Pipeline doors or “closures” are commonplace in the pipeline industry, providing access to the pipeline as well as to high-pressure equipment associated with the pipeline such as filters, separators, strainers, etc. Despite their prevalence, the importance of closures to the safe and efficient operation of a pipeline system is often overlooked. Recent changes in closure definitions and terminology warrant a review of the systems, applicable standards, designs and considerations related to choosing a closure for a desired purpose.

Closure can be defined differently, one definition, for example, is a pressure-containing component used to blind off an opening nozzle on a vessel or end of pipeline which could mean simply a bolted blind flange, a T-bolt cap. Others define a “quick-opening” closure as a pressure-containing component used for repeated access to the interior of a piping system. So clearly there are several ways the current codes can be interpreted, but what does it all mean?

In addition to the changes in definitions and terminology on the closures, during the design of the traps, many different codes and standards may be applied. Both the product that will be transported and where the equipment will be located can impact on the materials and the design of the traps. This can include the transitions from one design code to another, commonly referred to as breaks in the specifications, or “spec breaks”.

This paper will focus on quick-actuating and quick-opening closures, presenting a history of pipeline closures from the early development to recent innovations. Also, the paper will address the issue of spec breaks and how designers and owners can benefit from the right choices for safe, cost effective and code compliant launch and receive facilities.

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