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Design for Overpressure and Underpressure Protection

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Design for Overpressure and Underpressure Protection


SLIDE PRESENTATION
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Outline
Introduction

Reliefs

Runaways

Introduction Causes of Overpressure and Underpressure Reliefs Effluent Handling Systems for Reliefs Runaway Reactions

Safeguards

Overpressure Protection for Internal Fires and Explosions

For Further Information: Refer to the Appendix Supplied with this Presentation

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Causes of Overpressure
Operating Problem

Equipment Failure
Process Upset External Fire Utility Failures
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Causes of Underpressures
Operating Problem
Equipment Failure

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Presentation 1 of 3: Reliefs

Causes of Overpressure/Underpressure Presentation 1: Reliefs

Presentation 2: Runaways Presentation 3: Safeguards

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Pressure Relief Devices


Spring-Loaded Pressure Relief Valve
Rupture Disc Buckling Pin Miscellaneous Mechanical

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Spring-Loaded Pressure Relief Valve

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Rupture Disc

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Buckling Pin Relief Valve

Closed Pressure Below Set Pressure

Full Open Pressure at or Above Set Pressure

(Buckles in Milliseconds at a Precise Set Pressure)

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Simple Mechanical Pressure Relief

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Types of Spring-Loaded Pressure Reliefs


Safety Valves for Gases and Vapors
Relief Valves for Liquids Safety Relief Valves for Liquids and/or Gases

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Types of Safety Valves


Conventional
Balanced Bellows, and

Pilot-Operated

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Conventional Safety Valve

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Balanced Bellows Safety Valve

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Pilot-Operated Safety Valve

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Types of Relief Valves


Conventional
Balanced Bellows

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Types of Rupture Discs


Metal
Graphite

Composite
Others
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Rupture Disc and Pressure Relief Valve Combination

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Vacuum Relief Devices


Vacuum Relief Valves

Rupture Discs
Conservation Vents Manhole Lids Pressure Control
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Conservation Vent

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Pressure or Vacuum Control


Add Air or Nitrogen
Maintain Appropriately

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Relief Servicing
Inspection
Testing

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Relief Discharges
To Atmosphere
Prevented

Effluent System

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Effluent Systems
Knock-Out Drum
Catch Tank

Cyclone Separator

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Effluent System (continued)


Condenser
Quench Tank

Scrubber
Flares/Incinerators
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Effluent Handling System

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Presentation 2 of 3: Runaways

Causes of Overpressure/Underpressure Presentation 1: Reliefs

Presentation 2: Runaways Presentation 3: Safeguards

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Runaway Reaction
Temperature Increases
Reaction Rate Increases

Pressure Increases

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Causes of Runaway Reactions


Self-Heating Sleeper

Characteristics of Runaway
Tempered Gassy Hybrid
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Self-Heating Reaction
Loss of Cooling
Unexpected Addition of Heat Too Much Catalyst or Reactant

Operator Mistakes
Too Fast Addition of Catalyst or Reactant
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Sleeper Reactions
Reactants Added But Not Mixed (Error)
Reactants Accumulate

Agitation Started .. Too Late

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Tempered Reaction
Heat Removed by Evaporation
Heat Removal Maintains a Constant Temperature

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Gassy System
No Volatile Solvents
Gas is Reaction Product

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Hybrid System
Tempered
Gassy

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Reliefs for Runaway Reactions


Two Phase (or Three Phases: Liquid, Vapor, and Solid) Flow
Relief Area: 2 to 10 Times the Area of a Single Gaseous Phase

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Two Phase Flow

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Relief Valve Sizing Methodology


Special Calorimeter Data
Special Calculation Methods

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Characterization of Runaway Reactions


ARC
VSP

APTAC
PHI-TEC

RSST

Dewars

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Presentation 3 of 3: Safeguards

Causes of Overpressure/Underpressure Presentation 1: Reliefs

Presentation 2: Runaways Presentation 3: Safeguards

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Safeguards
Safety Interlocks
Safeguard Maintenance System

