Navigating Pressure-Relief System Guidance | AIChE

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Navigating Pressure-Relief System Guidance

August
2020

Save time and your sanity — know where to look for pressure-relief system design information.

Pressure-relief systems (PRSs) provide overpressure protection. To put it more simply: PRSs prevent things from blowing up. Pressure-relief devices (PRDs) and systems are virtually everywhere. You can find them on your hot water heater, car radiator cap, and kitchen pressure cooker, as well as at breweries, chemical plants, and petroleum refineries.

PRS engineering and design is technically challenging and gratifying work, but requires overcoming an initial hurdle — understanding the many related codes, standards, and practices. Many of us involved in PRS design are aware of the frequently cited American Petroleum Institute (API) 521 standard for pressure-relieving systems and the API 2000 standard for venting tanks, which suit different PRS applications.

The purpose of this article is to provide guidance to those new to PRS design. A brief review of recognized and generally accepted good engineering practice (RAGAGEP) for PRS and a practical approach to filtering applicable guidance will help equip you with the tools to take on a PRS project. Except for major design undertakings, engineers rarely need to design a PRS from scratch but may work on a project that overlaps with a facility’s PRSs.

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