With chemical manufacturers focused on maximising output, reducing energy costs and ensuring that plants reliably conform to strict safety and environmental regulations, there is increased pressure for plant engineers to source components that will provide long-term stability and improve overall operational competitiveness. Recognising the challenges faced by the industry has driven rupture disc manufacturers to upgrade their designs. The German company Rembe has taken an approach to further develop its products, leading to serious technological and operational benefits for customers in the chemical sector. Rembe uses Contour Precision manufacturing to enable highly accurate digitalisation of the rupture disc surface while high cutting speeds ensure excellent surface quality, resulting in the manufacture of very accurate, consistent and high performing rupture disc solutions.
Advantages of Contour Precision manufacturing
The precision manufacturing methods – Contour Precision Lasering (CPL) and Contour Precision Profiling (CPP) – permit high quality, accurate burst control even in the harshest of chemical manufacturing environments. When used as an alternative to traditional rupture disc scoring methods, this technology can provide many advantages, as it does not influence or weaken the material structure during the manufacturing process. The move from traditional mechanical scoring to such advanced manufacturing methods eliminates most common industry concerns associated with earlier rupture disc designs such as pin holing, corrosion build-up and low life-cycling capability. Switching to precision manufacturing eradicates the main causes of premature failure to offer a longer lifespan solution and less downtime for customers.
Pin-holing – a common concern
Pin-holing on rupture discs has been a common concern for the chemical sector for decades. Due to the highly corrosive nature and harsh operating conditions within the chemical manufacturing process, it was not at all unusual for process media to weaken the score lines on the installed rupture disc, leading to an unwanted leak path in the process and ultimately to the disc’s premature failure. Frequent premature failures are costly problems for chemical manufacturers, with unplanned downtime impacting on production and overall output. The move to precision manufactured rupture discs provides a more long-term, cost-effective solution with superior performance behaviour even in harsh operating conditions. Additionally, as chemical operators face increasing pressures to conform to strict regulatory and environmental standards, the need to install a rupture disc which does not create an unwanted leak path in the process is critical. Eradicating the risk of pin-holing, in turn, eliminates the risk of such leak paths and thus reduces the loss of costly or hazardous process media into the environment.
No fear of corrosion
Irrespective of the material, size or burst pressure, no heat is applied to the rupture disc during the manufacturing process when precision manufacturing techniques are employed. These techniques create the most accurate lines of sublimation across the rupture disc surface, resulting in the most precise opening upon burst and enabling improved process control for plant operators. Furthermore, the opening pattern, unlike scored opening patterns, is completely smooth – no witness marks, notches or indentations on the rupture disc surface facing the process, meaning it is not prone to being affected by corrosion or product build-up and ensuring the longest lifespan capability of any rupture disc solution. Ideal for aggressive process media or in polymerisation processes, the CPX range of rupture discs is compatible with the most diverse process conditions, even in processes which must comply with strict hygienic standards.
Increased life-cycling capability
Precision manufacturing techniques ensure greater accuracy during the manufacturing process, allowing predefined – and lower – burst pressures as well as tighter tolerances to be achieved. Rupture discs manufactured with such technology are known to be more robust than discs manufactured using alternative scoring methods, meaning individual chemical processes can be challenged. Pushing the process operating pressures closer to the rupture disc’s opening pressure without risk of the rupture disc bursting prematurely produces a positive outcome – greater efficiency and output, helping to improve the overall competitiveness of the facility. Not only is increased life-cycling capability achieved through these manufacturing techniques, it is also possible to manufacture rupture discs with lower burst pressures. Fewer rupture disc designs are consequently needed site-wide, so that a greater number of process points can benefit from this technology, all while simplifying purchasing routines.
Wide range of applications
Rembe’s CPX rupture discs not only offer direct cost benefits over rupture discs which are prone to fail prematurely; their reliability also allows a reduction in, and simplification of, maintenance schedules as well as – even more importantly – less costly downtime. From the most accurate and consistent burst openings to smooth surfaces and robust constructions, the CPX range consists of advanced forward and reverse acting rupture discs. There is a CPX solution for even the most demanding applications in the chemical industry. The IKB, IKB-X and SFD cover an extensive range of burst pressures and specifications to meet most operational requirements.
Rembe GmbH Safety + Control, Brilon, Germany