Short-Stopping

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Safety Interlocks
Agitator Not Working: Stop Monomer Feed and Add Full Cooling
Abnormal Temperature: Stop Monomer Feed and Add Full Cooling

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Safety Interlocks
(continued)

Abnormal Pressure: Stop Monomer Feed and Add Full Cooling


Abnormal Heat Balance: Stop Monomer Feed and Add Full Cooling Abnormal Conditions: Add Short-Stop

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Safeguard Maintenance System


Routine Maintenance
Management of Change

Mechanical Integrity Checks


Records
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Short-Stops to Stop Reaction


Add Reaction Stopper
Add Agitation with No Electrical Power

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Protection for Internal Fires and Explosions


Deflagrations Detonations

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Protection Methods for Internal Fires and Explosions


Deflagration Venting Deflagration Suppression Containment

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Protection Methods for Internal Fires and Explosions


(continued)

Reduction of Oxidant Reduction of Combustible Flame Front Isolation

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Protection Methods for Internal Fires and Explosions


(continued)

Spark Detection and Extinguishing Flame Detection and Extinguishing

Water Spray and Deluge Systems

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Deflagration Venting
Vent Area via NFPA 68
Vent Safely

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Vent of Gas Deflagration

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Vent of Dust Deflagration

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Deflagration Suppression System

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Containment
Prevent Rupture and Vessel Deformation
Prevent Rupture but Deform Vessel

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Reduction of Oxidant
Vacuum Purging
Pressure Purging

Sweep-Through Purging

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Reduction of Combustible
Dilution with Air
NFPA 69

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Flame Front Isolation

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Spark/Flame Detection and Extinguishing

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Water Spray or Deluge Systems

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Deluge System

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Conclusion

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End of Slide Presentation

Causes of Overpressure/Underpressure Presentation 1: Reliefs

Presentation 2: Runaways Presentation 3: Safeguards

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Design for Overpressure and Underpressure Protection


SLIDES WITH TEXT
Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

This presentation includes technical information concerning the design for overpressure and underpressure protection. The presentation is designed to help students and engineers to:

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Design for Overpressure and Underpressure Protection


Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

Understand the technologies, special engineering devices, and methods that are used for the protection against overpressure and underpressure (vacuum) incidents,

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Design for Overpressure and Underpressure Protection


Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

Understand the root causes of overpressure and underpressure incidents, and Design plants with the appropriate features to protect against overpressure and underpressure incidents.

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Six Sections
1. Introduction 2. Causes of Overpressure and Underpressure 3. Reliefs 4. Effluent Handling Systems for Reliefs 5. Runaway Reactions, and 6. Overpressure Protection for Internal Fires and Explosions
Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

This presentation is divided into six sections:

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Six Sections
1. Introduction 2. Causes of Overpressure and Underpressure 3. Reliefs 4. Effluent Handling Systems for Reliefs 5. Runaway Reactions, and 6. Overpressure Protection for Internal Fires and Explosions
Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

The Introduction button on your left will lead you to this introduction and an explaination of the Causes of Overpressure and Underpressure

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Six Sections
1. Introduction 2. Causes of Overpressure and Underpressure 3. Reliefs 4. Effluent Handling Systems for Reliefs 5. Runaway Reactions, and 6. Overpressure Protection for Internal Fires and Explosions
Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

The Reliefs Button sends you to Sections 3 and 4, covering Reliefs and Effluent Handling Systems for Reliefs

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Six Sections
1. Introduction 2. Causes of Overpressure and Underpressure 3. Reliefs 4. Effluent Handling Systems for Reliefs 5. Runaway Reactions, and 6. Overpressure Protection for Internal Fires and Explosions
Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

The Runaways Button leads to a discussion on Runaway Reactions, and . . .

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Six Sections
1. Introduction 2. Causes of Overpressure and Underpressure 3. Reliefs 4. Effluent Handling Systems for Reliefs 5. Runaway Reactions, and 6. Overpressure Protection for Internal Fires and Explosions
Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

The Safeguards Button will take you to a section on Overpressure Protection fot Internal Fires and Explosions

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Appendix Contains Detailed Information

Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

This design package includes an appendix with detailed information for each of the sections of this presentation. The appendix also includes an extensive list of relevant references.

