About the Role and Purpose of Burst Disks

Posted on: Feb-23-2024
About the Role and Purpose of Burst Disks

A burst disc or rupture disc is an essential safety component used in pressure systems and pressure-actuated devices. In other words, the non-reclosing pressure safety device plays a major role in ensuring safe industrial operations. It's vital to implement the usage of these devices to safeguard our lives from pressure safety accidents.

How do burst disks work?

The operating principle of the pressure safety device is simple. The device provides an immediate response to the condition of an increase or decrease in pressure. The metallic foil or graphite inside the burst disc ruptures or bursts whenever the system pressure reaches the bursting pressure of the disc. As soon as the rupture disc bursts, the pressure inside the system will be relieved. This way the device prevents the pressure safety hazards by balancing the excess working pressure. The rupture disc once ruptured cannot be reused. By using the same operating principle, the rupture disc can also handle the excess vacuum conditions inside a pipeline, container, or pressure system.

Purpose of Burst Disc

The purpose of using a rupture disc is to ensure the safe operation of devices. The disk provides equipment protection against the safety hazards that occur due to excessive pressure. The sudden rise of pressure or temperature inside the system can be due to ruptured heat-exchanging components inside the device, failure of the pressure controller system and high inflow of liquids. The only objective of using the rupture disc is to keep the devices used in industrial systems or power plants running without any safety hazards. Apart from industrial units, the rupture discs are also used in air coolers. The bursting disc used in the air compressor burst when the pressure crosses the safety value due to the leakage of air tubes. Other applications include the usage of bursting discs in starting an airline. The disc can withstand maximum pressure and burst when the pressure exceeds the normal value. The device actuated by inlet static pressure can also be installed with other devices.

What Are the Different Types of Rupture Discs?

Depending on the design features, functionality, and operating principle, the rupture disc or burst discs are classified into different types such as Forward acting rupture discs, Reverse acting rupture discs, and Compact rupture discs. Each of these models consists of a Rupture disc, a Rupture Disc Holder, and A Heat Shield. The design features and operating principles of these models differ slightly.

Forward-Acting Rupture Discs

Forward-acting rupture disc is known as a tension-type rupture disc. The design of a forward-acting rupture disc includes a dome or the concave side that surfaces against the system pressure. The functionality or the operating process of a forward-acting rupture disc is simple. The disc begins to expand when the condition of overpressure occurs. The expansion that continues for a long duration causes the tensile strength to reach the maximum value and rupture occurs. The type of rupture disc is less expensive and that’s the reason why the model is widely preferred in industrial units.

Reverse-Acting Rupture Discs or Compression loaded disks

Reverse-acting rupture discs known as compression-loaded discs are designed in such a way that the dome or the convex side faces towards the process medium. This type of rupture disc is cost-effective and used in a wide range of industrial units. The excessive pressure developed inside the device or the system causes the dome to reverse. The compression loading or the force acts in the same direction. The rupture disk burst due to excessive pressure.

Compact Rupture Discs

Compact rupture disk is the third category of rupture disk. The disk is smaller in size and can be reverse-acting or forward-acting. The device design includes a housing. To attach the disk to the housing, adhesive bonding or soldering is used. The category of rupture disc can withstand extreme pressure and temperature. That’s the reason why the model is widely preferred in complex industrial units.

The Role of Burst Disc Indicator in the Safe Operation of Devices

The burst disc indicator or a sensor with an alarm system can be used with the rupture disks. The sensor system tracks the event and the controller system with the combined operation of the alarm unit gives an alert or indication to the system operator. As rupture discs ensure a hundred percent efficiency, the safety device is widely used in aerospace, aviation, petrochemical, and pharmaceutical Industries. The device can be fitted alone or with a combination of other devices. Depending on the safety requirements, we can choose among the different categories of rupture discs or burst discs.

The safety of our lives is important while operating the devices used in industrial units and power plants. In such a scenario, the role of safety devices comes into the picture. Rupture discs or burst discs can regulate the condition of high pressure, temperature, and vacuum. The usage of rupture discs can be implemented to prevent safety hazards or safety accidents that occur due to extreme pressure or vacuum conditions. Depending on the safety and regulatory requirements, we can choose among the different categories of rupture discs or burst discs. Before choosing the rupture discs, it’s vital to consider the factors such as burst pressure, and the ability to withstand high temperatures and vacuum conditions.

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