Showing posts with label Nevada. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Nevada. Show all posts

MSEC Valves and Controls

MSEC, founded in 1978, is a Distributor of valve and control products headquartered in Golden, Colorado. We provide expert application assistance to the oil & gas, pipeline, water & wastewater, chemical, power generation, pulp & paper, pharmaceutical, food & beverage, and petrochemical markets. We serve customers across the United States and have regional sales and support in Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, New Mexico, Montana, Arizona, Nevada, Idaho, and the Western Dakotas.

Our business is built on product knowledge and application support, top quality brands and problem solving products, competitive pricing and long term value, and a large product inventory.

For more information about MSEC, call 303-232-4100, or visit

Buckling Pin Pressure Relief Devices

Buckling Pin Pressure Relief Devices

BS&B manufactures pressure relief devices (inline and angle discharge) with fast-acting/full opening buckling pins to protect personnel, equipment, and the environment from the dangers of overpressure. Buckling pin pressure relief devices combine the accuracy of rupture disks with the ability to be 'field- reset' while still installed following an overpressure event. 


Operating Pressure Ratio

Buckling pin technology is highly resistant to operating pressure conditions. The BPRV runs at up to 95% of the minimum set pressure. This ratio is further settable with special testing.

Pressure Cycling Service

Buckling pin devices are well suited to cyclic service pressure conditions. When operating under compression, the buckling pin is not subject to tensile fatigue failure. The BPRV handles pressure cycles up to its maximum operating pressure ratio with negligible impact on service life.

Buckling pin devices are designed as a non-reclosing ‘reclosable’ pressure relief device. They are an alternative "non-reclosing" pressure relief device, usually rupture disks. Buckling pin devices are also an alternative to reclosing pressure relief valves , API series and pilot operated valves. They provide in-line pressure or vacuum relief, are easy to upgrade a rupture disk position, install directly between companion flanges, and offer quick and simple external reset, without opening flanges/piping.

BS&B Buckling Pin Features

Buckling pin pressure relief devices provide practical technology for the protection of applications containing one or more of the following conditions:

  • Continuous processing (fast reset in the line)
  • Hazardous service (limits operator exposure)
  • Large line size (convenient reset in the line)
  • High flow capacity
  • Inaccessible location (external reset in the line)
  • High operating pressure to set pressure ratio
  • Sizes from 1 inch to 60 inches
  • Cryogenic designs available
  • ASME “UD” stamped, section VIII, division 1
  • European Pressure Equipment Directive “CE” marked
  • Back pressure independent options available (BPIVTM)

For more information in Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming, Montana, Utah, Nevada, Idaho, Western North Dakota, Western South Dakota contact Mountain States Engineering and Controls. Call (303) 232-4100 or visit

Mascot Valve Industrial Control Valves from Mountain States Engineering and Controls

Mascot Valve’s engineering & manufacturing expertise provides tailored solutions to customer’ needs no matter the process. Using Lean Manufacturing principles Mascot’s supply capabilities allows for the industry-leading shortest lead-times

Mascot Valve manufactures heavy-duty control valves for the global process control industry, including oil & gas, gas transmission, LNG Processing, and Regasification and Power Generation.

Control valves application includes Oil & Gas, Industrial Gas Transmission, Power Generation, Chemical, Petro-Chemical & Refining, LNG Processing & Re-gasification, Industrial GasSteam / Desuperheating, Compressor Recycle, and Anti-surge Applications, High-Pressure Acid Leaching Applications, FPSO & Floating Facility Applications, Mineral Processing Applications, Cryogenic Applications.

For Mascot Valve inquires in the western United States, contact Mountain States Engineering and Controls. Call us at (303) 232-4100 or visit

Providing Pipeline Valves in the Mountain West, Southwest, and Front Range Regions

Pipeline Valves

Mountain States Engineering and Controls provides pipeline valve sales, service, and engineering support in Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, New Mexico, Montana, Arizona, Nevada, Idaho, and the western Dakotas. Vast pipelines connect oil and gas producers to refineries and terminals. These pipelines are critical to our countries economic well-being and security.

Pipelines operators carefully build, maintain and monitor the integrity of their lines, providing the safest means of transport of critical energy products like natural gas, crude oil, and other fuels. 

Mountain States Engineering and Controls is proud to be a key supplier of valves to the pipeline operators in the Mountain West, Front Range, and Southwest regions. Our product offering includes:

  • API-6A Trunnion-Mounted Ball Valves,
  • Cast Steel Gate, Globe and Check Valves,
  • Metal-Seated Ball Valves,
  • Severe Service Metal Seated Ball Valves
  • Trunnion Ball Valves
  • Pressure Seal Gates and Globe Valves

Mountain States Engineering and Controls has a well-deserved reputation of outstanding service and support that has earned them preferred status with many pipeline operators. Contact them by calling 303-232-4100 with your next valve requirement.

BS&B FlameSaf Arrester Products

BS&B FlameSaf Arrester Products


Flame arresters are devices that protect against explosions by preventing the transmission of flame and explosion in machines, equipment, and plants.  These autonomous safety systems limit the effects of the explosions, rendering them harmless. They are intended to allow flow but prevent flame transmission.


A deflagration is an explosive combustion process in which the flames propagate at subsonic velocity. For deflagration, there are end-of-line and in-line deflagration flame arresters. When installing in-line flame arresters, it is imperative to adhere to the ignition source's maximum distance (L).



A detonation is an explosion propagating at supersonic velocity characterized by a shock wave. Detonations occur in pipelines with long distances to the ignition source (L > 50 x DN being an example for explosion group IIA).

An in-line detonation flame arrester's flame arresting capability and mechanical strength are much more significant than an in-line deflagration flame arrester. Devices designed for detonation conditions will provide deflagration protection as well.


Stabilized burning is the steady burning of a flame at or on a flame arrester element. Survival of such conditions requires the selection of an arrester model designed for endurance conditions.

For more information about Flame Arresters, Detonation Arresters, or Breather Vents contact Mountain States Engineering and Controls. Call them at 303-232-4100 or visit this web page.


The MASCOT GFlo Globe Control Valve

MASCOT GFlo Globe Control Valve

Superior performance in liquids and gaseous services is the hallmark of the GFlo Globe Control Valve by MASCOT. Easy, quick, and economical maintenance makes the GFlo Globe Control Valve more user-friendly. The spring cylinder actuated GFlo imparts stiffness and maintains very high precision in positioning. A strong response, repeatability, and high-speed controlled movement are the characteristics absent in diaphragm operated control valves. GFlo has the thrust capability to shutoff against higher fluid pressures,  up to 150 Psi / 10.30 Bar air supply.

Valve closure is dependent on springs in most diaphragm actuators. The unique design of GFlo enables it to combine the spring force, fluid pressure, and supply air pressure to achieve a tight shutoff. A self-aligning seat ring adds to and further improves the shutoff capability.

Galling at the cage is the culprit in many common maintenance issues with globe valves because of the close metal-to-metal contact between plug & cage. The GFlo has two top heavy-duty stem guides. Interference between the plug and seat retainer does not exist in GFlo. Easy and quick maintenance is due to the clamped-in seat and top entry trim.

For more information on the MASCOT GFlo contact Mountain States Engineering and Controls. Call them at 303-232-4100 or visit

Cash Valve Regulator Series Comparison: B Series, Type E-55, Type PBE-1, Type PBE-2, Type PBE-5

Cash Valve is a unit of Emerson that manufactures pressure reducing, pressure regulating and safety valves. Cash Valve is a leading manufacturer of pressure regulating and back pressure valves offering products for steam, air/gas, liquid, and cryogenic applications.

Industrial Applications:

  • Air Service
  • Steam Service
  • Process Gas Service
  • Water Service
  • Oil Service
  • Backpressure Regulators
  • Vacuum Regulators
  • Compressor Regulators

Cryogenic Applications:

  • Relief Valves
  • Pressure Build
  • Back Pressure Regulators (Economizers)
  • Pressure Build Economizers
  • Low Temperature Cutoff
  • Final Line
  • Isolation Valves and Strainers

For more information about Cash Valve in Colorado, Utah, Nevada, Wyoming, Montana, South and North Dakota, contact Mountain States Engineering and Controls. Call them at 303-232-4100 or visit their website at

Fluoropolymer Heat Exchanger Application Guide

Fluoropolymer Heat Exchangers

Companies manufacturing or using ultra-corrosive fluids need corrosion-resistant materials for reliable processes. Fluoropolymer heat exchangers are used for dilution, condensation, boiling, cooling, and crystallization processes that require corrosion resistance.  

Common Fluoropolymer Heat Exchanger Applications:

  • Making or using dilute sulfuric acid, nitric acid, hydrochloric acid, and hydrofluoric acid
  • Acid recycling/regeneration
  • Metal finishing including galvanizing, plating, cleaning, and pickling
  • Producing chlor-alkali or caustic soda

By using our daily and daily heat exchangers with perfect efficiency, thousands of customers worldwide enjoy less operating costs. Using quality materials avoids expensive, unforeseen downtime, and replacement costs. 

AMETEK FPP manufacturers fluoropolymer heat exchangers that do not foul or scale, so they promise low maintenance costs and exceptional service life. What’s more, fluoropolymer materials are inert to nearly all chemicals, further enhancing their ability to operate long-term in ultrahigh purity applications.

Mountain States Engineering and Controls offers a catalog of fluoropolymer heat exchanger applications on their website, courtesy of AMETEK FPP. You can get the application reference guide here.

For more information about fluoropolymer heat exchangers in Colorado, Utah, Nevada, Wyoming, Montana, South and North Dakota, contact Mountain States Engineering and Controls. Call them at 303-232-4100 or visit their website at

The CCS DualSnap 6900GE Industrial Pressure Switch

CCS 6900GE

The CCS DualSnap hazardous area 6900GE Series is the most widely accepted all-around all-aluminum pressure switch. The 6900GE is certified UL / CSA, Class I, Groups A, B, C and D, and Class II Groups E, F, and G. Rated NEMA 4X and IP66 for wet environments. 

Built with high vibration and shock resistance, the Dual Snap® disk spring technology guarantees high accuracy and repeatability. It comes with increased overpressure capabilities and yet relatively small in size for comfortable panel mounting.

CCS DualSnap 6900GEApplications include:

  • Oil & Gas
  • Power Generation
  • Fluid Management
  • Chemical Refining and Processing
  • Manufacturing Process
  • Utilities, Water Treatment and Waste
  • Safety Systems

For more information about the CCS DualSnap 6900GE contact Mountain States Engineering and Controls. Call them at 303-232-4100 or visit their website at

Duo-Chek Check Valves Compared to Conventional Swing Check Valves

Duo-Chek® high performance non-slam check valves are available in the sizes, pressure classes and configurations required to meet the most demanding of applications. 

The Duo-Chek® wafer valve design is generally stronger, lighter, smaller, more efficient and less expensive than conventional swing check valves. Its design meets API 594, is approximately one fourth the face to face dimension and 15% to 20% the weight, on most popular sizes, making them less expensive than a swing check valve. It is much easier to install between standard gaskets and line flanges. The savings compound during installation due to ease in handling and only one set of flange studs is required. Therefore, it is more cost effective to install, and also to maintain.

For more information about Duo-Chek check valves, contact Mountain States Engineering and Controls. Call 303-232-4100 or visit

Mascot VFlo: V-Notch Segmented Ball Control Valve

Mascot VFlo

A Segmented Ball Valve from Mascot Valve

The VFlo – Segmented Ball Valve is designed to provide effective control for demanding applications. It is a rugged design segmented ball valve which overcomes the problems of harsh, particle entrained processes, and fibrous/unclean services. The VFlo also provides accurate, reliable control in a broad rang

Metal Seal: Using the pressure drop across the valve, flex-lock sealing energises the seal to bubble tight shutoff in either flow direction. ANSI class IV is achieved with a metal seal.

Soft & Dual Seal: Using the pressure drop across the valve for soft sealing as well, the VFlo energises the seal to bubble tight shutoff in either flow direction. ANSI class VI is achieved with a soft seal and ANSI class IV with a dual seal.

The Soft seal ring is standard for the VFlo and utilizes a 316 SS or Inconel Ring as a backup in conjunction with a Filled PTFE / PEEK seat. Such design provides for a quick and easy replacement in case of failure. The backup ring also provides shear action hence scraping any developments on the ball.


