Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Replacing Heat Exchanger Tube Bundles

heat exchangers outdoors at oil refinery
Heat exchangers of many sizes are used throughout industry
Heat, a well recognized energy component of countless industrial processes. Heat exchangers are employed to move or transfer heat between two media, and are available in a wide variety of designs and configurations. They are manufactured from materials and in forms to accommodate the specific performance requirements of each process, machine, or operation.

The shell and tube heat exchanger is one common type of this heat transfer device that can be found in many commercial buildings and industrial plants. The unit is comprised of a vessel, or shell, with an array of tubes contained within. One fluid will flood the shell, encompassing the tubes through which a second fluid passes. The contact between the fluid within the shell and the outer surface of the tubes facilitates the transfer of heat energy between the two media. Applications for shell and tube units typically involve two liquids or one liquid and steam. They are not suitable for applications involving air streams.

Eventually, all heat exchangers need either major overhaul or replacement. Tubes tend to deteriorate faster than the shell, so replacement of the tube bundle can breathe extra life into a heat exchanger. Original documentation provided with the unit, plus a physical inspection, should provide all the information needed to have a new tube bundle manufactured. Numerous sources are available for replacement tube bundles, with the original manufacturer being only one potential source.
The replacing of a heat exchanger is also a good time to examine the performance delivered by the existing unit. Was it a limiting factor in the operation of the process? If so, perhaps this may be an opportunity to build in some headroom. Whatever the case, recognize that bringing in a product specialist with experience and knowledge will provide the beneficial leverage you need to get the job done right and finished on time.

Monday, September 12, 2016

New Anti-microbial Cooling Tower From Delta Cooling Towers

Delta Cooling Towers, globally recognized leader in the manufacture of corrosion resistant cooling towers, has added a new dimension to their product line. Cooling towers for industrial and commercial applications are now available with construction features and materials that significantly inhibit the growth of microorganisms in the tower fill and shell.

Microbial growth has long been a concern of cooling tower operators. The environment within a tower, continuously wet and warm, provides ample opportunity for microbial propagation. The new anti-microbial cooling towers make use of HDPE resin that is fully compounded (not just on surface) with an anti-microbial agent to provide the corrosion protection for which Delta is known, along with resistance to biofilm growth. The fill in the tower also provides the same level of resistance to microorganism growth. The corrosion resistant materials used in the construction of Delta towers allows the use of more aggressive chemical treatment than would be recommended with metal cooling towers.

The new Delta Cooling Towers have some distinct advantages for health and safety, as well as extended operating lifetime. Reach out to a product application specialist. Get all the details on the new anti-microbial cooling towers and share your HVAC and industrial cooling challenges to get solutions.



Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Severe Service Valves - Application Targeted

severe service flanged plug valve lined Fluoroseal
Sever Service Plug Valve
Fluoroseal
Industrial process control applications can be associated with some very stringent and challenging performance requirements for the physical equipment and components that are part of the process chain. In fluid based operations, the control and shutoff valves can be a significant impact point of extreme fluid conditions, requiring careful design and selection consideration to assure proper performance and safety levels are predictably maintained.

Industrial valves that are intended for application at the extremes are generally referred to as severe service valves. While there are plenty of published and accepted standards for industrial valves, one does not exist to precisely define a severe service valve. There is, however, some movement toward the development of severe service standards in some industry segments.

So, how do you know when to focus valve selection activities on severe service valves, as opposed to general purpose valves? There are a number of basic criteria that might point you in that direction:
  • Very extreme media or environmental temperature
  • High pressure drop operation that may cause cavitation
  • Rapid and extreme changes to inlet pressure
  • Certain types or amounts of solids contained in the fluid
  • High number of mechanical operations
  • Thermal cycling
Certainly, any of these criteria might be found in an application serviceable by a general purpose valve, but their presence should be an indicator that a closer assessment of the fluid conditions and commensurate valve requirements is in order. The key element for a process stakeholder is to recognize when conditions are in evidence that might overrun the capabilities of a general purpose valve, leading to premature failure in control performance or catastrophic failure that produces an unsafe condition. Once the possibility of a severe service condition is identified, a careful analysis of the possible operating conditions will reveal the performance requirements for the valve.

There are numerous manufacturers of severe service valves, each seeming to concentrate on a particular niche. Fluoroseal, a globally recognized manufacturer of lined valves for corrosive applications, has their own entry in the severe service arena that is based upon one of their popular general purpose valves. The focus for the FE Series valve design appears to be thermal cycling, excessive number of mechanical operations, and fugitive emissions.

I have included a technical bulletin that describes and nicely illustrates (with a cutaway view) the various features incorporated in the valve design.

