First and foremost, a rupture disk is used for safety and protection of equipment, plants and personnel. Pressure and pressurized systems are all around us. An overpressure situation can be extremely dangerous. The main objective is to protect and at the same time, minimize any downtime of the system. Rupture disks are passive devices with no moving parts and provide leak-tight seals. They are highly reliable, and available in a wide range of materials, including those that are corrosion-resistant. Rupture disks are a time-tested safety product that are effective, low-cost and are also extremely fast acting, typically going from closed to fully open in less than three milliseconds. Comparatively speaking, rupture disks are very inexpensive compared to pressure relief valves (also known as a safety relief valve). A pressure relief valve is a reclosing device. Valves can leak but rupture disks are generally leak-tight. There are some situations where a relief valve is the preferable choice, for example, in a processing or continuous situation which does not allow for downtime for service or replacement. Disks can be used in sequence with pressure relief valves, either below or in front of the valve.
A rupture disk is a differential pressure device. Differential pressure means the pressure on one side of a disk is either higher or lower than the other side. A proper rupture disk assembly creates an impermeable barrier in a pressurized system, which bursts or opens when the differential in pressure across it reaches a designated level. A simple way to explain what a rupture disk does is to understand that a rupture disk is to a pressurized system what a fuse is to an electrical system. The media in a pressurized system can be liquid or gas , Designed to be the weak point in the system, as the internal pressure increases, the membrane of the rupture disk weakens because it is thinner, and therefore, weaker, than the vessel wall, eventually failing by bursting, which releases the pressure and therefore protects the integrity of the system
The common characteristic of forward acting disks is that the foil is placed in tension when exposed to the system pressure. Burst is initiated when the tensile properties of the foil are overcome by system pressure. For this reason, they are also known as ‘tension-loaded’ disks. There are several variations of forward acting designs available that are tweaked to offer better cycle resistance, burst control, or which limit disk fragmentation. The common characteristic of reverse-acting, or ‘compression loaded’ disks, is that the foil is place in compression when exposed to system pressure. The foil is factory pre-bulged into a dome shape and installed with the system pressure acting on the convex side of the dome. Burst is initiated when the disk dome is overcome by the system pressure and collapses, opening along the scores in the foil, shear rings, or knife blades. Again, there are several variations of reverse acting designs available that are tweaked to offer increased pressure range, tighter burst control or for compressible or incompressible service. It should be noted that compression loading of the reverse acting disk allows the highest cycle life at operating pressure up to 95% of the marked burst pressure, without increasing fatigue or nuisance bursts. Extra care should be taken when selecting reverse-acting disks, as some designs are not fail-safe. Incorrect selection or installation can lead to a dangerous situation. Reverse acting disks tend to be more susceptible to damage and are typically designed for either gas or liquid service. The choice to purchase a forward or reverse acting disk is a process of elimination and depends on a number of criteria, both common and unique to each system’s requirements. For example, vessel MAWP, or maximum allowable working pressure, specified burst pressure, rupture tolerance, operating ratio, etc. as well as the process used in the facility.
A fail-safe disk is designed to burst as rated, or lower than the rated pressure when there is any issue with the installation or pre-existing damage to the disk. Not all disks are fail-safe, for example, reverse acting disks or disks that include vacuum supports. It’s essential that anyone installing rupture disks understand the importance of correct installation. Most manufacturers offer assistance and training for plant personnel.
The specified burst temperature is the same temperature that the disk will see upon burst in the field. In general, rupture disks will open at a lower pressure at higher temperatures. This is a function of the properties of the material – the disk membrane material becomes weaker at elevated temperatures. The process engineer should look at the temperature the disk will see in a burst scenario. The safest course is to rate the disk at the lowest likely burst temperature, knowing it will burst lower (safely) if it sees high temperature.
Not all disks will work in both liquid & gas applications. Each manufacturer will offer models suitable for gas, liquid or both. But not all designs will work in all types of service. A gas burst poses significantly more challenges to rupture disk engineers as it is much more violent than a liquid burst. Some reverse acting designs require the expanding energy of escaping gas service to ‘drive’ the disk open and supply the proper MNFA during a burst event.
There are burst pressure and temperature limitations for rupture disks and the effect of temperature on disk materials have to be taken into account during the disk selection process. Both metal and graphite have absolute min max ranges that need to be taken into account when selecting disks. Generally, the higher the temperature, the lower the burst pressure and vice versa.
A pre-torque holder is equipped with high strength recessed cap screws, which hold the device together with enough clamping force to properly engage the bite into the disk material. Pre-torque assemblies dramatically increase the potential of a successful installation. They allow for removal, inspection and replacement of the complete assembly without disturbing the bite seal. If it is an existing installation, there is an existing face to face (height) dimension, so if a pre-torque holder will fit in the same space, then the insert holder can be replaced by a pre-torqued one.
NO! Consult ZOOK catalog literature or contact your local factory-trained sales representative for specific service applications for which disks may be used. ZOOK does offer a broad scope of rupture disks (bursting discs) which are suitable to both gas and liquid applications.
