You are on page 1of 2

Article on Double Isolation & Bleed Valve (DIB)

Nasir Muzaffar Kotriwala

Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Nottingham Malaysia, Broga Road, 43500 Semenyih, Selangor, Malaysia Email: ,

Ball valves for isolation applications often require a second pressure barrier operating independently of the primary pressure barrier. The need is often due

to operational safety requirements and service (gas service, zero leakage, cleanliness of the produced fluid, etc.). A valve with this independent second barrier is commonly referred to as Double Isolation and Bleed DIB differs significantly from Double Block and Bleed valves (DBB). (DIB).

According to Garza, Mechanical LeadStatic Equipment Engineering Group at ExxonMobil Development Company, many users have taken DBB as a generic

term, and tend to use it when they really imply (and the applicable specificationAPI 6D, Specification for Pipeline Valves, requires) the use of DIB. The key to understanding, according to Garza says, can be found in API 6D (2008 edition); it clarifies the distinction between a DBB and a DIB. API 6D defines a DBB as a "single valve with two seating surfaces that, in the closed position, provides a seal against pressure from both ends of the valve with a means of venting/bleeding the cavity between the seating

surfaces." The 2008 note points out that this valve does not provide positive double isolation when only one side is under pressure. By contrast, API 6D defines a DIB as a "single valve with two seating surfaces, each of which, in the closed position, provides a seal against pressure from a single source, with a means of venting/bleeding the cavity between the seating surfaces." The note adds that this feature can be provided in one direction or in both directions.

A DIB prevents a fluid from entering an area where work is being done. Both inline valves would be closed, then the bleeder would be opened. This facilitates the DIB to verify the primary seal by bleeding the cavity (the space between the upstream and downstream valves) between; if any fluid leaked past the first valve the bleeder would drain it off before it pressurized the cavity.

Furthermore, this serves to monitor that cavity for leakage. If the bleeder (which is smaller than the in-line valves and may, in fact, be a needle valve) were to be plugged the downstream valve would keep process fluid from getting past it. Hence, the second barrier is in place should the first barrier leak and flood the cavity between. Besides being used as a block valve where line maintenance is expected or common a DIB also has application in metering, particularly gas. The DIB design for metering service differs from the design feature for the former since the design for metering service application is driven mainly by the applications zero leakage requirement. A closed valve that is leaking slightly can create errors in metering.

1. Eii Valve Company. DBB or DIB. Available at: 2. Valve Magazine. True Meaning of Double Block and Bleed. Valve Manufacturers Association of America. Available at: