Development and Validation of a Bench Test Procedure for Post Mortem Testing of Relief Valves
Author: Jekel, T. B., Claas, M., Reindl, D. T.
In 2007, IIAR revised its recommended practice for replacing pressure relief valves on industrial ammonia refrigeration systems (Section 6.6.3 of Bulletin 110). In addition to the prescriptive fiveyear relief valve replacement interval, the revisions to Bulletin 110 added an alternative replacement method based on an evaluation of in-service relief valve life using appropriate testing and data analysis methods. This paper describes the results of a research project that aimed to validate guidelines for the postmortem testing of relief valves. The purpose of the data collected by post-mortem testing is intended to support the alternative path to determine the service life of relief valves following their removal from the system prior to their disposal (i.e. post-mortem). The testing procedure and data gathering methods described in this paper are intended for relief valves that have not discharged during their in-service life. A test rig suitable for post-mortem testing of relief valves was designed, constructed, and proof-tested. The function of the experimental rig was established by testing a range of alternative relief valves that included high and low set pressures; high and low capacities; as well as both new and used relief valves. The draft test procedure was modified using the information gathered during the rig proof-test. The results of this project include a relief valve test rig design and corresponding test procedures suitable for data collection by post-mortem testing of relief valves.