief (primarily used with incompressible fluids) . etc. etc. viscosity at relief temperature. blocked/closed outlet. The governing case for relief valve design is the case which needs the highest orifice size of the relief valve.Overpressure in % of set pressure ..Fluid phase.Min/max Design pressure and temperature . bonnet etc. capacity. Process conditions for the relief valve This section of the datasheet shows all necessary information of fluid and system conditions that are related to design and operation of the relief valve . state. .


central control room. SER – Sequence of Events Recorder : A facility provided by ICSS in order to identify and record the time of all events in any part of the system (controllers) of all subsystems.e. Its function is to mitigate against the effects of any fire and/or gas releases in order to protect personnel. . PSS – Process Safety System : The PSS forms part of the facility’s safety systems. The ESD system forms part of the facility’s safety systems. The F&G system will continuously monitor the facilities and initiate the protective actions as defined in the safety philosophies. ESD – Emergency Shutdown System. Upon command. HMI – Human Machine Interface : the HMI shall provide the facility for the operator to control and monitor the plant via mimic displays. configuration and diagnostic. trend displays and operstor commands. alarms.PLC. EWS – Engineering Work Station: Engineering Work Station allows its control system’s (DCS. It shall ensure a safe.Programmable Logic Controller DCS/PLC: DCS (Distributed Control System) / PLC (Programmable Logic Controller) in a automated process/manufacturing plant is a window for plant operator to control. the environment and the asset. FGS – Fire and Gas System – The F&G detection and protection system forms part of the facility’s safety systems. the environment and the asset. It also performs the safety interlocks of the plant. monitor the entire plant from a common place i. reliable and efficient control and monitoring of the process plant and utilities. ICSS – Integrated Control & Safety System I/O – Input/Output SOE – Sequence Of Events.Commonly used Instrumentation abbreviations DCS . thus protecting personnel.Distributed Control System PLC . PCS – Process Control System : The PCS system forms part of facility’s control systems. Its prime function is to shutdown the facilities to a safe state in case of an emergency situation. etc) maintenance. it shall automatically carry out the safe shutdown of particular units or equipment as defined by the safety philosophies.

“console for hydrogen units”). complete with input and output equipment. Logic Solver function and Final Element function for the purpose of preventing or mitigating Hazardous Situations. TCP/IP – Transfer Control Protocol / Internet Protocol : The complete and (for internet use) necessary protocol that allows computers to communicate irrespective of brand. electronic and/or programmable electronic Logic Solver component of the Instrumented Protective Function.g. pointing devices and switches which are allocated to a defined part of the plant (e. speed or operating system. Operator console – A group of equipment comprising VDU screens. MMS – Machine Monitoring System MCC – Motor Control Centre . type.IPF – Instrumented Protective Function : A function comprising the Initiator function. used to continually collect data from the sensors in the field. Trip – An Instrumented Protective Function action to bring the Final Element(s) to a safe state. IPS – Instrumented Protective System : The electromechanical. MTBF – Mean Time Between Failures : MTBF ratings are measured in hours or years and indicate the reliability of equipment. keyboards. and process and send the information to a centralised Master Station. RTU – Remote Terminal Units (RTUs). Calculated by dividing the total unit operating hours accrued in a period by the number of unit failures that occurred during the same period. SCADA – Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) is used to monitor and control remote plant and equipment.

liquid levels. These valves are often used for liquid level control and certain flow control operations requiring constant gain. pressure. This can also observed in the following figure. • • The linear flow characteristic has a constant slope. more valve control elements may also be present in certain cases.Control Valves Control valves are elements used in process control loops to adjust process variables such as flow. meaning that valves of this type have constant gain through complete range of flows. CONTROL VALVE CHARACTERISTICS The relationship between the control valve opening (also known as ‘valve travel’) and the flow through valve is known as the flow characteristic of that valve. Control valves essentially consist of a valve and an actuator. These valves achieve the desired controlling effect essentially by throttling the flow. . This means the change in flow proportional to the flow just before the incremental valve opening is performed. temperature etc. Equal percentage valves are known by that name because whenever the valve opening is changed. An inherent flow characteristic is the relation between valve opening and flow under constant pressure conditions. the percentage change in flow is equal to percentage change in the valve opening. The gain of a valve is defined as the change in flow per unit % change in the valve opening.

• GENE RAL CATAGORIES Valves can be broadly categorized based on the type of stem movement – linear or rotary type. Modified parabolic valves lie somewhere between the linear valves and equal percentage valves. These valves give a large increment in flow for relatively smaller valve opening. • Quick opening type of valves does not have a specific mathematical definition. As can be observed in the following figure.This type of valves is commonly used for pressure control applications. as can be observed in the following figure. These valves usually find use for on-off service applications. . they can be used for throttling at low flow levels and have almost linear characteristics at higher flows. They can be considered for applications where high variations in pressure drop are expected.

Globe Valves: Globe valves are most commonly used liner stem motion type control valves. The flow control for this type of valves is achieved by motion of a plug as shown in the following figure. The faces of this disc can be either parallel or the disc can be wedge shaped Butterfly Valves: Butterfly valves are known for their compact size and low initial costs. as can be seen in the following figure. Gate valve: Gate valves use linear type of stem motion for opening and closing of valve. This valve belongs to the rotary stem motion type of valves. The shape and type of the plus also determines the valve flow characteristics. These valves use discs as closure member. which is primarily due to the small wafer and body size of these valves and the simplicity of this design. .

