Pressure relief of chemical reactors is the accepted way to prevent explosive vessel rupture in the event of a control problem such as loss of cooling supply or agitation failure. When the problem leads to a runaway reaction, potentially leading to rapid rises in temperature and pressure, correct sizing of the pressure relief device becomes much more critical due to the potential severity of the incident but also more difficult as it requires an accurate description of the runaway event.
The underlying technology for this was established ~ 1985 through a multi-company initiative (called DIERS). In addition, the need for small-scale simulation of the runaway reaction was established and the characteristics of the instrument to do this were specified. HEL’s Phi-TEC II adiabatic calorimeter follows directly from the findings of DIERS and provides data that can be used for sizing