March 2014

Process Safety

Address inlet pressure loss concerns with restricted lift relief devices

For the past 30 years, standard-sized relief devices have been sized such that it is difficult to meet the installation criteria in American Petroleum Institute (API) standard (STD) 520. This problem ..

Smith, D., Smith & Burgess LLC; Yoram, S., Bechtel Corp.

For the past 30 years, standard-sized relief devices have been sized such that it is difficult to meet the installation criteria in American Petroleum Institute (API) standard (STD) 520. This problem has been known for years and is acknowledged in API STD 520: Note that keeping the pressure loss below 3% becomes progressively more difficult at low pressures and/or as the orifice size of a pressure relief valve increases. In certain applications, it is difficult to meet the 3% criterion for the largest API 526 orifice size for a given inlet flange diameter (e.g., 2J3, 4P6, 6R8, etc.). There are some non-API 526 valves that also exhibit this behavior.1,2 Here are examined the orifice and b

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