A relief valve, by definition, is "a device that controls or limits the pressure in a system or vessel." There are several circumstances where high pressure can build up in a vessel or system. These circumstances could include equipment failure, a fire, or a process upset. Valves are a critical component of a pipeline, and they always need to be in top working condition so as to ensure the unobstructed flow of the said substances, and to protect the pumps and systems.
There are a number of high pressure applications that need solutions that are on the cutting edge of valve technology. Valves that are used in drilling applications are often referred to as drilling valve. These valves are widely used at offshore locations such as oil rigs.
They could also be used at sites where intensive drilling operations are required to be undertaken. Such sites would include natural gas wells where the gas or liquid is collected, piped, processed or treated, and then piped to an on-shore location. Such operations are constantly in need of valves that can effectively control or regulate the pressure in these systems. The smallest knee of pressure levels could prove to be hazardous to the work as well as the entire process.
Conventionally, devices such as rupture disks have been used for pressure relief However, over the last two decades or so, a simple yet effective technology that is based on a rupture pin has been gaining popularity. Valves with rupture pins are in use for a number of mud relief operations. A mud valve with a rupture pin has proved to be a cost-effective pressure relief device for thousands of applications. A mud valve or slurry relief valve especially meant for pressure relief for toxic fluids or steam or corrosive fluids can be custom made to specifications.
Here are a few reasons why the oil and gas industry is steadily switching over to a drilling valve with a rupture pin:
- A fire is probably the single biggest threat to operations of the oil and gas sector. Such valves automatically open in the event of a fire. This provides instant pressure relief preventing further damage.
- These valves also combine an indicator that tells you when the set pressure levels have been exceeded. The indicator enables personnel on-site to rectify the problem instantly.
- These parts have only one moving part in the form of a piston. Due to this, the maintenance and operational aspect becomes simpler.
- Such valves are far more reliable as compared to conventional pressure relief valves and rupture disks.
- There is virtually no limit to the size that such a valve can be manufactured in. From a few inches to several feet, drilling valve can be made in a myriad of sizes and dimensions based on specific applications.
- High Pressure relief valves with rupture pins are also used in hydraulic fracturing operations. A frac valve with a rupture pin adds definite value to any pressure relief or emergency shutdown operation. Industries in the oil and gas sector are constantly in need of a dependable frac valve range.