What is Rupture Disk?

What is Rupture Disk ?

A rupture disk, also known as a burst disk or bursting disc, is a safety device designed to protect equipment and systems from overpressure or potentially dangerous pressure conditions. It is a non-reclosing pressure relief device that functions by bursting at a predetermined pressure level, allowing the excess pressure to be safely vented.

Key Characteristics and Functionality:

  1. Design and Construction:
  • Rupture disks are typically made from metals, plastics, or composite materials.
  • They are designed with a specific burst pressure, which is the pressure at which they will rupture.
  • The design can vary based on the application, with some disks being flat, domed, or scored to control the burst pattern.
  1. Operation:
  • When the pressure in the system exceeds the disk’s predetermined burst pressure, the disk ruptures, creating an opening for the pressure to be relieved.
  • Unlike pressure relief valves, rupture disks do not reset or reclose after activation; they need to be replaced once they have burst.
  1. Applications:
  • Rupture disks are used in a variety of industries, including chemical processing, pharmaceuticals, food and beverage, oil and gas, and aerospace.
  • They protect vessels, pipelines, and other equipment from pressure-related damage and ensure safety in processes involving high pressure.
  1. Advantages:
  • Quick response time: Rupture disks provide instantaneous pressure relief.
  • Simple and reliable: With no moving parts, rupture disks are less prone to mechanical failure.
  • Cost-effective: They are often less expensive than pressure relief valves and require less maintenance.
  1. Considerations:
  • Single-use: Once a rupture disk has burst, it must be replaced.
  • Installation: Proper installation is crucial to ensure the disk performs correctly at the specified pressure.
  • Compatibility: The materials of the rupture disk must be compatible with the process media to avoid corrosion or other material degradation.

Types of Rupture Disks:

  1. Forward-Acting Rupture Disks:
  • These disks are installed with the concave side facing the process pressure. They burst when the pressure pushes the disk outward.
  1. Reverse-Acting Rupture Disks:
  • These are installed with the convex side facing the process pressure. The disk bursts by reversing direction when the pressure exceeds the set limit.
  1. Graphite Rupture Disks:
  • Made from graphite, these disks are suitable for highly corrosive environments and high temperatures.

Key Applications:

  • Pressure Vessels: Ensuring that vessels do not rupture under high pressure.
  • Pipelines: Preventing pipeline bursts and managing pressure surges.
  • Reactors: Protecting chemical reactors from overpressure conditions.
  • Cryogenic Systems: Providing pressure relief in systems handling extremely low temperatures.