Still completely sealed? The amendment to TA-Luft: technical instructions on air quality control.

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What is TA-Luft?

TA-Luft is the Technical Instructions on Air Quality Control. It is considered the general administrative regulation on the Federal Emission Protection Law (BImSchG) of the German federal government.

It is adopted by the federal cabinet, approved by the Federal Council and is aimed at industries with respective plants to reduce air pollutants through emissions. 

The general administrative regulation on the Federal Emission Protection Law (BImSchG) is publicly available.

New version of the TA-Luft 2021: When does it enter into force?

The amendment to TA-Luft (technical instructions on air quality control) is complete. The resolution of the federal cabinet for the corresponding law within the BlmSchG (Federal Emission Protection Law) has been available since December

2020 and the law, including the new version, has been submitted to the Federal Council for approval.

Approval from the Federal Council has been available since 23 June 2021 so that the new version can enter into force on 01 December 2021.

Amendment to TA-Luft 2021 - what are the main changes?

From REMBE®'s perspective, key changes can also be found in the section 5.2.6.3 Flange connections/clamped connections. The policy here states that connections found in the main power connection now must comply with the directive VDI2290 (June 2012 issue) in order to reduce air pollutants from emissions.

Flange connections that

  • are metallic
  • are operated below 400°C and
  • contain a medium listed in TA-Luft

require approval and now must have calculational proof of technical Leak-tightness according to DIN EN 1591-1 and may only be installed by personnel who have been trained as per DIN EN 1591-4.

If calculational proof according to DIN EN 1591-1 is notpossible, a redefined component test must be performed.

This component test has changed, however. According to the new regulation, the assembly occurs

  • in the customer's specific flange,
  • at the effective maximum temperature present in operation,
  • under the effective operating pressure present and in combination with the connection components actually used.


Especially important to know


The new version of the TA-Luft also changes the requirements from a component-based to a system-based consideration and evaluation of the plants.

Previously, the Leak-tightness requirements of TA-Luft only related to individual components, i.e. the gaskets. In future - due tot he new version of the requirements for the approval process - now not only must the gasket, but also the entire design of all components - as a complete system - must meet the requirements.


TA-Luft amendment - the consequences


A distinction is made between non-metallic and metallic flange materials. For non-metallic flange materials, a component test is necessary, depending on the system. For metallic flange materials, a calculation (EN 1591/FEM) can be performed as an alternative to the component test. The characteristic values as per EN 13555 are required for the calculation. 

Proof is required for every system. If one of the following parameters changes, new proof is required:

  • Nominal diameter
  • Pipe class
  • Gasket
  • Operating pressure
  • Operating temperature

If a component test is performed for the proof, the Leak-tightness criterion of 1.0 * 10-2 mbar*l/s must be met under real conditions. Under real pressure, however, this is still a difficult undertaking. If this limit value is maintained, only this connection is certified as TA-Luft-compliant. For all other flange systems, a new component test must be performed as an approval procedure.

A new types of plants affected compared to the old TA-Luft?

Page 16 of the public administrative regulation of TA-Luft has a detailed list of all plant types affected by the changes.

It reads:

“Plants for the production of basic organic chemicals in the sense of this administrative regulation are plants for the production of the following substances of groups of substances through chemical, biochemical or biological conversion with a total manufacturing capacity relating to these substances of more than 20,000 tonnes per year in continuous processes”

Source: Bundesrat Germany (2021)

In summary, all company organisations in industries working with hydrocarbons must now deal with Leak-tightness requirements of TA-Luft.

TA-Luft-compliant - REMBE® offers the solution

The company REMBE® uses a lot of products from Garlock GmbH. Above all products of the GYLON® series, which are calendered and modified PTFE materials

  • with a stopped cold flow,
  • very good chemical and
  • also very good temperature-specific resistance.

All GYLON® materials already have DIN EN13555 characteristic values which are needed for a calculation according to DIN EN 1591-1 and therefore to meet the future TA-Luft requirements. Proof of technical Leak-tightness can be provided through the required calculational proof for standard flanges.

EN 1591-1-compliant calculations for different projects, applications and evidence of Leak-tightness compliant with VDI 2290 have already been being performed at REMBE® since 2011 in cooperation with the company Garlock. In this way, TA-Luft-compliant samples have therefore already been taken, also for “Tri-Clamp” connections from the GYLON BIO-LINE® PLUS series.

The rupture disc gaskets of the type TC(R)-KUB® and their secondary products, which were designed specifically for pressure reduction devices requiring sterility, were already

designed compliant with EN 1591-1 in the past.

This proves that REMBE® customers were already on the safe side even when VDI 2290 entered into force in 2012.

Leak-tightness: Rupture discs vs. safety valves

These two variants pursue the same target idea with different advantages and disadvantages: To protect a system from over-pressure and from dangerous explosions.

The particular advantage that our rupture discs already have is increased Leak-tightness. A safety valve will have problems meeting the requirements and standards of TA-Luft, but a rupture disc usually will not. That is why it is unlikely to already assume that a lot of safety valves will have to be replaced by rupture discs due to the new version of TA-Luft.

With the new system-related consideration of TA-Luft, rupture discs in safety equipment will now have an even more important role.


Our goal: A system-related certification


That is why a close cooperation of plant and component manufacturers is crucial. REMBE® is already striving to achieve a system-related certification in close cooperation with several gasket manufacturers, which is planned for the coming months.

FH Münster has already dealt with implementing the new requirements of TA-Luft in cooperation with the German Federal Environmental Agency and made a publication about it, which can be downloaded for free as a PDF.

In this publication, you will find information, suggestions and concepts regarding compliance with the new TA-Luft requirements. Source: German Federal Environmental Agency (2021):Harmonisation of requirements for tight fasteners such as flanged connections, to limit diffuse light volatile organic emissions. (VOC), p. 61

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