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Causes of Overpressure
Operating Problem

Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

The major causes of overpressure include: Operating problems or mistakes such as an operator mistakenly opening or closing a valve to cause the vessel or system pressure to increase. An operator, for example, may adjust a steam regulator to give pressures exceeding the maximum allowable working pressure (MAWP) of a steam jacket.

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Causes of Overpressure
Operating Problem

Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

Although the set pressure is usually at the MAWP, the design safety factors should protect the vessel for higher pressures; a vessel fails when the pressure is typically several times the MAWP.

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Causes of Overpressure
Operating Problem

Equipment Failure

Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

Equipment failures; for example a heat exchanger tube rupture that increases the shell side pressure beyond the MAWP. Although the set pressure is usually the MAWP, the design safety factors should protect the vessel for higher pressures; a vessel fails when the pressure is typically several times the MAWP.

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Causes of Overpressure
Operating Problem

Equipment Failure
Process Upset External Fire Utility Failures
Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards Process upset; for example a runaway reaction causing high temperatures and pressures. External heating, such as, a fire that heats the contents of a vessel giving high vapor pressures, and Utility failures, such as the loss of cooling or the loss of agitation causing a runaway reaction.

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Causes of Underpressures

Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

The causes of underpressure or the inadvertent creation of a vacuum are usually due to operating problems or equipment failures.

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Causes of Underpressures
Operating Problem

Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

Operating problems include mistakes such as pumping liquid out of a closed system, or cooling and condensing vapors in a closed system.

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Causes of Underpressures
Operating Problem
Equipment Failure

Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

Equipment failures include an instrument malfunction (e.g. vacuum gage) or the loss of the heat input of a system that contains a material with a low vapor pressure.

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Part 1 of 3: Reliefs

Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

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Pressure Relief Devices

Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

Pressure relief devices are added to process equipment to prevent the pressures from significantly exceeding the MAWP (pressures are allowed to go slightly above the MAWP during emergency reliefs).

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Pressure Relief Devices


Spring-Loaded Pressure Relief Valve
Rupture Disc Buckling Pin Miscellaneous Mechanical
Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

The pressure relief devices include spring-loaded pressure relief valves, rupture discs, buckling pins, and miscellaneous mechanical devices.

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Spring-Loaded Pressure Relief Valve

Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

This is a sketch of a spring-loaded pressure relief valve. As the pressure in the vessel or pipeline at point A exceeds the pressure created by the spring, the valve opens. The relief begins to open at the set pressure which is usually at or below the MAWP; this pressure is usually set at the MAWP.

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Rupture Disc

Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

This is a sketch of a rupture disc. In this case the disc ruptures when the pressure at A exceeds the set pressure. Recognize, however, that it is actually the differential pressure (A-B), that ruptures the disc.

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Buckling Pin Relief Valve

Closed Pressure Below Set Pressure

Full Open Pressure at or Above Set Pressure

(Buckles in Milliseconds at a Precise Set Pressure)


Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

This sketch shows a buckling pin pressure relief valve. As shown, when the pressure exceeds the set pressure, the pin buckles and the vessel contents exit through the open valve. The rupture disc and the buckling pin relief valves stay open after they are opened.

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Buckling Pin Relief Valve

Closed Pressure Below Set Pressure

Full Open Pressure at or Above Set Pressure

(Buckles in Milliseconds at a Precise Set Pressure)


Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

The spring operated valves close as the pressure decreases below the blowdown pressure. The blowdown pressure is the difference between the set pressure and closing pressure.

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Simple Mechanical Pressure Relief

Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

A simple mechanical pressure relief is a weighted man-way cover as shown in this sketch. Another mechanical relief is a Utube filled with water (or equivalent).

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Types of Spring-Loaded Pressure Reliefs


Safety Valves for Gases and Vapors
Relief Valves for Liquids Safety Relief Valves for Liquids and/or Gases

Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

There are three types of spring-loaded pressure relief valves: Safety valves are specifically designed for gases. Relief valves are designed for liquids, and Safety relief valves are designed for liquids and/or gases.

