Prevent Premature Rupture Disc Failure on Gas Compressor cooling systems

Problem: Premature Rupture Disc Failure

Rupture discs (bursting discs) used to protect heat exchangers on gas compressor systems have been known to burst early, or leak

The failure of the disc and related leakage allows cooling media to enter the relief stream and this causes the Burst Disc Indicators (BDIs) to break. A broken BDI signal generates an executive command which is a complete and unplanned shutdown of the gas compressor system. Oil extraction / gas transmission is disrupted.

Cause / System Conditions / Key factors

  • The rupture discs on gas compressors are used to protect the heat exchanger in the event that a tube bursts. When / if a tube bursts, the high pressure gas will leak immediately into the low pressure side of the exchanger containing the cooling media, and this will cause an over-pressure and catastrophic failure
  • Gas compressors often run on a duty, standby and redundancy basis (3 sets), and there are often multiple compressor sets on each asset. Each compressor has multiple heat exchangers
  • Contractors, engineers and OEMs have a tendency to choose lower technology discs because of price. Cross scored forward acting discs are common
  • The effect of back pressure from adjacent relief and flare streams on the discs as well as the BDIs is often ignored or not understood
  • Oil platforms, and similar O&G assets such as FPSOs (Floating Production Storage and Offloading vessels) LPG (Liquid Petroleum Gas) carriers and Gas Transmission / Booster stations all operate to very aggressive high-cycling regimes with constant throughput
  • As end users drill new wells they force higher volumes through existing assets and compressor systems, so the cycling duty and operating pressures increase, pushing the existing discs beyond their operating limits
  • The bursting discs ultimately fail or burst early because of the high cycling duty and the damage effects of fatigue and back pressure from the adjacent/common relief streams


The problem of early failure and unplanned shut-downs caused by fatigue can be overcome by using a disc that was specifically designed for such applications. CDC launched the HPX: a unique sanitary rupture disc developed for sustained use in arduous and high-cycling pressure systems

Contact Ireland on +353 21 4510900 or UK +44 1633 877505 to discuss any bursting disc problems you may have, send us an product enquiry or contact us via our online Chat.

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