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Introduction to Design Safety

z Designing safety into a process is important to everyone including the process

design engineer, the people working in the plant, the community and the
environment in the surrounding areas.

ExxonMobil is committed to safety

z The risk of potential safety problems is measured by the product of the probability
of the occurrence and the consequences of the occurrence.


z This module describes actions that can be taken at the design level to reduce the
risk of potential safety problems. We can reduce this risk by reducing the:
– Probability. At times we can reduce the probability to such a low level that it is
no longer considered a plausible event.
– Consequences. Sometimes we can reduce the potential consequences of the
event until it is an event we can tolerate.

Slide 2.2
General Principles of Safety in Process Design

The following general principles of safety apply to process design:

z The design of safety into a process is the responsibility of the process design
z Every design must be safe against the reasonable causes of failure.
z The design must incorporate facilities that are adequate to prevent fires,
explosions, accidents and minimize releases.
z All process designs (grass-roots and revisions) must be reviewed with the Safe
Operations Committee to ensure safety standards are being met.

Slide 2.3
Minimizing the Risk of Fire, Explosion, or

Designing to minimize the risk of fire, explosion or accident consists of:

z Preventing uncontrolled releases of flammable or toxic materials, such as those
that may result from equipment failure, improper materials or incorrect procedures.
z Minimizing the number of ignition sources.
z Preventing hydrocarbon/air mixtures in the flammable range from forming within
process equipment.
z Ensuring the plant is safe and operable for personnel.
z Preventing runaway exothermic chemical reactions.

Slide 2.4
Equipment Spacing

Equipment spacing is important in the design of safe plants:

z Permits access for firefighting.
z Permits operators to perform emergency shutdown actions in a fire situation.
z Minimizes involvement of adjacent facilities in a fire, thus preventing further
equipment failures.
z Ensures that critical emergency facilities are not subject to fire damage.
z Separates continuous ignition sources from probable sources of release of
flammable materials.
z Segregates high risk facilities (such as LPG storage).
z Avoids danger or nuisance to persons or facilities beyond adjacent
property lines.
z Permits access for normal operation and maintenance.
z Ensures site security.

Slide 2.5
Designing for Equipment Spacing
DP XV-G, Figure 1B provides recommended minimum distances between equipment
items in onsites. Figure 2B is similar, but gives distances between equipment items in

Slide 2.6
Layout Considerations

Locate air-cooled exchangers on

z This example layout shows some of
other side of towers away from
the equipment spacing layout design furnaces. These may be located
considerations. Locate cooling tower on
over pipe rack if DP XV-G
downwind side of unit.
requirements are met.
z In addition to requirements for each
type of equipment, there are general
spacing considerations for:
– Maximum height. Avoid
stacking more than three levels
of equipment to minimize Locate pumps on opposite
side of towers from
potential fire involvement.
furnaces. Locate pumps on
– Stacking. Do not locate same side of pipe rack as
suction vessels.
equipment over pumps
handling flammable materials,
air fin exchangers,
or heat exchangers or drums
containing flammable materials
above 600°F (315ºC)
Locate fired heaters on upwind
side of unit near battery limit.
Provide access for tube removal

Slide 2.7
Preventing Equipment Failures

Equipment failure can result in fire, explosion or accident. Most stationary equipment
failures are due to:
z Overstressing of equipment (over pressure, under pressure, over temperature and
under temperature)
z The environment (corrosion, erosion and cycling)

It is important to be sure that:

z the design temperatures and pressures cover the full range of operating
conditions which might be experienced, including upset conditions and unusual
z the materials of construction must be able to handle the environment to which
the equipment will be exposed

Slide 2.8
Maximum and Minimum Design Temperatures

The maximum and minimum design temperatures are the metal temperatures that:
z Equal the most severe combination of temperatures and pressures.
z Are the same as the fluid temperatures for equipment without internal insulation.