For more information about Mascot Valves, contact Mountain States Engineering and Controls. Call them at 303-232-4100 or visit their website at

Considerations in Selecting Industrial Heat Exchangers


The information below, courtesy of Standard-Xchange, outlines various design types of heat exchangers along with their advantages, limitations, and selection tips. For more information on applying heat exchangers to industrial process, contact Mountain States Engineering and Controls.

Non-Removable Bundle, Fixed Tubesheet

  • Less costly than removable bundle heat exchangers
  • Provides maximum heat transfer surface per given shell and tube size
  • Provides multi-tube pass arrangements
  • Interchangeable with competitive models
  • Shell side can be cleaned only by chemical means
  • No provisions to correct for differential thermal expansion between the shell and tubes. (Exception: expansion joint, available only on C200 and C210 exchangers)
Selection Tips
  • For lube and oil and hydraulic oil coolers, put the oil through the shell side
  • Corrosive or high fouling fluids should be put through the tube side
  • In general, put the coldest fluid through the tube side

Removable Bundle, Packed Floating Tubesheet

  • Floating end allows for differential thermal expansion between the shell and tubes
  • Shell side can be steam or mechanically cleaned
  • Bundle can be easily repaired or replaced
  • Less costly than full interval floating head-type construction
  • Maximum surface per given shell and tube size for removable bundle designs
  • Shell side fluids limited to non-volatile and/or non-toxic fluids, i.e., lube oils, hydraulic oils
  • Tube side arrangements limited to one or two passes Tubes expand as a group, not individually (as in U-tube unit); therefore, sudden shocking should be avoided
  • Packing limits design pressure and temperature
Selection Tips
  • For lube oil and hydraulic oil coolers, put the oil through the shell side
  • For air intercoolers and aftercoolers on compressors, put air through the tube side
  • Coolers with water through the tube side: clean or jacket water, use 3/8” tubes; raw water, use 5/8” or 3/4” tubes
  • Put hot shell side fluid through at stationary end (to keep temperature of packing as low as possible)

Removable Bundle, Pull-Through Bolted Internal Floating Head Cover

  • Allows for differential thermal expansion between the shell and tubes
  • Bundle can be removed from shell for cleaning
  • or repairing, without removing the floating head cover
  • Provides multi-tube pass arrangements
  • Provides large bundle entrance area
  • Excellent for handling flammable and/or toxic fluids
  • For given set of conditions, it is the most costly of all the basic types of heat exchanger designs
  • Less surface per given shell and tube size than C500
  • Selection Tips
  • If possible, put the fluid with the lowest heat transfer coefficient through the shell side
  • If possible, put the fluid with the highest working pressure through the tube side
  • If possible, put the high fouling fluid through the tube side

Removable Bundle, Internal Clamp Ring-Type Floating Head Cover

  • Allows for differential thermal expansion between the shell and tubes
  • Excellent for handling flammable and/or toxic fluids
  • Provides multi-tube pass arrangements
  • Shell cover, clamp-ring and gloating head cover must be removed prior to removing the bundle.
  • More costly than fixed tube sheet or U-tube heat exchanger designs
Selection Tips
  • If possible, put the fluid with the lowest heat transfer coefficient through the shell side
  • If possible, put the fluid with the highest working pressure through the tube side
  • If possible, put the high fouling fluid through the tube side

Removable Bundle, U-Tube

  • Less costly than floating head or packing floating tubesheet designs
  • Provides multi-tube pass arrangements
  • Allows for differential thermal expansion between the shell and tubes, as well as between individual tubes
  • High surface per given shell and tube size
  • Capable of withstanding thermal shock
  • Tube side can be cleaned only by chemical means
  • Individual tube replacement is difficult
  • Cannot be made single pass on tube side; therefore, true counter-current flow is not possible
  • Tube wall at U-bend is thinner than at straight portion of tube
  • Draining tube side is difficult in vertical (head-up) position
Selection Tips
  • For oil heaters, wherever possible put steam through the tube side to obtain the most economical size

Removable Partition Plates With Compression Endplates and Frame

  • Ease of disassembly for cleaning or replacement parts
  • Not Suitable for pressures over 300 psig
  • Not Suitable for change of state or gaseous applications
Selection Tips
  • For applications involving temperature crossing
  • Economical when exotic metals are required

