Rupture Disk

Rupture Disk is used in Pressure regulations in vessels, piping etc so we will see  about it

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Purposes of Rupture Disks

Rupture Disks Function In series with relief valve

Rupture Disks Other Functions

Two disk terminology

    1. Forward - acting (tension loaded)

    2 .Reverse buckling (compression)

Rapture disk calculation



Rupture Disk

A rupture disk could be a device designed to perform by the exploding of a pressure-retaining disk.

A rupture disk is a type of sacrificial part because it has a one-time-use membrane that fails at a predetermined differential pressure, either positive or vacuum.

This assembly consists of a skinny, circular membrane typically fabricated from metal, plastic, or graphite that’s firmly clamped in a disk holder. 

Once the process reaches the exploding pressure of the disk, the disk ruptures and releases the pressure.

Rupture disks provide instant response (within milliseconds or microseconds in very small sizes) to an increase or decrease in system pressure.

Rupture disks is put in alone or together with different kinds of devices. Once blown, rupture disks doesn’t reset; therefore, the complete contents of the upstream process equipment are ventilated.

Rupture disks are usually utilized in series (upstream) with a relief valve to stop corrosive fluids from contacting the metal components of the valve. Additionally, this mix could be a re closing system.

The burst tolerances of rupture disks are generally concerning ±5% for set pressures > forty psig.

Purposes of Rupture Disks

A rupture disk could be a sensitive relief device designed to rupture at a per-determined pressure and temperature. 

It’s a way of providing protection for personnel and equipment. As such, it should be a fail-safe device.

Rupture disks are used wherever instant and full opening of a pressure relief device is needed. 

These devices also are used wherever “zero” leak-age is needed of a relief device. These devices also can be utilized in series as “quick opening” valves.

Rupture disks is also used either in primary relief, in secondary relief, in series with a relief valve, or for alternative functions like “quick opening” valves.

Primary Relief

If used for primary relief, the rupture disk is that the solely device used for pressure relief. As such, it’s the benefits of being leak tight, a right away reaction time, minimum pressure drop, lowest price, terribly high re-liability, and minimum maintenance. 

It’s the disadvantage that it should get replaced once every rupture prevalence, and permits discharge till system pressure equals downstream pressure.

Secondary Relief

When utilized in a secondary relief capability, the rupture disk provides a backup vent to a primary relief device, sometimes a relief valve. 

Its purpose here is typically to produce extra protection against an unlikely however potential major event that might exceed the capability of the first relief device.

Rupture Disks Function In series with relief valve

When employed in series with a pressure relief valve, the rupture disk is typically put in upstream of the valve. 

The disk can shield the valve from method media that may corrode or plug it. The disk also can act as a seal, preventing any leak through the valve unless the disk is burst.

The area between the rupture disk and therefore the pressure relief valve should have a pressure gauge, try cock, free vent, or appropriate telltale indicator. the conventional configuration is an excess flow valve together with a pressure gauge. 

This arrangement is to eliminate the chance of, or facilitate the detection of, a back pressure build up. as a result of a disk responds to the differential pressure across it, it’ll not burst at its rated pressure if a back pressure is allowed to exist during this cavity.

A low-pressure rupture disk is used on the downstream aspect of a relief valve that discharges into a standard manifold to stop exposure of the valve to process or corrosive media discharging by the common manifold. 

The area between the relief valve outlet and therefore the rupture disk should be ventilated to stop the buildup of pressure that may adversely have an effect on the relief valve set pressure. An excess flow valve can fulfill for this feature.

Rupture Disks Other Functions

Due to the tiny inertia characteristics of a rupture disk, the gap time, i.e., from a closed and sealed condition to a full open condition, is a smaller amount than one half one msec (0.0005 sec.). 

This characteristic permits a rupture disk to perform as a “quick opening” valve.

Some samples of rupture disks used during this manner are: 

  1. Shock tube operations
  2. Unstable testing
  3. Simulation of huge caliber gun discharges
  4. Shifting of control mechanisms from a foreign location
  5. Injection systems for suppression of upsets among storage vessels or systems.

Two disk terminology

There are two rupture disk technologies used in all rupture disks, both of which can be paired with a bursting disc indicator so as to be alerted if they fail.

1. Forward - acting (tension loaded)

2 .Reverse buckling (compression)

1. Forward - acting (tension loaded)

Applying load to the concave side, the disk is subjected to tension forces. Forward acting disks regulate burst pressures by the tensile strength of the material.

In Forward - acting (tension loaded) design loads are applied to the concave side of the rupture disk.

It is stretching the dome until the tensile forces exceed the ultimate tensile stress of the material and the disk bursts.

Flat rupture disk do not have a dome but, when pressure is applied, are still subject to tension loaded forces and are thus also forward-acting disks.

The thickness of the raw material employed and the diameter of the disk determines the burst pressure. Most forward-acting discs are installed in systems with a 80% or lower operating ratio.

Forward - acting (tension loaded) precision-cut or laser scores draw during manufacturing for weaken the material allowing for more variables to control of the burst pressure.

This approach to rupture disks, while effective, does have limitations. Forward-acting disks are prone to metal fatigue caused by pressure cycling and operating conditions that can spike past recommended limits for the disk, causing the disk to burst at lower than its marked burst pressure.

Low burst pressures also pose a problem for this disk technology. As the burst pressure lowers, the material thickness decreases.

This can lead to extremely thin disks (similar to tin foil) that are highly prone to damage and have a higher chance of forming pinhole leaks due to corrosion. These disks are still successfully used today and are preferred in some situations.

Forward - acting (tension loaded)

2. Reverse buckling (compression)

By loading the Reverse Buckling disk in compression it is able to resist operating pressures up to 100% of minimum burst pressure even under pressure cycling or pulsating conditions.

Reverse buckling rupture disks are the inversion of the forward-acting disk. 

The dome is inverted and the pressure is now loaded on the convex side of the disk. 

Once the reversal threshold is met, the dome will collapse and snap through to create a dome in the opposite direction. 

While that is happening, the disk is opened by knife blades or points of metal located along the score line on the downstream side of the disk. 

By loading the reverse buckling disk in compression, it is able to resist pressure cycling or pulsating conditions.

 The material thickness of a reverse buckling disk is significantly higher than that of a forward-acting disk of the same size and burst pressure. 

The result is greater longevity, accuracy and reliability over time. Correct installation of reverse buckling disks is essential. 

If installed upside down, the device will act as a forward acting disk and, due to the greater material thickness, will burst at much higher than the marked burst pressure.

Reverse buckling (compression)

Reverse buckling (compression) 2

Reverse buckling (compression) 3

Rapture disk calculation

There are 3 basic methodologies for sizing rupture disc devices:
  1. Coefficient of Discharge Method (KD) 
  2. Resistance to Flow Method (KR)
  3. Combination Capacity Method
For detailed description checkout PDF below

Download pdf now


1. There is no maintenance and calibration cost.

2. Its cost is less than other safety devices

3. It response quick at time over pressurize equipment

4. It requires less area.


1. This is one time using equipment. After operate it will be replaced.

2. It cannot be used in system in which pressure in variation is frequent.

Thanks for reading - Rupture Disk
Naitik Patel
Industrial Guide

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