Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Forged Steel Valves for the Toughest Applications

cutaway view forged steel gate valve with handle and weld socket connections
Forged Steel Gate Valve
Cutaway View
Courtesy Crane ChemPharma Energy
Forging steel produces material of greater overall strength and toughness for parts and assemblies subjected to higher levels of stress. Forging is basically accomplished by applying localized mechanical pressure across the base steel, eliminating internal voids and gas pockets, while producing a unique oriented grain structure in the metal that delivers increased fatigue resistance.

Higher pressure or temperature applications in fluid process control can benefit from, and sometimes may require, the use of forged steel valves. Their ruggedness and ability to hold up under tough conditions make forged steel valves a good choice for many uses throughout general industrial, oil and gas, and power generation installations.

Forged steel valves are available in a broad range of sizes, connection types, and port configurations. Crane, world class manufacturer of industrial valves, offers forged steel gate, globe, and check valves to provide options for flow direction, stop, and throttle control.

There are almost countless variants and configurations of industrial valves from which to choose. Share your fluid control requirements and challenges with an industrial valve expert, combining your own process knowledge and experience with their product application expertise to develop effective solutions.


Friday, March 17, 2017

Ergonomic Electro-Pneumatic Valve Positioner

Spirax Sarco, global leader in steam system control products, has released a new valve positioner that ranks high on the user friendly scale. The EP500 is an electro-pneumatic positioner that features a cast aluminum enclosure and a host of features that facilitate a rapid and simple setup or calibration procedure.

See how easily setup is accomplished, and get a close look at the new valve positioner, in the video provided below. Reach out to a steam system and valve specialist for more information, and share your control valve and steam system challenges. The combination of your own process knowledge and experience will combine with the expertise of a product application specialist to develop effective solutions.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Metal Seated Ball Valves Offer Potential for Long Term Cost Savings

3 piece ball valve with handle
Adding metal seats to a ball valve can extend its service life
Photo courtesy of Flo Tite
The majority of ball valves are provided with one of several elastomeric materials forming a soft seat between the trim, or ball, and the valve body. With the balance of the valve assembly in contact with the media likely to be metal (unless, of  course, it is a plastic valve), the soft seat, because of its properties and location, tends to experience wear and tear and be a common cause for repair or valve performance deterioration.

In fluid process control applications where the media conditions may not, at first glance, warrant the use of a metal seated valve, there may be long term returns to be gained from the added cost of metal seats. The factors that create wear and degradation of soft seats are generally better tolerated by metal seats. Process downtime or man-hours for repair have a cost, so avoiding or reducing the occurrences of repair or maintenance provide a return on the additional expenditure for a metal seated valve that can provide a longer service life.

Many commonly available ball valves are also available with metal seats as an option, or metal seated variants are offered as uniquely identified products. Whatever the case, consider hardening your valve selections with metal seated valves. There are instances where they are well suited to the application and will offer a return on the additional cost.

Share your fluid process control challenges with a valve specialist, combining your own process knowledge with their product application expertise to develop effective solutions.



Thursday, March 2, 2017

New Electric Linear Actuators for Industrial Valves

electric linear valve actuators
Electric linear actuators for industrial valves
ILEA Series
Courtesy Warren Controls
There are uncountable choices for industrial process control valves and actuators. With applications so diverse and requirements so specific, each product seems to enjoy a placement within a particular niche or range of usage where it provides the perfect combination of construction, performance, and cost attributes.

Warren Controls, manufacturer of a wide range of industrial control valves and actuators that include both linear and rotary designs, has released an electrically powered linear actuator that provides some application advantages.

The ILEA series of industrial linear electric actuators provides failsafe features, fast operation, robust environmental performance, and extended output force ranges. This all is delivered at a cost point making the ILEA series a contender for any modulating valve service application.

The datasheet included below provides additional detail. Share your fluid process control valve challenges with valve application experts, combining your own process knowledge with their product application expertise to develop effective solutions.


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Case Study From CSB: Industrial Plant Heat Exchanger Explosion

large shell and tube heat exchangers at industrial chemical plant
Primary and secondary heat exchangers, similar to the setup
in the re-enactment video
Industrial accidents, whether minor or catastrophic, can serve as sources of learning when analyzed and studied. Operators, owners, and technicians involved with industrial chemical operations have a degree of moral, ethical, and legal responsibility to conduct work in a reasonably and predictably safe manner without endangering personnel, property, or the environment. Part of a diligent safety culture should include reviewing industrial accidents at other facilities. There is much to learn from these unfortunate events, even when they happen in an industry that may seem somewhat removed from our own.