Brazed Plate

  • Very compact and rugged
  • Lightweight
  • Many design options, including multiple passes, different plate styles, nozzle sizes and orientation
  • High heat transfer performance
No gaskets
  • Limitations
  • Can only be cleaned chemically
Selection Tips
  • For applications involving temperature crossing or close temperature approach
  • Ideal for refrigerant-to-liquid or refrigerant-to-gas applications
  • Very economical when compared to all-stainless tubular construction

Heavy Duty Removable Core Type

  • Tubes free to expand individually
  • Heating elements totally removable for maintenance or replacement without disconnecting outer casing from ductwork
  • Embedded or extruded fins available for higher design temperatures (750° F max.)
  • Individual tubes cannot be cleaned or plugged


Understanding Pigging and Pig Valves in Industrial Pipelines

Pigging is a method of introducing a mechanical device, commonly referred to as pigs or scrapers, inside a pipeline to perform various internal maintenance operations.The term PIG is said to be an acronym for "Pipeline Intervention Gadget". The process has been used for many years to scrub large diameter pipelines in the oil and gas industry. Today, the use of smaller diameter pigging systems is growing in many continuous and batch processing plants, as plant operators are looking for improved productivity and ways to reduce costs. 

Pig valves were successfully implemented into the oil and gas industry over five decades ago.  They are used extensively on oil and gas pipelines throughout Western Canada and the United States. They provide an efficient way to launch and retrieve pigs in the oil and gas industry, water treatment facilities, or anywhere critical pipelines need to be maintained.

Pigging is used to mechanically sweep and/or visually inspect inside of the pipeline. The pig or scraper is moved through the line by the differential pressure caused by the process fluid moving past at a higher velocity. The pig is inserted into what is known as a "pig launcher" (or launching station) which is a part of the pipeline with an oversized diameter to accomodate the installation of the pig. The launching station is then closed and the pressure driven flow in the pipeline is used to move the pig down the pipe until it reaches the receiving trap (the pig catcher or receiving station) where it can be removed. Pigs are used daily in the operation of pipelines for a variety of reasons, the most common are: pipe cleaning for improved line efficiency; locating flow obstructions; pipeline inspection; separating different products flowing through the pipeline; corrosion control; air purge; water removal; and flow volume validation.

For more information about pigging valves, contact Mountain States Engineering and Controls. Call them at 303-232-4100 or visit

CavFlo Cavitation Control Valve Trim by MASCOT

Whenever the pressure of flowing liquid through a restricted area of a control valve drops below the vapor pressure of the liquid, and recovers to a pressure above the vapor pressure, cavitation damage to the control valve and connecting piping may occur. 

In the first stage of cavitation, vapor bubbles form downstream of the restricted area at the vena contracta (point of narrowest fluid constraint). The enlarging passage at downstream of the vena contracta reduces the velocity and thereby associated pressure recovery causes the vapor bubbles collapse or implode suddenly.

This implosion of the bubbles on metal surfaces causes stresses, eventually resulting in tearing away particles of the metal from the surface towards inward. Cavitation damages the plug and seat of a control valve as throttling occurs at the restriction, in the clearance between the plug and seat ring. If the vapor bubbles implode near them, the valve body and piping can also be damaged.

MASCOT's CavFlo Trim utilizes many small holes for diametrical flow through the walls of the seat retainer. As the valve plug lifts, increasing pairs of holes are opened. Each hole discharges a jet of cavitating liquid at the center of the retainer, which impinges with a jet of liquid admitted through the opposing hole. The impinging fluid jets form an area of pressure recovery and a fluid cushion. This phenomenon collapses the vapor bubbles in the fluid stream, away from metal parts preventing damages.

For more information about MASCOT Control Valves, contact Mountain States Engineering and Controls. Call them at (303) 232-4100 or visit their website at

New Product Line! Mascot Valves. High Quality. Competitive Prices. Large US Inventory

Mascot ValvesMountain States Engineering and Controls is pleased to announce the addition of MASCOT Valves to our product line. MASCOT maintains a large USA based inventory in Channelview, TX for fast product delivery. MASCOT's superior quality is driven by complete in-house manufacturing, assembly, and testing, along with full material traceability and extensive quality procedures, to assure that MASCOT products provide you with superior performance and a competitive price.


