Two-phase discharge flow prediction in safety valves

William Dempster, Wael Elmayyah

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

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Safety Relief Valves (SRV) are necessary elements in the protection of any pressurised system and the prediction of the expected discharge flows is an important consideration for the valve sizing to ensure that rupture pressures do not occur. The high speed flows that occur inside the SRV are complex particularly when a two-phase flow is involved and lead to a less capable protection device which result in larger valves compared to single phase flows. In this paper the ability of a CFD based two phase mixture model to predict the critical flows of air and water through a safety valve is examined. An industrial refrigeration safety relief valve of ¼” inlet bore size has been tested experimentally over a pressure range of 6-15 barg and air mass qualities from 0.1-1 when discharging to near atmospheric conditions for a fully open condition. A two-dimensional mixture model consisting of mixture mass, momentum, and energy equations, combined with a liquid mass equation and the standard k- ε turbulence model for mixture turbulent transport has been used to predict the two phase flows through the valve. The mixture model results have been compared with the Homogenous Equilibrium Model (HEM) commonly used for in valve sizing in non flashing two phase flow conditions. The accuracy of the models over the two phase flow range are quantified and discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 20 May 2012
Event13th International Conference on Pressure Vessel Technology - London, United Kingdom
Duration: 20 May 201223 May 2012


Conference13th International Conference on Pressure Vessel Technology
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • safety relief valves
  • two phase discharge
  • prediction
  • CFD


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