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board, or CSB, is an independent federal agency that investigates industrial chemical accidents. Below, find one of their video reenactments and analysis of an explosion that occurred at a Louisiana chemical processing plant in 2013. A portion of the reenactment shows how a few seemingly innocuous oversights can combine with other unrecognized conditions that result in a major conflagration.

Check out the video and sharpen your senses to to be aware of potential trouble spots in your own operation.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Trunnion Mount Ball Valves

stainless steel trunnion mount ball valve flange connections
One example of many variants for
trunnion mount ball valves
Courtesy HS Valve
A ball valve is generally a well understood industrial valve design. Its simple quarter turn operation, bidirectional sealing, compact form factor, and tight shutoff capability make the ball valve a preferred choice for many applications. The many variants of industrial ball valves can be grouped into two categories, distinguished by a primary design feature, the mounting of the ball.

The two designs are known as floating ball and trunnion mounted ball. Floating ball valves use the seats and body to hold the ball in place within the fluid flow path, with the force of directional flow pushing the ball against the downstream seats. The floating nature of the ball limits the applicability of this design to smaller valve sizes and pressure ranges. A some point, the fluid pressure exerted on the ball surface can exceed the ability of the seats to hold the trim effectively in place.

Trunnion mount ball valves employ the stem shaft and, you guessed it, a trunnion to support the trim. The shaft and trunnion, connected to the top and bottom of the trim, establish a vertical axis of rotation for the ball and prevent it from shifting in response to flow pressure. A trunnion is a pin that protrudes from the bottom side of the ball. It sits within a bearing shape, generally cylindrical, in the base of the body.

Because of their structural design, trunnion mount ball valves are suitable for all pressure ranges and sizes.They are used by many manufacturers as a basis of design for their severe service ball valve offerings. A trunnion mount ball valve can also be advantageous for applications employing valve automation. Since the ball is not held in place by a tight fitting seal arrangement, operating torque tends to be lower for comparably sized trunnion mount valves, when compared to floating ball valves.

Whatever your valve application challenge, share it with an industrial valve expert. The combining of your process expertise and experience with their product application knowledge will yield an effective solution.


Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Floating Ball Valves

exploded view of floating ball valve
Exploded view of floating ball valve
Courtesy HS Valve
Ball valves are used throughout fluid based applications, from residential to heavy industrial. The compact and rugged design of this valve type provides superior service when properly applied. There are many variants of the basic design, with manufacturers providing builds that meet very specific and stringent requirements posed by certain types of industrial process control applications.

Ball valves are named for the spherically shaped element encased in the valve body directly in the fluid flow path. The ball has a hole, or port, through it’s center, permitting fluid to pass when the port is aligned with the direction of flow. A stem is attached to the ball and extends to the exterior of the valve body, providing a mechanical means of rotating the ball between open and closed positions. Ninety degrees of rotation moves the ball from the fully open to fully closed position. Ball valves are generally suitable for manual or automated operation.

In the basic design of ball valves, there are two groups which exhibit an essential structural difference that is worth mentioning. There are two ways in which the ball in a ball valve is held in place. A floating ball valve has its main trim element held in place by the shape of the valve body and the seats. It is essentially suspended in the flow path by its surrounding parts. A very small amount of lateral movement of the ball is imparted by the fluid flow, pushing the ball tightly against the seat on the downstream side. This attribute enables a floating ball valve to provide tight shutoff of bidirectional flow. The floating ball design proves less effective as the nominal bore size increases. The added weight of the larger ball, coupled with the larger surface area exposed to fluid forces, can overcome the ability of the seals to properly support the ball and maintain good performance. The maximum size can vary among manufacturers.

Enjoying all the benefits of ball valve design, plus being comparatively simple to disassemble and service, floating ball valves are a solid choice for many industrial applications. Selecting the right valve design or type is an important step toward effective control of fluid operations. Share your fluid process control challenges with a valve expert, combining your process knowledge with their product application expertise to develop effective solutions.