High pressure systems like a LDPE-reactor may store a great amount of energy in the form of compressed gas. The way in which this energy is released in case of a failure is of paramount importance to the safety of the plant and its personnel. Catastrophic failure modes with a large gas release and possible metal splintering have to be avoided as far as technically possible. Therefore the failure mode needs to be analysed during the design of a high pressure system and taken into account. One important criterion for a safe pressure component is that a leak-before-burst behaviour can be ensured. This paper discusses the requirements for demonstration of this failure mode according to the design code for high pressure vessels ASME section VIII division 3. A full scale parts test using a DN-80, PN-3500 reactor tube section of a tubular LDPE-plant has been used to compare the code requirements with experimental results.

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