Rupture disc, also known as bursting disc/pressure safety disc/burst disc is a pressure relieving device used in Chemical, Pharmaceutical, Aerospace, Aviation, Defence, Railroad, Nuclear, Food Processing, Petrochemical industries. The main purpose of the disc is to release excess pressure and prevent any structural/functional damage to the instruments/machines.
A Rupture disc is fitted inside the pressure pipes/instruments & is designed to rupture/burst/tear at a pre-defined pressure. It can be calibrated for a pre-determined pressure (positive) or vacuum conditions.
When the disc is designed for vacuum conditions, the atmospheric pressure would push this disc into the system. Hence, a support device is used to prevent the atmospheric pressure from pushing the disc into the system. Thus, when the pressure rises, the disc ruptures and releases excess pressure thereby protecting the system from damage.
1. As the name suggests, the rupture disc ruptures and thereby prevents a catastrophic damage that would otherwise be done to the structures/machines
2. The disc forms the weakest side of the system and prevents the other parts of the system from suffering pressure damage
3. A key feature of the rupture disc is that it is placed well away from the heavily traversed area of the factory. Thus, harmful chemicals/fumes are released away from the workers and can also be connected to discharge pipes which safely guide the exhaust fumes/fluids
4. Minimum maintenance costs
One of the biggest limitations of a rupture disc is that once burst, the entire system has to be shut down to replace the disc. The downtime on shutting down the entire system and then rebooting it can cost some heavy losses in price sensitive & highly competitive markets.
To overcome this disadvantage, designers were sent back to the drawing board for designing an improvised version of the rupture disc.
A relief valve serves the same purpose as the rupture disc but has the added advantage of not shutting down the system. The inlet is threaded and connected to the system. The outlet is threaded and connected to the exhausts. The system is embedded with a spring which controls the release of pressure.
The Rupture Disc was implemented by PANORAMA ENGINEERS at VERTEX PHARMACEUTICALS.