For more information about MASCOT Valves, contact Mountain States Engineering and Controls. Call us at 303-232-4100 or visit our website at

Don't Let Contaminated Steam Affect Your Food and Beverage Production Quality

You wouldn’t use unsafe ingredients in your products. But are you contaminating them with unsafe steam. Steam is the most efficient method of heating in food and drink processes. But when steam is in direct contact with food contaminants like particles of rust, dirt and chemicals could end up in your products and your consumers. Product recalls, tarnished brand reputation, and plunging consumer loyalty will all impact your bottom line. So why take the risk?

To protect your consumers and guarantee product quality, you must treat steam as you would any other ingredient and ensure it's safe to consume. It doesn't have to be hard. Spirax Sarco, and Mountain States Engineering and Controls can help you find the right standard of steam for your process and put measures in place to keep standards high. We can help you adopt best practices in steam system design and improve steam quality, install filtration around your steam system to mitigate the risk, and install a dedicated clean steam supply to eliminate the contamination risk.

To learn more about Spirax Sarco products, contact Mountain States Engineering and Controls by calling 303-232-4100 or by visiting

Cross Reference Guide for Steam Traps, Regulators, and Pressure Pumps from Watson McDaniel

McDaniel Company is a U.S. manufacturer of steam traps, pressure pumps, pressure and temperature regulators, relief valves, liquid drainers, ejectors, engineered systems, and a variety of specialty steam products.

They have assembled a handy cross reference chart for major manufacturers of steam traps, temperature regulators, pressure pumps, and other steam related process equipment.


For more information on steam traps, temperature regulators, condensate recovery, and process heat, contact Mountain States Engineering and Controls. Call them at 303-232-4100 or visit them at

Flo-Tite Sentinel Segmented Control Valve for Severe Service Applications

The Flo-Tite Sentinel is an ideal control valve for severe service applications where precise control is required for clean or dirty liquids, gases, and fibrous suspension applications.

Precise contouring of the V-notch provides excellent control characteristics for an extensive variety of flow applications. An ideal control performance is designed into the geometry of the ball for critical management of flow. A locked ball-to-shaft connection ensures no lost motion during critical control.

Splined connection between the shaft and ball ensures precise control and low hysteresis. Streamlined flow passage provides maximum efficiency and minimizes erosion inside the valve body.

Detachable seat retainer design provides easy access to trim parts of the valves through inlet of valve by simply removing the screws of retainer allowing for easy maintenance. Superior trunnion bearing technology is engineered for excellent abrasion resistance.

Rugged self-adjusting metal seated option is ideally suited for higher temperature applications or slurries. Spring loaded seat maintains constant contact with the ball, providing enhanced sealing performance. Shearing action between ball and seat promotes smooth, non-clogging operation, perfect for fibrous or slurry applications.

For more infomration, contact Mountain States Engineering and Controls. Call them at 303-232-4100 or visit their web site at

Understanding the Various Kinds of Steam Traps

Steam Trap

It is essential, without loss of live steam, to remove condensate and often air and other incondensable gases from steam systems. Knowing the range of steam traps allows the best choice to be made for all applications. 

Thermodynamic steam traps

Thermodynamic steam traps combine reliability, simplicity and efficiency of operation; with just one moving part (a hardened stainless steel disc) they give a blast discharge with clean, tight shut-off. They are able to withstand: superheat, water hammer, corrosive condensate, freezing and vibration. 

Ball float steam traps

Ball float steam traps are extremely versatile and work efficiently on both light and heavy condensate loads. Although compact in size, their discharge capacity is high and continuous, ensuring maximum heat transfer. These traps are the best choice for draining plant with automatic temperature control.
An integral air vent is fitted as standard and an adjustable needle valve is available as an option to prevent steam locking.

Balanced pressure thermostatic steam traps

Balanced pressure thermostatic steam traps adjust automatically to varying steam pressures and have excellent air venting characteristics during plant start-up and during normal operation. They have large discharge capacities for their size and the robust design of the internals gives a good life expectancy.

