Project Synopsis

Evaluate existing relief devices and vent header systems at a specialty metals manufacturing plant as part of a process safety management (PSM) program compliance project.

Project Summary


Process Engineering Associates, LLC (PROCESS) was subcontracted by a detail engineering company to evaluate the existing relief devices at the ultimate client’s specialty metals manufacturing plant as part of a major process safety management system implementation project.

The ultimate client required a pressure and vacuum relief study be conducted on their process in order to comply with an OSHA mandate.  This client operates a semi-batch specialty metals washing (leaching) process using ball mills, various low pressure tanks, scrubbers, and heat exchangers.  PROCESS upgraded its proprietary in-house relief device sizing program to utilize the guidelines in API 2000 Standard for atmospheric and low-pressure storage vessels.  PROCESS then used the revised program to evaluate the existing relief devices in the client’s process.  For those relief devices found to be inadequate, PROCESS recommended appropriately sized replacements.

PROCESS used it’s licensed commercial process simulation software (CHEMCAD) to determine the physical and chemical properties of the chemical compounds involved in the relief scenarios.  PROCESS also used CHEMCAD to model the hydraulics of a vent header and conservation vent that was protecting multiple tanks.  The vent header and conservation vent were found to provide inadequate protection.  PROCESS proposed several solutions for the client’s consideration to provide adequate overpressure protection.

Industry Type

  • Specialty Metals Manufacturing

Utilized Skills

  • Application of American Petroleum Institute standards
  • Pressure relief valve (PRV) or pressure safety valve (PSV) sizing
  • Vent header hydraulics analysis