Examination of proof test data for new (not previously installed) stainless steel (SS) trim spring operated pressure relief valves (SOPRV) reveals that adhesions form between the seat and disk in about 46% of all such SOPRV. The forces needed to overcome these adhesions can be sufficiently large to cause the SOPRV to fail its proof test (FPT) prior to installation. Furthermore, a significant percentage of SOPRV which are found to FPT are also found to “fail to open” (FTO) meaning they would not relief excess pressure in the event of an overpressure event. The cases where adhesions result in FTO or FPT appear to be confined to SOPRV with diameters less than or equal to 1 in. and set pressures less than 150 pounds per square inch gauge (psig) and the FTO are estimated to occur in 0.31% to 2.00% of this subpopulation of SS trim SOPRV. The reliability and safety implications of these finding for end users who do not perform pre-installation testing of SOPRV are discussed.

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