To increase equipment safety and reliability, novel rupture disk technology from BS&B Safety Systems activates at a set burst pressure, but can “breathe” to relieve minor pressure fluctuations.

In industry, one-time-use rupture disks have long provided pressure relief on hydraulic and pneumatic equipment, serving as an effective passive safety mechanism to protect against potentially damaging overpressure or vacuum conditions. Each disk is typically designed to burst, rapidly changing from a leak-tight seal to a full diameter flow opening when a predetermined over or under pressure event occurs. At that point, the rupture disk needs to be replaced.

Demand for this type of sealed, fluid-containing safety equipment is increasing for aseptic products in the liquid food industry. Rupture disks are a critical component to seal fluid within the container under normal operating conditions and protect against overpressure caused by such events as external fire or an unexpected chemical reaction. With atmospheric storage equipment that is sealed, a particular challenge is that significant internal pressure fluctuations can also occur because of ambient temperature swings, particularly for vessels located outdoors or otherwise exposed to daily temperature excursions.

Although many fluids are stable under atmospheric pressure, when placed in a closed container, even normal fluctuations in ambient temperature or equipment operation can generate overpressure or vacuum. Over time, this can compromise simple metallic and non-metallic container integrity due to flex and fatigue, leading to potential quality and maintenance issues, and ultimately, uncontrolled rupture of the container.

In response, BS&B Safety Systems developed “breathable” rupture disk technology that provides overpressure and vacuum relief by allowing air to pass through a unique membrane to relieve minor variations in pressure. The patent-pending, dual function pressure equalization and relief device is ideal for use on low-pressure vessels that are often below the design limits of European Pressure Equipment Directive (PED) and American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Standards.

To accommodate the size and weight limitations of many light duty atmospheric storage containers, the rupture disk is designed in an integral assembly that includes the rupture disk as well as housing. The integrated assembly is certified to perform at the desired set pressure and allows for easier installation and quick removal if the rupture disk is activated. The device is designed for installation between sanitary/aseptic fittings or traditional pipe flanges, or a custom installation configuration can be accommodated.

BS&B Safety Systems: