Overview of Safety Relief Valves

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Valsource International FacilitySafety relief valves have been around for more than 400 years and offer significant advantages for businesses in the manufacturing, energy production and transportation industries. Investing in industrial valve repair and maintenance is essential to ensure the safety of people and property. Here are some of the most important facts to keep in mind about safety valves and their role in the industrial environment. 

The History of Safety Relief Valves 

The first safety relief valve was created by Denis Papin, a French inventor who designed this device in 1682 to release steam from a digester. Steam pressure regulators were soon in common use throughout Europe. In the U.S., more than 1,700 boiler explosions and 1,300 deaths in the early 1900s prompted the widespread use of safety valves on these devices. The American Society of Mechanical Engineers was responsible for creating the first codes and standards for boilers, valves and valve modification methods. 

The Purpose of Safety Valves 

Safety valves are used to release excess pressure from vessels and systems to prevent catastrophic failures and potential explosions. These valves are designed to release pressure in a controlled way. This can limit damage that can be caused by uncontrolled release of chemicals, steam and other substances and can reduce the potential for catastrophic explosions in the working environment. 

Types of Safety Valves 

Safety valves are generally divided into two basic categories:

  • Pilot-operated safety valves are designed to respond to changes in pressure. At a specific pressure level, the pilot-operated safety valve will open immediately or gradually to release pressure and allow gas, steam or fluid to escape. The same pressure that seals the valve during normal operation can provide the impetus for the valve to open and release its contents. 
  • A spring-loaded safety valve, as its name suggests, is held in place and sealed by a spring-loaded mechanism. When the pressure exceeds a certain level, the spring is compressed and the fluid, steam or gas is allowed to escape to reduce pressure inside the system.

For both types of systems, regular maintenance and industrial valve repair field services may be required to ensure that the safety relief valves are performing properly and are providing adequate protection for workers in these areas. 

At Valsource, our team of industrial valve repair and remanufacturing experts can provide you with the most precise and effective solutions for your industrial facility or manufacturing plant. We are VR Stamp Certified by the National Board of Boiler and Pressure Vessel Inspectors for Section I and Section VIII, allowing you to entrust your testing, repair and replacement tasks to us with confidence. Call us today at 281-474-1163. The professionals at Valsource will be happy to help you with your service requests.