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Todd Drennen
Michael Moosemiller

published on

October 2020

Component failure rate data are used in a variety of quantitative and semi-quantitative study methods related to process safety and reliability, including Fault Tree Analysis (FTA), Quantitative Risk Assessment (QRA), and Layers of Protection Analysis (LOPA). In each of these methodologies, failure rate data are used to determine the probability that specific protective components, such as pressure relief devices, will fail to function as designed when called upon to prevent an incident. In the case of pressure relief devices, standardized probabilities of failure on demand are often applied with minimal consideration of the device type or the process service in which the device is employed. This paper will examine pressure relief device failure rate data from multiple published sources, categorize the data based on device type and service, and then develop guidelines for determining probability of device failure on demand based on the proposed device type and service categories. Additionally, this paper will provide commentary on the administrative aspects of relief device handling relative to observed relief valve reliability.

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