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Types of Safety Valves


Conventional
Balanced Bellows, and

Pilot-Operated

Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

There are three types of safety valves; that is: Conventional, Balanced bellows, and Pilot-operated.

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Conventional Safety Valve

Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

A conventional safety valve is designed to provide full opening with minimum overpressure. The disc is specially shaped to give a pop action as the valve begins to open.

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Balanced Bellows Safety Valve

Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

A balanced bellows safety valve is specially designed to reduce the effect of the back pressure on the opening pressure. As illustrated in this sketch the differential pressure that is required to open the valve is the pressure inside the vessel minus the atmospheric pressure.

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Balanced Bellows Safety Valve

Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

The bellows design allows the outside air and pressure to be on the downstream side of the valve seal. Once the relief is open, then the flow is a function of the differential pressure A-B.

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Pilot-Operated Safety Valve

Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

A pilot-operated safety valve is a spring-loaded valve. As illustrated, the vessel pressure helps to keep the valve closed. When the pressure exceeds the set pressure (or the spring pressure), the pressure on top of the valve is vented and the valve opens.

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Pilot-Operated Safety Valve

Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

The set pressure of this type of valve can be closer to the operating pressure compared to conventional and balanced bellows valves. The disadvantages, however, are (a) the process fluid needs to be clean, (b) the seals must be resistant to the fluids, and (c) the seals and valves must be appropriately maintained.

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Pilot-Operated Safety Valve

Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

These disadvantages are also true for spring operated reliefs. Pilot-operated valves are not used in liquid service; they are normally used in very clean and low pressure applications.

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Types of Relief Valves


Conventional
Balanced Bellows

Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

Relief valves (for liquid service) are either the conventional or the balanced bellows types.

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Types of Rupture Discs


Metal
Graphite

Composite
Others
Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

As illustrated, there are many different types of rupture discs. They are especially applicable for very corrosive environments; for example: discs made of carbon or Teflon coating are used for corrosive service.

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Types of Rupture Discs


Metal
Graphite

Composite
Others
Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

A rupture disc that is used for pressure reliefs may need a specially designed mechanical support if it is also used in vacuum service.

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Rupture Disc and Pressure Relief Valve Combination

Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

Rupture discs, as illustrated, are sometimes used in combination with a spring operated relief device. In this case the disc gives a positive seal compared to the disc-to-seal design of a spring operated valve.

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Rupture Disc and Pressure Relief Valve Combination

Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

This is useful when handling very toxic materials where even a very small release (through the seal) may be hazardous, or when handling materials that polymerize. The spring operated relief following the rupture disc reseats when the pressure drops below the blow-down pressure.

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Rupture Disc and Pressure Relief Valve Combination

Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

This design, therefore, stops the discharge from the vessel. The discharge is not stopped if only a rupture disc is used. This design (rupture disc followed by a spring-operated relief) is discouraged by some practitioners.

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Rupture Disc and Pressure Relief Valve Combination

Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

In this design, as illustrated, a pressure detection device (per ASME Code), e.g., a pressure indicator, needs to be placed between the disc and the spring-operated valve. This pressure reading is checked periodically to be sure the rupture disc has its mechanical integrity.

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Rupture Disc and Pressure Relief Valve Combination

Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

A pin-hole leak in the rupture disc could increase the pressure on the discharge side of the disc. This is a major problem because it increases the relief pressure, that is: the differential pressure across the disc is the rupturing mechanism.

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Rupture Disc and Pressure Relief Valve Combination

Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

Another major problem with this design is the possibility that a piece of the rupture disc could plug the discharge orifice of the spring operated relief. This problem is prevented by specifying a rupture disc that will maintain its integrity when it is ruptured; that is, non-fragmenting.

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Vacuum Relief Devices


Vacuum Relief Valves

Rupture Discs
Conservation Vents Manhole Lids Pressure Control
Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

Vacuum relief devices are: vacuum relief valves, rupture discs, conservation vents, manhole lids designed for vacuum relief, and pressure control.