Disks should be specified at the temperature at which the disk will be exposed to when it is required to rupture. ZOOK does elevated temperature testing to ensure the rupture disks (bursting discs) they provide will rupture at the customer’s specified pressure/temperature request.
In general, most tension-loaded or conventional style disks require a vacuum support to withstand full vacuum. Reverse buckling disks will “withstand” or (resist) full vacuum without the use of a vacuum support. Always consult the factory for specific model number confirmation.
Most competitors’ products can be identified and cross-referenced by the nomenclature used for the various types of disks and holders.
This depends on the type of rupture disk (bursting disc) and pressure.
Every order is supplied with Installation Instructions for proper installation. In general, the sensor is placed between the outlet flange of the holder and the downstream companion flange. For specific instructions please request the Installation Instructions for the specific product type.
Unless you are rupture disk (bursting disc) “literate” we recommend you contact our factory-trained sales representatives or the factory for assistance. We will require complete operating conditions the disk will be exposed to in order to recommend the proper rupture disk (bursting disc) design. ZOOK offers “no charge” engineering and technical seminars to educated personnel on rupture disk (bursting disc) technology and disk selection.
Certainly the condition of the disk and its proper installation may influence disk service life but quite commonly, the disk is being exposed to pressures that exceed the “maximum operating pressure” of the disk. Some disks are designed to be exposed to system pressures no more than 50% of the marked burst pressure of the disk. Others may be exposed to 90% of their marked burst pressure with only negligible metal fatigue. Exposing a disk to pressures in excess of their designed “maximum operating pressure” (expressed as a percent of the marked burst pressure) can dramatically reduce service life. Should you believe you are not getting the service life you need from your rupture disk (bursting disc), we would be pleased for the opportunity to discuss your service environment and perhaps, recommend a disk design that would offer you longer service. Remember that proper installation can also significantly influence disk service life.
ZOOK does perform testing to confirm flow coefficients of our products to obtain ASME/UD certification from The National Board. Please contact ZOOK sales support for a specific style, size, and specified operating media to determine if a particular disk has UD certification.
A temperature shield is a non pressure retaining perforated metal component installed between the disk and the process that can reduce the temperature at the disk as much as 50%. The shield is typically installed between standard flanges as far below the disk as possible and has limited dampening characteristics that can reduce the magnitude of system pressure spikes.
Also called a “compression-loaded” rupture disk (bursting disc), a “reverse-buckling” rupture disk (bursting disc) is one which is installed with the crown of the disk (convex side) facing the system pressure.
Modern rupture disk (bursting disc) holders are designed with integral pre-torque bolts that allow the disk to be installed in the convenience of the maintenance or instrument shop prior to field installation with the recommended torque load to ensure proper engagement of the “bite” type seal. Once assembled, the device can be installed in the field where the additional load of the companion flange bolting provides for complete functionality of the device. In addition, pre-torque assemblies allow for the removal of the assembly from the piping system for inspection and reinstallation without disturbing the seal integrity. Fluoropolmer coated bolts are standard to provide corrosion resistance and much lower frictional coefficient.
When a rupture disk (bursting disc) is used to isolate a relief valve from the process environment, the ASME Code requires the cavity between the rupture disk (bursting disc) and the valve seat to be monitored. Since a rupture disk (bursting disc) is a “differential” pressure relief device, any pressure in the cavity between the rupture disk (bursting disc) and the relief valve seat will act to elevate the burst pressure of the rupture disk (bursting disc). A “tel-tale” assembly is a method to satisfy this Code requirement. Other methods may also be used to fulfill this requirement. (See ASME Code)
The Boiler & Pressure Vessel Code (BPVC) is an American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) standard that regulates the design and construction of boilers and pressure vessels.
Since January 1st, 2022, the applicable ASME code section for rupture disks is Section XIII (previously Section VIII). This portion of the ASME Code applies to rupture disk (bursting disk) applications, sizing, selection, and installation for unfired pressure vessels. Other portions of the Code also address rupture disk (bursting disc) use in more diverse applications (such as nuclear applications). All qualifying ZOOK products continue to meet code requirements and are certified to the new section.
For more information on the changes please click here.
A previous “Lot Number.”
Since January 01, 1999 Jurisdictions that require ASME Code compliance require UD certified rupture disks (bursting discs) regardless of the application.
You can locate your Lot Number on an old invoice or on the tag of the old rupture disk you are replacing.
Several answers apply to this question. First, should the rupture disk (bursting disc) protecting a relief valve from the process not rupture from exposure to excess process pressures, the relief valve is maintained in a clean, pristine condition. Valve maintenance costs are, accordingly, dramatically reduced. Second, isolation of relief valves with rupture disks (bursting discs) is environmentally smart. The “bubble tight seal” of a rupture disk (bursting disc) prevents valve leak, seep, weep, and chatter.
To reach desired burst pressures, sometimes the metal must be stress relieved. This leaves the rupture disk with a dull finish instead of a bright finish. Rest assured, this finish is purely aesthetic, as all production and QA burst testing disks are performed in this condition. While not common, this is most likely seen with the ZOOK PB Series Rupture Disk.
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