This type gets the name from the shape of the closure member. These valves rotary stem motion. the valve is known as full bore valve. rangeability and recovery are four important elements for selection of a control . If this diameter is less than that of the connecting pipe. If the diameter of the cylindrical bore is same as that of the connecting pipe. Sizing of Control Valves The orifices of control valves can be adjusted to control the flow through them. the valve is known venturi style valve. This spherical closure member has to be rotated by 90 degrees to bring the valve from fully closed position to fully open position.Ball Valves: These valves use a spherical shaped closure member with a cylindrical bore through the member for passage of flow. Control valve sizing and selection is based on a combination of theory and empirical data. The capacity. characteristic.

. For these cases a modified liquid equation for Cv calculation is given as. The required Cv for a valve can thus be calculated based on flow and pressure conditions. Many flow cases may often fall outside the range of the basic liquid equation mentioned above for Cv calculation. This Cv should then be matched to that of the available valves and a suitable valve should be selected so that the required Cv falls between 70% to 90% of the selected valves Cv capability. The capacity of a control valve is represented as. Hence. The basic equation mentioned above for liquids is given below in the modified form for gases. Cd = Cv / d2 (d being the diameter of the valve) Valve characteristic is the relation between valve opening (valve travel) and flow through the valve. The possibility of maximum and minimum process flows has also to be taken into consideration while selecting the valve.valve. This coefficient Cv is related to the flow and pressure conditions by the following basic liquid equation. Cv is known as flow coefficient or orifice coefficient of a valve.

Recovery is refers to the pressure recovery from the low pressure at vena contracta to the valve outlet. Control Valves – Typical P&ID arrangement 1. the control valve size is smaller than the corresponding line size. control valves may be represented by globe or gate valves. Pressure recovery is high for well streamlined valves. 2. The sample drawing presented here represents a typical arrangement generally used to represent control valves on P&ID. For control valves bigger than a certain size. provision of handwheel is preferred. Block valves should be provided upstream and downstream of the control valves in case of shutdown and maintenance. either a bypass or a handwheel is provided for control valves which are under continuous service. then additional drain valve is required between the control valve and downstream block valve as shown in the sample drawing. 6. Depending on the projects legend sheets. If the control valve is of ‘Fail Close’ or ‘Fail in Position’ type. Generally. If the control valve is of ‘Fail Open’ type. This change in diameter should be clearly indicated in the P&ID with reducer and expander. A drain valve is normally provided between the control valve and upstream block valve. this drain valve is sufficient to drain the piping segment. bypass or handwheel is not required. 5. Here a globe valve symbol is used. If two or more control valves are installed in parallel. The choice between providing either a bypass or a handwheel for the control valve is made based on the size of the control valve. . For control valves smaller than certain size. Normally. 3. 4.Rangeability of valve can be defined as the ratio of maximum to minimum flow over which good control can be achieved by using the valve. First of all a proper valve symbol should be selected to represent the control valve as per the project standards.

Normally globe valve is selected as the bypass valve on the control valve as it allows better control with opening. • The Cv of a valve is defined as the quantity of water. tightness class. Flow Co-efficient of a Valve Flow Co-efficient of a Valve is the flow capacity of a valve. 9. at 60 °F. Additional details such as failure position. that will flow through the valve at a specified travel with a pressure drop of 1 psi.provision of bypass with block valves is preferred. or disc is changed by the force from the actuator.856 Cv. # rating etc. 8. The bubbles that are formed will implode immediately or shortly after leaving the . All the guidelines given here are very general and may be modified as per specific requirements of any particular project. which regulates the rate of fluid flow as the position of the valve plug. The Kv of a valve is defined as the quantity of water in m3/h. as per the project standards. commonly expressed by the Cv factor or Kv factor. For control valves on certain critical services. 10. Kv = 0. If the control valve is equipped with a handwheel. This limiting control valve size between handwheel and bypass is specific for a project and may vary from one project to another. a spare control valve may be installed on the bypass of main control valve. • • Cavitation Occurs in liquid service when the pressure in the valve body falls below the vapour pressure of the liquid. 7. are also indicated on the P&ID for control valves. at a temperature between 5 °C and 40 °C that will flow through the valve at a specified travel with a pressure drop of 1 bar. in US gal/min. then only the drain between control valve and upstream block valve is sufficient for draining by opening the control valve using handwheel. Commonly used terms for Control Valve Sizing Control Valve A Control Valve is a final control element.

due to the downstream pressure of the control valve recovering to rise above the liquid vapour pressure. Inherent linear characteristic Inherent linear characteristic of a valve is a characteristic whereby equal increments of relative travel yield equal increments of relative flow coefficient. owing to the fact that the downstream pressure of the control valve is at or below the liquid vapour pressure.valve. Inherent equal percentage characteristic Inherent equal percentage characteristic of a valve is a characteristic whereby equal increments of relative travel yield equal percentage changes of the relative flow coefficient. when the pressure in the valve body falls below the liquid vapour pressure and when the bubbles thus formed remain as vapour in the fluid. Control Valve Authority Control Valve Authority is the ratio between the pressure drop across the control valve at a certain relative travel to the pressure drop across the control valve in its fully closed position. for liquids only. Flashing Occurs. Choked Flow Occurs for an incompressible or compressible fluids when the fluid velocity at the vena contracta reaches sonic velocity. .