Normally, the design of an equipment item has:

z A maximum design temperature, which often sets the materials of construction
and is used to determine allowable stresses.
z A minimum design temperature, which can set materials of construction and
impact testing requirements. It is usually specified as Critical Exposure
Temperature (CET).

Slide 2.9
Setting Design Temperatures

z Determine range of normal operating temperatures and coincident pressures.

Include normal operations, startup, shutdown, regeneration, steamout (300 ºF) and
other PLANNED scenarios. Identify most severe combination of coincident
pressure and temperature and add suitable safety margin to account for deviations
from normal.

z Determine range of temperatures and coincident pressures arising from abnormal

operations, e.g. utility failures, operating failures and other UNPLANNED
scenarios (excluding fire). Identify most severe combination of coincident
temperature and pressure. No need to add safety margin.

The design temperatures are set by the most severe conditions arising from normal
or abnormal operations.

Slide 2.10
Setting Design Temperatures:
Additional Guidelines
z Guidelines for design temperatures up to 650 °F (345 ºC)
Allowable stresses for ASME vessels are constant. The usual practice is to add a
50 °F (28 ºC) margin to the design temperature set by planned operations.
However, this margin can be reduced if the temperature can be predicted with
confidence, or increased if significant uncertainty exists.
z Guidelines for design temperatures 650 °F to 800 °F (345 ºC to 425 ºC)
Allowable stresses for carbon steel (CS) decrease with temperature. Add a
minimum margin to cover uncertainty in temperature prediction for the design
temperature set by planned operations.
z Guidelines for design temperatures above 800 °F (425 ºC)
These temperatures usually require alloy construction or internal insulation
(refractory lining) for CS vessels. Keep in mind:
– For alloy vessels, add a minimum margin to correct for uncertainties in
planned operating temperature.
– For internally insulated vessels, design metal temperature is usually set at
650 °F (345 ºC) for fluid temperatures above 650 °F (345 ºC).

Slide 2.11
Practice – What Design Temperature?

z Maximum operating temperature = 400 ºF (205 ºC), emergency temp = 430

ºF (220 ºC)

z Hydrocarbon system, max temp = 200 ºF (95 ºC), emerg. temp = 265 ºF
(130 ºC)

z Maximum operating temperature = 400 ºF (205 ºC), fire contingency = 825

ºF (440 ºC)

z Maximum operating temperature = 675 ºF (360 ºC) set by hot oil belt;
maximum hot oil belt temperature at 700 ºF (370 ºC)

z Maximum operating temperature = 975 ºF (525 ºC), internally lined vessel

z Heat exchanger: shell side maximum operating temperature = 350 ºF (175

ºC); tube side maximum operating temperature = 500 ºF (260 ºC)

Slide 2.12
Critical Exposure Temperature

z The lowest temperature at which the equipment may be pressurized up to its full
design pressure without risk of brittle fracture
z Maximum safe pressure below the CET determined by mechanical/ materials
engineering specialists
z The CET is derived from either operating, upset or atmospheric conditions. The CET
may initially be determined as the lowest metal temperature at which a component
will be subject to either a pressure greater than 35% of design pressure or the lowest
one-day mean temperature.
z Used to determine minimum impact testing requirements to avoid brittle fracture
z The cost impact of CET is usually not significant (for new construction) above -55 °F
(-48 ºC).
– Above 120°F (50 ºC), impact testing not required.
– Above -20°F (-30 ºC) impact testing normally not required for most steels
– Below -20°F (-30 ºC), normalized (killed) CS is used and impact testing is
required per IP 18-6-1
– Below -55°F (-48 ºC), use of alloy may be required

Slide 2.13
GII: General Instructions & Information

z Useful place to find information such as:

– Site conditions
– Utilities
– Site preferences

Slide 2.14
Design Pressure

z Design pressures are the maximum pressure expected

in the top of the vessel and are used to determine
minimum wall thickness.
– The designer must also specify the maximum dynamic
pressure drop and the maximum liquid static head, if these
values are significant.
z Minimum design pressure is 15 psig (1 kg/cm2)
z Minimum recommended design pressure for vessel
with pressure relief valve discharging to a closed
system (flare) is 50 psig (3.5 kg/cm2) , and may
consider 100 psig (7 kg/cm2) depending on flare

Slide 2.15
Design Pressure

z Margins are added to the maximum expected pressures in most equipment to

account for uncertainties in estimating actual pressures.
– Maximum Operating Pressure, PMAX ≤ 250 PSIG (17.6 kg/cm2)
z Direct Acting PRV: PDES = PMAX + 25 PSIG (1.8 kg/cm2)
z Pilot Operating PRV: PDES = PMAX + 5 PSIG (0.6 kg/cm2)

– Maximum operating pressure, PMAX > 250 PSIG (17.6 kg/cm2)

z Direct acting PRV: PDES = PMAX / 0.90
z Pilot operated PRV: PDES = PMAX / 0.95
z (In normal practice, larger margins are used since at these values, safety
valves will begin to simmer. See GII.)

Slide 2.16

z If the vessel can be under vacuum, the minimum

pressure must also be specified.
– How know if vacuum possible?
z Specify vacuum or partial vacuum if fluid in vessel will have
less than 14.7 psia (1.0 kg/cm2) vapor pressure if cooled to
ambient temperature.
z Assume vessel loses flow and heat input. As vessel cools,
overhead pressure control valve closes, and vacuum can
be created.

Slide 2.17
Practice – Design Pressure

z Heavy hydrocarbon fractionator, maximum operating pressure = 15

psig (1 kg/cm2)

z Steam drum, maximum operating pressure = 175 psig (12.3 kg/cm2)

z Deairator, maximum operating pressure = 10 psig (0.7 kg/cm2)

z Light ends tower, maximum operating pressure = 300 psig (21


z High pressure reactor, maximum operating pressure = 1800 psig

(126 kg/cm2)

Slide 2.18
Piping Flange Design

z Process designs do not necessarily specify design temperatures and pressures for
piping. It must be done by detailed engineering, but process designs do specify
ratings for the flanges on piping and equipment. These ratings depend upon:
– The design temperature and pressure of the line
– The type of flanges and materials of construction
z Temperature and pressure conditions for these ratings are presented in DP II,
Tables 14.4.1 –14.4.11.
z Can also access flange rating tables from ASME B16.5.

Slide 2.19
Table 14.4.1 Flange Ratings for Carbon Steel

Slide 2.20
Setting Piping Flange Design Temperature
and Pressure
z To set flange design temperature, first determine the long term operating
temperature plus 50 °F (28 ºC). Determine design conditions from DP II, Tables
14.4.1 to 14.4.8, depending on conditions and materials. Uninsulated flanges can
use 90% of the temperature you determine.
z Design pressure is generally set at the design pressure of connected equipment.
z Some flanges may see excursions of temperature and pressure above the design
value for a small period of time. This is permissible if the excursions are less than:
– 33% for short term events (less than 10 hours per event and less than 100
hours per year).
– 20% for intermediate events (less than 50 hours per event and less than 500
hours per year).
z If the temperature, pressure or timing do not meet these requirements, raise the
flange rating until the above requirements are met.

Slide 2.21
Practice – Flange Rating

z Design conditions: 400 ºF, 150 psig (200 ºC, 10.5 kg/cm2)
z Design conditions: 400 ºF, 270 psig (200 ºC, 19 kg/cm2)
z Design conditions: 850 ºF, 1100 psig (450 ºC, 77 kg/cm2) based
– Design conditions: 500 ºF, 1100 psig (260 ºC, 77 kg/cm2) for
normal operation
– Design conditions: 850 ºF, 150 psig (450 ºC, 10.5 kg/cm2) for
catalyst activation

Slide 2.22