You can always get more information, or discuss your special requirements, with a product application specialist. They have access to technical resources that can help with selecting the right valve configuration to meet your severe service applications.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Applications For Metal Seated Ball Valve

metal seated ball valve with handle and flange connections
Metal Seated Ball Valve
Crane - Krombach
Fluid process control employs valves of various types to start, stop, throttle, or divert flow of a fluid. Ball valves are a common selection for process application when their inherent advantages provide the greatest benefit.
  • Leak-proof service
  • Well suited for processes requiring only full flow or no flow operation.
  • Rapid open and close action, requiring only 90 degrees of rotation from fully open to fully closed.
  • Comparatively light weight and compact size.
  • Wide range of construction material options for body, ball, and seals make them suitable for many applications.
  • Require only moderate force to control valve position.
  • Flow path opening in the ball will often be “full port”, providing same cross section as the connected pipe and adding very little restriction or pressure drop to the flow.
  • Low maintenance, with no lubrication required.
There are numerous ball valve variants that provide modified features and performance, but let's focus on what is generally considered severe service applications.

Severe service, while not currently defined by an international standard, generally can be characterized by one or more operating conditions that put great levels of stress or wear on valves.
  • Very extreme media or environmental temperature
  • High pressure drop operation that may cause cavitation
  • Rapid and extreme changes to inlet pressure
  • Certain types or amounts of solids contained in the fluid
  • Corrosive media
Some of these conditions will greatly impact the valve seat. Many valves are provided with thermoplastic seats that, while providing suitable performance throughout a wide range of media conditions, will deteriorate quickly under conditions prevailing in severe service. An alternative to the soft thermoplastic seats is a metal seat design. 
  • Greater temperature tolerance
  • Self cleaning seat
  • Improved resistance to effects of particulate laden media or slurries
  • Corrosion resistance, enhanced by special coatings applied to metal construction
The document below provides an in depth view of a metal seated ball valve. Operating conditions, specifications, and illustrations (including my favorite, the cutaway view) are provided. Share your fluid control requirements with product and application specialists, combining your process expertise with their product application knowledge to develop effective solutions.


Monday, August 22, 2016

High Performance Non-Slam Check Valve

high performance dual plate check valve
Crane Duo-Chek dual plate check valve
Check valves are ubiquitous throughout fluid processing operations. These simple devices permit fluid flow in one direction only. While there are numerous design variants available in the marketplace, operation is very similar in all check valves. Fluid pressure and movement in the desired direction moves a plate, plug, ball, or other obstruction to a position that allows flow to pass. The plate or other obstruction has a design countervailing force applied to it by a spring, gravity, or some other means that will move the trim to the closed position. When pressure drop across the valve decreases below the design level, the trim will close. Fluid pressure exerted on the outlet side of the valve will maintain a closed position in the valve. In this manner, a check valve allows fluid to pass in one direction, but not in the reverse.

Beneficial features of a check valve would include some or all of the following:

  • Lightweight and compact design
  • Tight shutoff that meets any applicable standards
  • Low pressure drop when open
  • Operation that minimizes seal wear
  • Installation simplicity and flexibility
  • Easy to insulate
  • Low maintenance requirements
  • No slamming to the closed position
  • No valve chatter
  • Available in numerous configurations to meet wide range of applications
Share your fluid process control challenges with a product application specialist. Combine your process knowledge with their product application expertise for effective solutions.




Tuesday, August 16, 2016

New Piping and Pipeline Specialties Catalog

heavy duty industrial piping and pumps
Titan Flow Controls products are utilized throughout piping systems
Mountain States Engineering and Controls handles the full line of Titan Flow Control products and has the application expertise and product knowledge to help customers select the right products, properly configured for the job at hand.

The company recently published a new and updated catalog containing all of their standard products. Titan Flow Controls manufactures a broad range of flow control products.

  • Y Strainers
  • Duplex Strainers
  • Basket Strainers
  • Check Valves
  • Butterfly Valves
  • Pump Protection
  • Specialty Products
  • Custom Assemblies and Fabrications
The latest edition of the Titan FCI catalog is included below. All the technical assistance needed for properly selecting and configuring the right product for your application is available from the experts at Mountain States Engineering and Controls.



Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Methods of Measurement For Boiler Drum Water Level

gas fired boilers in boiler room
There are numerous boiler water level measurement methods
Steam boilers have a long history in commercial, industrial, even residential applications. The steam they produce can be used to deliver heat, or to drive mechanical equipment and other processes. Maintaining the right boiler operating conditions is essential to safe operation and achieving the best use of fuel.

Boiler water level measurement is one of the essential elements of proper operation. Accurate and effective level measurement will indicate water levels that are too high or too low, both of which can have negative impact.

Spirax Sarco, a globally recognized leader in the development and production of steam related specialties, has developed content that summarizes various methods and technologies used to measure water level in boilers. Each is described in detail, with explanations of the technology, including some mathematical formulas. The piece is well illustrated and some advantages associated with each method are included. The document is from the company's website, under the Resources > Steam Engineering Tutorials section and provided in its entirety below.

Share your steam related challenges with a Spirax Sarco representative, specialists in helping achieve maximum performance from steam systems.