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Conservation Vent

Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

A conservation vent is illustrated in this sketch. As shown, it is designed to relieve a pressure usually for pressures in the region of 6 inches of water. It is also designed to let air into the vessel to prevent a vacuum, usually a vacuum no more than 4 inches of water.

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Pressure or Vacuum Control


Add Air or Nitrogen
Maintain Appropriately

Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

Sometimes pressure or vacuum control systems are used to add air or nitrogen to the vessel to maintain a slight pressure. In this case, the system needs to be appropriately maintained because a malfunction could result in an overpressure or underpressure. In either case the consequence could be a ruptured vessel.

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Relief Servicing
Inspection
Testing

Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

Every relief device needs to be inspected and tested before installation and then at predetermined intervals during its lifetime. The interval depends on the service history, vendor recommendations, and regulatory requirements, but it is usually once a year.

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Relief Servicing
Inspection
Testing

Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

Operating results and experience may indicate shorter or longer intervals. Records must be carefully maintained for every inspection and test, and for the entire life of the plant.

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Relief Discharges
To Atmosphere

Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

Discharges from pressure relief devices may be sent directly to the atmosphere if they are innocuous, discharged in a safe manner, and regulations permit it.

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Relief Discharges
To Atmosphere
Prevented

Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

An additional option is to prevent releases by (a) designing vessels with high MAWPs to contain all overpressure scenarios, or (b) add a sufficient number of safeguards and/or controls to make overpressure scenarios essentially impossible.

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Relief Discharges
To Atmosphere
Prevented

Effluent System

Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

The third option is to design an effluent system to capture all nocuous liquids and gases.

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Effluent Systems
Knock-Out Drum
Catch Tank

Cyclone Separator

Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

An effluent system may contain a Knock-out drum Catch tank Cyclone separator

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Effluent System (continued)


Condenser
Quench Tank

Scrubber
Flares/Incinerators
Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards Condenser Quench tank Scrubber, and/or Flares or incinerators An effluent handling system may have any combination of the above unit operations.

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Effluent Handling System

Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

One effluent handling system is illustrated in this sketch. Every element of an effluent system needs to be designed very carefully. The design requires detailed physical and chemical properties, and the correct design methodology for each unit operation.

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Effluent Handling System

Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

It should also be recognized that it is important to size the relief appropriately, because the size of the entire effluent system is based on this discharge rate. The design methodology is in the references noted in the Appendix of this package.

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Part 2 of 3: Runaways

Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

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Runaway Reaction
Temperature Increases
Reaction Rate Increases

Pressure Increases

Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

A runaway reaction is an especially important overpressure scenario. A runaway reaction has an accelerating rate of temperature increase, rate of reaction increase, and usually rate of pressure increase. The pressure, of course, increases if the reaction mass has a volatile substance, such as, a solvent or a monomer; or if one of the reaction products is a gas.

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Causes of Runaway Reactions


Self-Heating Sleeper

Characteristics of Runaway
Tempered Gassy Hybrid
Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

In general, there are two causes of runaway reactions (selfheating and sleeper) and three characteristics of runaways (tempered, gassy, and hybrid).

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Causes of Runaway Reactions


Self-Heating Sleeper

Characteristics of Runaway
Tempered Gassy Hybrid
Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards When protecting a system for overpressures due to runaway reactions the engineer needs to know the type of runaway and needs to characterize the behavior of the specific runaway with a special calorimeter. This specific methodology is described in this section of this presentation.

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Self-Heating Reaction
Loss of Cooling
Unexpected Addition of Heat Too Much Catalyst or Reactant

Operator Mistakes
Too Fast Addition of Catalyst or Reactant
Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

One self-heating scenario occurs when the reaction is exothermic and a loss of cooling gives an uncontrolled temperature rise. A few causes of self-heating scenarios are shown.

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Sleeper Reactions
Reactants Added But Not Mixed (Error)
Reactants Accumulate

Agitation Started .. Too Late

Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

Sleeper reactions are usually the result of an operator error. Two examples include: (a) the addition of two immiscible reactants when the agitator is mistakenly in the off position, and (b) the addition of a reactant to the reaction mass when the temperature is mistakenly lower than that required to initiate the reaction.

