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What is the difference between a relief valve and safety valve?

In oil service, which is my only area of expertise, the difference is that relief valves are set at a certain pressure
and are set into closed systems designed to relieve pressure out of a closed pipe system.
So basically where these were equipped we never had to worry about trapping line systems or worry about
thermal expansion because the pressure relief valves would blow off pressure to tankage as needed. In the
summer you'd hear them screaming all day long. They would be removed and tested on a regular basis and are
a pretty safe and reliable system.

Safety valves, on the other hand, always tended to vent to atmosphere. In other words, if they opened, you now
had an oil spill which was your signal that a line system was trapped and over pressured. I hate that system and
can't imagine why any facility uses them over a closed pressure relief system ... except that it's probably
cheaper.

Difference bw safety valve and relief valve

Relief Valveis the term used to describe relief device on a filled vessel. For such a valve the opening is
proportional to increase in the vessel pressure. Hence the opening of valve is not sudden, but gradual if the
pressure isincreased gradually.

Safety Valveis the term used to describe relief device on a compressible filled vessel. For such a valve the
opening is sudden. When the set pressure of the valve is reached, the valve opens almost fully.

The difference is generally in capacity and setpoint. A relief valve is ment to relieve pressure to prevent an over
pressure condition. A relief valve may have an operator on it to assist in opening the valve in response to a
control signal. A safety valve is ment to relieve pressure without operator assistance and a safety valve, or
combination of safety valves, must be have a capacity to relieve more than the energy input to the volume being
protected.

For example, a thermal relief valveis used to bleed off pressure in a heat exchanger if the heat exchanger is
isolated but the possibility of thermal expansion of the fluid could cause over pressure conditions. The capacity
of thermal reliefs are generally small.A safey valve on a boiler or other types of fired pressure vessels must be
capable of removing more energy that is possible to be put into the vessel. 110 percent of boiler rated capacity
may be acceptable. The ASME Boiler & PressureVessel Code would be the source to check for adaquatley sizing
safety valves.

Opening of a relief valve is proportional to the increase in fluid pressure. Its opening is not sudden, but
gradual if the pressure is increased gradually. Usually no immediate attention is required if the relief valve
open. Use on: Air bottle, hydrophore tank, heat exchanger etc.

But in case of Safety valve when the set pressure is reached, the valve opens almost fully. Generally it is set
not more than 3% above of working pressure and it release the pressure up to not below 4% of working
pressure. Use on: Boiler, super heater etc

A safety valve is a control mechanism that releases the pressure when it crosses a set threshold and then resets
back to the original position. e.g. the valve on a pressure cooker or autoclave where you want to keep the
contents at/under a specified pressure.
A relief valve is a relief mechanism to instantly relieve the pressure, that is triggered in extreme circumstances
when the pressure has suddenly exceeded or is approaching failure criteria for the system itself, when materials
approach their yield limit and parts can start breaking. e.g. relief valve on a fire engine when the pressure in the
hoses exceeds a limit or in a refinery or chemical plant when there is a fire or system failure.

Simple. It means what it says


Please look at your domestic pressure cooker. The weight on top is a relief valve set to release the
stem pressure from the cooker vessel. There is a another small pice held on the lid shaped like nut
and holding a metallic sheet of lead alloy with a pre designed melting point. If for any reason some
failure of relief valves is stuck doesn't function correctly because any block in its relief valve the
temperature and pressure rises and the preset alloy will melt and create a hole to allow steam and
pressure to escape preventing an explosion. That is called the safety valves.
There are several types safety valves and relief valve. Usually safety valves are set on the basis of
design limited and operating pressures. Relief valves will close back once it relieves the excess
pressures and are designed to close back properly and continue to operate normally. It does not
need a manual reset and is designed for the maximum flow rate. For example if a down stream valve
is closed the relief valves are designed to vent out the stem or the fluid flow. For example in a fluid
line there is an emergency shut down a water hammer type situation might Develop and relief valves
designed open Rapids even in such situations . Safety valve is the safety point of last resort. Some
relief can be set for different pressures depending on operational requirements. Safety valves aren't
not only operational conditions but also to protect the equipment and its surroundings and als
connected to many other fail safe and shut down equipments for a permanent shutdown. The idea is
not to start equipment s without a thorough investigation of safety valve operating and rectifying
fundamental cause.

The main difference between a relief and safety valve is the pressure relieving profile.

A relief valve has an opening and closing pressure which is almost the same, eg this valve will start to blow at 10
bar, and close at 9.9 bar.

As the built up pressure gets higher, the relief valve will also open more to relieve the pressure. i.e the amount
which the valve open is somewhat proportional to the system pressure above the opening pressure.

eg the valve open at 10 bar by 1 mm, suppose the system pressure keeps increasing to 11 bar, the seat will
gradually open up to 2mm, allowing greater flow of medium to escape so as to control the system pressure.

A safety valve an opening and closing pressure which are significantly different.

eg, Safety valve blows at 10 bar(opening pressure) and will continue blowing until the system pressure drop to 7
bar (closing pressure).
The safety valve will also be fully open when the systems achieves opening pressure. There is no half/semi open
position for a safety valve.

Safety valvewhen the pressure in the pipeline exceeds the specified value, the valve automatically opens,
discharges the ultra-high pressure.

Relief ValveExhaust valve used in the liquid pipeline, when the air in the pipeline exceeds, the exhaust
valve will discharge the gas, mostly installed at the top of the pipeline.

Pressure Reducing Valve: can maintain stable outlet pressure through regulation,to avoid failure caused by
exceeding high pressure.