Valve Magazine

Thu04172014

Last updateThu, 17 Apr 2014 1pm

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A History of Valves

The Intriguing Story of the Pressure Seal Valve

Powell-Pressure-Seal-Test-FixtureIn a quest for more efficient power generation, power plants in the 1930s continued pushing the pressure-temperature envelope. For piping component manufacturers, that meant requirements kept increasing and designs needed to be brought up to date. Classes 900 and 1500 surpassed the Class 600, once deemed “very high-pressure.”

The Great Teflon War

13 wnt teflon 1You might call it either the “Great Teflon War” or “The Battle of Massachusetts,” but either way, the fight took place in the courtrooms of The Bay State, rather than in its cities or countryside. No matter how it’s labeled, however, the victory prize was substantial: rights to the patent for the first functional bidirectional elastomer-seated ball valve.

A History Made in Metal

vmfall12 history3Today’s valve material choices are like a Chinese buffet: Everything imaginable is on the menu. The multitude of choices has grown in response to the demands of customers and their expanding process requirements.

 

The U.S. Valve Industry in World War II

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While valves didn’t directly sink ships or shoot down planes, the American valve industry played an important role in winning World War II for the allies. Without the contribution of the industry, many key chemical and petrochemical developments that helped secure victory could not have been made. In addition, the floating arsenal of democracy—naval ships, liberty ships and victory ships—could not have been built without tons of well-built valves delivered on time.

Standards Spring from the Need to Protect

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Most of us in the valve industry take for granted the interchangeability and standardization of the valves produced today. Yet it wasn’t that long ago that valves were individually produced in accordance with the standards of each manufacturer.

From a Humble Beginning, an Industry Rises

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Although VMA members might think the valve industry began with formation of the Valve Manufacturers Association on Sept. 1, 1938, in reality, the industry in this nation was around for 100 years before that date, its roots firmly attached to the American industrial landscape.

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