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Sleeper Reactions
Reactants Added But Not Mixed (Error)
Reactants Accumulate

Agitation Started .. Too Late

Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

In these cases the runaway is initiated by starting the agitator and adding heat respectively.

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Tempered Reaction
Heat Removed by Evaporation
Heat Removal Maintains a Constant Temperature

Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

Tempered runaway reactions maintain their temperature when the energy exiting the relief device is equal to the energy generated in the reactor due to the exothermic reaction. The reaction heat is absorbed by the evaporation of the volatile components. The vapor pressure in a tempered system can typically be characterized by an Antoine type equation.

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Gassy System
No Volatile Solvents
Gas is Reaction Product

Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

A system that is characterized as gassy has no volatile solvents or reactants. The pressure build-up is due to the generation of noncondensible gas such as N2 or CO2.

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Hybrid System
Tempered
Gassy

Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

A hybrid system is the combination of a tempered and a gassy system. Under runaway conditions, the pressure increases due to the vapor pressure of the volatile components as well as from the generation of noncondensible gaseous reaction products.

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Reliefs for Runaway Reactions


Two Phase (or Three Phases: Liquid, Vapor, and Solid) Flow

Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

Under runaway conditions, when the relief device opens, the relief discharge is a foam; that is, the gases are entrained with the liquid.

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Reliefs for Runaway Reactions


Two Phase (or Three Phases: Liquid, Vapor, and Solid) Flow

Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

To maintain a constant temperature in the reactor (i.e. control the runaway reaction), the relief valve is sized to remove all the heat generated from the exothermic reaction via the heat removed with the discharged mass, which is typically a foam. Detailed information on runaway reactions is found in the appendix.

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Reliefs for Runaway Reactions


Two Phase (or Three Phases: Liquid, Vapor, and Solid) Flow
Relief Area: 2 to 10 Times the Area of a Single Gaseous Phase

Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

The required relief area to remove this heat with the foam is two to ten times the area that would be required by releasing a single gaseous phase.

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Two Phase Flow

Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

This is a picture that illustrates the two-phase flow characteristics of a relief discharge due to a runaway reaction. As illustrated, the discharge is similar to the release of foam from a freshly opened bottle of pop after being shakened. If the relief is not designed for two-phase flow, the pressures would increase rapidly and the vessel could rupture.

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Relief Valve Sizing Methodology


Special Calorimeter Data
Special Calculation Methods

Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

The relief valve sizing methodology for runaway reactions is very complex. It requires the characterization of the runaway reaction using a specially designed calorimeter. Relief valve sizing, additionally, requires special calculation methods that are described in the Appendix of this package.

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Characterization of Runaway Reactions

Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

The characterization of runaway reactions includes the determination of the rates of rise of the temperature and pressure under adiabatic conditions. The test results also characterize the reaction type, that is, tempered, gassy, and/or a hybrid system.

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Characterization of Runaway Reactions


ARC
VSP

RSST

Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

Various calorimeters are used for this characterization: The accelerating rate calorimeter (ARC) The vent sizing package (VSP) The reactive system screening tool (RSST)

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Characterization of Runaway Reactions


ARC
VSP

APTAC
PHI-TEC

RSST

Dewars

Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

The automated pressure-tracking adiabatic calorimeter (APTAC) The Phi-Tec, and Dewars. Each of these calorimeters have advantages and disadvantages that need to be understood when studying a specific system.

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Part 3 of 3: Safeguards

Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

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Safeguards

Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

This section of the presentation covers safeguards. Safeguards include the methods and controls used to prevent runaways. As illustrated previously, a containment system (a safeguard), can be very complex and expensive. Alternatively, a series of safeguards may be justified.

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Safeguards
Safety Interlocks
Safeguard Maintenance System

Short-Stopping

Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

Safeguards include safety interlocks, safeguard maintenance system, and/or short-stopping.

