Control Valve

What is safety valve?

Table of content:

What is safety valve?

Working of safety valve

Uses of Safety valves

Difference between Safety valves & Relief valve

What is safety valve?

Safety valve is an equipment designed to protect other equipment (Pressure Vessels, Boilers, Heat Exchangers, Piping, Compressors, etc.) and technical individuals. By opening automatically at a certain pressure and prevent damage due to excessive pressure in the process and storage system.

The allowable over pressure depends on the standards being followed and the particular application. The pressure at which the safety valve should operate can be designed based on ASME and SNI.

Safety valves

Working of safety valve:


When the static pressure inlet increases above the safety valve’s fixed pressure, the disk will start lifting off its seat. Then the spring begins to compress.

As the pressure increases the disc continue to lift. In order to achieve full opening from a small overpressure, the disc arrangement has to be specially designed to provide rapid opening. This is usually done by placing a shroud, skirt or hood around the disc.

As lift begins, and fluid enters the chamber, a larger area of the shroud is exposed to the fluid pressure. This rise in opening force overcompensates the rise in spring force, resulting in a fast opening


It has to reset the valve position after the high pressure flow is reduced. But, since the bigger disk region remains subjected to the fluid, the valve will not close until the pressure drops below the initial set pressure. The distinction between the fixed pressure and the reseating pressure is called the ‘ blowdown ‘

The decreased blowdown (nozzle) ring is common in many valves where tighter overpressure and blowdown conditions require a more sophisticated built solution.

Usually the upper blowdown ring is factory set and fundamentally removes the fabrication tolerances that influence the huddling chamber’s geometry.

Uses of Safety valves:

Pressure safety valve (PSV) is commonly used to protect a pressure containment part i.e. vessel, column, etc from overpressure. It is one of the code approved type of overpressure protection devices

Safety valves should be mounted wherever a system or pressure-containing vessel’s maximum allowable operating pressure (MAWP) is probable to be exceeded. Safety valves are also used to avoid product harm due to excess pressure during process activities.

The Pressure safety valves are used in mainly in the following locations:

  • Boiler drums
  • Superheater
  • Reheater inlet (CRH)
  • Reheater outlet (HRH)
  • Soot blower steam line
  • Pressure Reducing Stations
  • Pressure Vessels like Blow down tank

Difference between Safety valves & Relief valve:

The names “safety” and “relief” are often used interchangeably but are not supposed to be. For compressible fluids, safety valves are: steam and other gases.

Compressible fluids need quick pressure relief. So safety valves have pop seats and plugs which open rapidly on over pressure.

Relief valves are for the non-compressible fluids-liquids such as water and oil.. Immediate full-flow discharge is not required as a very tiny flow considerably decreases overpressure, thus opening and closing the socket and seat very slowly, discharging the liquid back to some low pressure point in the scheme.


Instrumentation Engineer

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