Sealed steam traps

Sealed maintenance free steam traps.
Range: balanced pressure, inverted bucket and bimetallic versions.

Inverted bucket steam traps

Inverted bucket traps are the most robust type of the mechanical traps and will resist water hammer. When the check valve option has been fitted in the inlet, they can be used with superheated steam. They are available with a wide selection of valve orifices for precise pressure and load matching.

Bimetallic thermostatic steam traps

Bimetallic steam traps can conserve energy by discharging sub-cooled condensate in those applications which can utilize sensible heat. They are the most robust of all the thermostatic steam traps, being able to withstand water hammer and corrosive condensate.

For more on steam traps and condensate recovery, or for other Spirax Sarco products, contact Mountain States Engineering and Controls. Call them at 303-232-4100 or visit their web site at

Valve Actuator Basics

Valve actuators are categorized based upon a number of factors including power source available,  torque necessary to operate the valve, installation location,  and the need for automatic actuation.  Actuators are devices which supply the force and motion to open and close valves. They can be manually, pneumatically, hydraulically, or electrically operated. In common industrial usage, the term actuator generally refers to a device which employs a non-human power source and can respond to a controlling signal.

Types of actuators include:
  • Electrical motor
  • Pneumatic
  • Hydraulic
  • Manual handwheel or lever

Electric Actuators
Electric Actuator
Electric Actuator

Electric motors permit manual, semi-automatic, and automatic operation of the valve. Motors are used mostly for open-close functions, although they are adaptable to positioning the valve to any point opening. The motor is usually a, reversible, high speed type connected through a gear train to reduce the motor speed and thereby increase the torque at the stem. Direction of motor rotation determines direction of disk motion. The electrical actuation can be semi-automatic, as when the motor is started by a control system. A handwheel, which can be engaged to the gear train, provides for manual operating of the valve. Limit switches are normally provided to stop the motor automatically at full open and full closed valve positions. Limit switches are operated either physically by position of the valve or torsionally by torque of the motor.

Pneumatic Actuator
Pneumatic Actuator

Pneumatic Actuators

Pneumatic actuators are used for automatic or semi-automatic valve operation. These actuators translate an air signal into valve stem motion by air pressure acting on a diaphragm or piston connected to the stem. Pneumatic actuators are used in throttle valves for open-close positioning where fast action is required. When air pressure closes the valve and spring action opens the valve, the actuator is termed direct-acting. When air pressure opens the valve and spring action closes the valve, the actuator is termed reverse-acting. Duplex actuators have air supplied to both sides of the diaphragm. The differential pressure across the diaphragm positions the valve stem. Automatic operation is provided when the air signals are automatically controlled by circuitry. Semi-automatic operation is provided by manual switches in the circuitry to the air control valves.

Hydraulic Actuators

Hydraulic Actuator
Hydraulic Actuator
Hydraulic actuators provide for semi-automatic or automatic positioning of the valve, similar to the pneumatic actuators. These actuators use a piston to convert a signal pressure into valve stem motion. Hydraulic fluid is fed to either side of the piston while the other side is drained or bled. Water or oil is used as the hydraulic fluid. Solenoid valves are typically used for automatic control of the hydraulic fluid to direct either opening or closing of the valve. Manual valves can also be used for controlling the hydraulic fluid; thus providing semi-automatic operation.

Manual Actuators
Manual Actuator
Manual Operator

Manual actuators are capable of placing the valve in any position but do not permit automatic operation. The most common type mechanical actuator is the handwheel. This type includes handwheels fixed to the stem, hammer handwheels, and handwheels connected to the stem through gears.

Gear Operators

If additional mechanical advantage is necessary for a manually-operated valve, the valve bonnet is fitted with manually-operated gear heads as illustrated in Figure 32. A special wrench or handwheel attached to the pinion shaft permits one individual to operate the valve when two individuals might be needed without the gear advantage. Because several turns of the pinion are necessary to produce one turn of the valve stem, the operating time of large valves is exceptionally long. The use of portable air motors connected to the pinion shaft decreases the valve operating time.

For more information about industrial valves and valve automation, contact Mountain States Engineering and Controls by calling 303-232-4100 or visit their web site at