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Safety Interlocks
Agitator Not Working: Stop Monomer Feed and Add Full Cooling
Abnormal Temperature: Stop Monomer Feed and Add Full Cooling

Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

The list of alternative interlocks is fairly extensive. Usually more than one interlock and some redundancy and diversity is required for each runaway scenario. As the number of interlocks increases, the reliability of the system increases. These are examples of safety interlocks for a semibatch polymerization reactor.

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Safety Interlocks
(continued)

Abnormal Pressure: Stop Monomer Feed and Add Full Cooling


Abnormal Heat Balance: Stop Monomer Feed and Add Full Cooling Abnormal Conditions: Add Short-Stop

Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

This is a list of additional interlocks. Other interlocks (manual) that are not on this list include: gages with manual shutdowns, and alarms with manual shutdowns.

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Safeguard Maintenance System


Routine Maintenance
Management of Change

Mechanical Integrity Checks


Records
Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

A safeguard maintenance system includes routine maintenance, management of change, mechanical integrity checks, and the appropriate records. These are the steps that are required to be sure the safeguards and interlocks perform appropriately under emergency conditions and/or potential runaway reaction scenarios.

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Safeguard Maintenance System


Routine Maintenance
Management of Change

Mechanical Integrity Checks


Records
Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards The maintenance of safeguard systems is especially important, because: Safeguards and interlocks do not operate on a day-to-day basis, but When they are required to operate (emergency conditions) they need to operate flawlessly. See ISA SP 84.01 for details for the design of safety instrumented systems.

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Short-Stops to Stop Reaction


Add Reaction Stopper
Add Agitation with No Electrical Power

Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

A short-stopping system, stops a runaway reaction by adding a reaction stopper solution to the reacting mass. The reaction-stopper stops the reaction in time to short-circuit the progress of the reaction. A reaction stopper needs to be added when the reaction mass is relatively cold. If the mass is too hot, a short-stopper will not work.

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Short-Stops to Stop Reaction


Add Reaction Stopper
Add Agitation with No Electrical Power

Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

Good agitation, of course, is required to adequately mix the reaction mass with the inhibitor. Since a power failure is often the initiating event of a runaway, an alternative method of agitation needs to be included in the design. A compressed nitrogen system together with a sparge ring is one alternative.

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Protection for Internal Fires and Explosions


Deflagrations Detonations

Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

This section of the presentation covers protection methods for internal fires and explosions. Overpressure protection is needed for process equipment that can potentially explode due to an internal deflagration or detonation.

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Protection for Internal Fires and Explosions


Deflagrations Detonations

Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

A deflagration is defined as the propagation of a combustion zone at a velocity in the unreacted medium that is less than the speed of sound. A detonation has a velocity greater than the speed of sound in the unreacted medium.

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Protection for Internal Fires and Explosions


Deflagrations Detonations

Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

The burning material can be a combustible gas, a combustible dust, a combustible mist, or a hybrid mixture (a mixture of a combustible gas with either a combustible dust or combustible mist). The reaction actually occurs in the vapor phase between the fuel and the air or some other oxidant.

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Protection Methods for Internal Fires and Explosions


Deflagration Venting Deflagration Suppression Containment
Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

The protection methods used for fires or explosions include Deflagration venting Deflagration suppression Containment

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Protection Methods for Internal Fires and Explosions


(continued)

Reduction of Oxidant Reduction of Combustible Flame Front Isolation


Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

Reduction of the oxidant Reduction of the combustible Flame front isolation

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Protection Methods for Internal Fires and Explosions


(continued)

Spark Detection and Extinguishing Flame Detection and Extinguishing

Water Spray and Deluge Systems

Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

Spark detection and extinguishing Flame detection and extinguishing Water or foam spray deluge systems

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Deflagration Venting
Vent Area via NFPA 68

Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

The technology required for venting deflagrations is given in NFPA 68. Deflagration venting is usually the simplest and least costly means of protecting process equipment against damage due to the internal pressure rise from deflagrations.

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Deflagration Venting
Vent Area via NFPA 68
Vent Safely

Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

If equipment is located inside a building, the vents must be discharged through a vent duct system to a safe location outside of the building. The design of the vent duct system is critical to avoid excessive pressures developed during the venting process. See NFPA 68 for details.

