August 2001

Special Report: Fluid Flow

Using DIERS two-phase equations to estimate tube rupture flowrates

The method is more accurate than the traditional 'separate' phase approach

Elliott, B., Stone & Webster Engineers and Constructors, Inc.

ASME Section VIII and API 521 discuss the need to design and protect heat exchangers against overpressure due to a tube rupture. API 521 specifically addresses requirements and approaches to solve this problem. The first solution is to raise design pressure of the low-pressure side to a minimum of two-thirds of the design pressure of the high-pressure side. However, this may not be desirable due to economics or other design reasons. The second solution is to add a relieving device, like a relief valve or a rupture disc. To size this relieving device, flow through the tube rupture from the high-pressure side to the low-pressure side of the heat exchanger must be calculated (Fig.

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