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Deflagration Venting
Vent Area via NFPA 68
Vent Safely

Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

A safe location will avoid injury to personnel and minimize damage to equipment outside of the building. The next two pictures illustrate that the safe venting may not be trivial.

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Vent of Gas Deflagration

Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

This is a picture of the venting of a gas deflagration. As illustrated, the flame propagates a significant distance from the vessel. The length of the flame is estimated using an equation found in NFPA 68. The main purpose of venting is to protect the mechanical integrity of the equipment. As illustrated, even when it is vented safely, this is a major event.

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Vent of Dust Deflagration

Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

This is a picture of the venting of a dust deflagration. As illustrated, the burning dust continues to burn at great distances from the vent. With dusts, this burning zone is larger because the container has a larger fuel-to-air ratio compared to the gas deflagration scenario. These pictures clearly illustrate the problems with venting deflagrations.

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Deflagration Suppression System

Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

One alternative to venting a deflagration is suppression. This sketch illustrates a deflagration suppression system that includes (a) a flame or pressure detector, (b) a quick opening valve, and (c) the addition of a flame suppressant.

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Deflagration Suppression System

Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

The commonly used suppression agents include water, potassium acid phosphate, sodium bicarbonate, and Halon substitutes. The technology for deflagration suppression is described in NFPA 69.

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Containment
Prevent Rupture and Vessel Deformation
Prevent Rupture but Deform Vessel

Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

The thickness of vessel walls may be increased to contain the pressure of a deflagration. The wall thickness can be large enough to prevent the deformation of the vessel, or The wall thickness may be large enough to prevent a rupture, but allow the vessel to deform.

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Reduction of Oxidant
Vacuum Purging
Pressure Purging

Sweep-Through Purging

Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

Protection for overpressures is also provided with an inert gas blanket to prevent the occurrence of a deflagration. Before introducing a flammable substance to a vessel, the vessel must also be purged with an inert gas to reduce the oxidant concentration sufficiently so that the gas mixture cannot burn.

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Reduction of Oxidant
Vacuum Purging
Pressure Purging

Sweep-Through Purging

Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

The purging methods include vacuum purging, pressure purging, and sweep-through purging. See NFPA 69 and the book by Crowl and Louvar for more details.

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Reduction of Combustible
Dilution with Air
NFPA 69

Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

A deflagration can also be prevented by reducing the concentration of the combustible material so that the concentration is below the lower flammability limit (LFL). This is usually accomplished by dilution with nitrogen. The specifications for this type system are given in NFPA 69.

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Flame Front Isolation

Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

As illustrated, isolation devices are used in piping systems to prevent the propagation of a flame front. The method illustrated has a fast-acting block valve. This isolation system prevents the propagation of the flame front; more importantly it prevents deflagration transitions to detonations.

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Spark/Flame Detection and Extinguishing

Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

Another method of preventing the propagation of deflagrations in pipelines is the early detection and extinguishment of sparks or flames. In this type system, a detector activates an automatic extinguishing system that sprays water or other extinguishing agents into the fire. This system is similar to the deflagration suppression system discussed previously.

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Water Spray or Deluge Systems


Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

Process equipment and structures are very effectively protected against fire by water spray or deluge systems. They can be activated manually or automatically. They are designed to cool the equipment or structural members so that the heat from a fire will not weaken them.

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Deluge System

Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

This picture shows a typical deluge system in operation. In this example, the deluge system is automatically activated when the concentration of the flammable gas below the vessel is detected to be at or over 25% of the lower flammability limit.

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Conclusion

Introduction Reliefs Runaways Safeguards

This concludes our technology package covering overpressure and underpressure protection. The appendix of this package contains more detailed information. The enclosed references contain the state-of-the-art technology to assist engineers and students with their detailed designs.

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End of Slide Presentation


(with text)

Causes of Overpressure/Underpressure Presentation 1: Reliefs

Presentation 2: Runaways Presentation 3: Safeguards

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