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Human Factors Can Cause a Disaster—or Prevent One

Human Factors Can Cause a Disaster—or Prevent One

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Improving Valve Sealing Performance and Reliability

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A Primer on Fugitive Emissions

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Emerson Expanding Mississippi Facility

3 DAYS AGO

Emerson plans on delivering $500,000 in new equipment to its facility in Sherman, MS. Because of this investment , and its promise of new jobs for the region, the Sherman Economic Development Corp. has approved $150,000 in grants for Emerson.

"We have a relatively new Fisher product that will be reloca...

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REXA and CCC Form Joint Initiative

3 DAYS AGO

REXA and Compressor Controls Corporation (CCC) have formed a joint initiative to modernize steam turbine controls for enhanced performance based upon each company’s core competency.

There are more than 10,000 turbomachinery trains worldwide powered by CCC. By upgrading mechanical and hydraulic go...

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Energy Transfer Partners Building New NGL Fractionation Facility

-1 DAYS AGO

Energy Transfer Partners’ subsidiary, Lone Star NGL LLC, will construct a fifth natural gas liquids (NGL) fractionation facility at Mont Belvieu, TX. The construction of Fractionator V is a result of the tremendous production growth in the Delaware and Permian Basins.

Fractionator V, including NG...

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Chevron and Pembina Sign Deal to Build Pipelines, Other Facilities

3 DAYS AGO

Calgary-based Pembina Pipeline Corp. has signed a 20-year deal with Chevron to build natural gas pipelines and processing facilities for a potential production operation in northwest Edmonton, Alberta. The infrastructure developed over the term of this agreement has the potential to represent a multi-...

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Kansas City Fed Survey Shows Regional Manufacturing Jump

-1 DAYS AGO

According to Chad Wilkerson, vice president and economist at the Kansas City Fed, the district’s February Manufacturing Survey revealed that manufacturing activity expanded further with continued strong expectations . The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City serves the tenth Federal Reserve Distr...

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U.S. Private Sector Growth Slows from January’s 14-Month Peak

3 DAYS AGO

At 54.3 in February, the seasonally adjusted Markit Flash U.S. Composite PMI Output Index dropped from 55.8 in January but remained above the 50.0 no-change value for the twelfth consecutive month. The latest reading signaled that private sector output growth moderated from the 14-month high recorded ...

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Cast or Forged?

materials_q_and_a_graphicQ: Should I be concerned whether my valve is cast or forged?

 

A: Just as in politics, everyone has an opinion on this issue.

 

The good news is that both types of valves should be able to provide you with acceptable performance, although a perception exists that forged valves are superior to cast valves. However, if cast valves are made properly, they can and have worked equally well in a variety of services and usually at a much lower cost than forged valves. Also, the belief that forged components are infallible is not true. Let’s look at an example of a 4-inch diameter wrought valve stem in N07718 (Figure 1). A crack-like defect was seen on the end of the stem, so the part was cut in half, and the large shrink cavity you see here was discovered. This shows that forged material is not without its own problems. But let’s examine how cast and forged valves are made and how we can assure we get a good valve.

What most people don’t realize is that cast and forged valves start out the same way—molten metal is poured into a mold or ingot. As a result, both types can have defects such as the shrinkage in the above mentioned N07718 bar. Other defects associated with forgings are inclusions, laps, seams, cold shuts and cracks. Defects with common castings are inclusions, porosity, misrun and hot tears. As you can see, both have their potential issues.

An issue with forgings often overlooked is that forgings and wrought products will have non-uniform mechanical properties. This is because they are worked or formed more in one direction than in another. Therefore, the grains will be elongated more in one direction than in the other, which has a direct affect on mechanical properties, particularly impact strength. As a result, the design of forgings needs to take into account these anisotropic properties whereas castings have uniform properties no matter what the orientation of the test coupons.

Another advantage of cast valves is that they can be produced in more complex designs than forged valves. Certain valve designs such as a globe valve are simply difficult or impossible to produce as forgings. This flexibility of design in cast valves allows them to be more efficient in controlling flow than a similarly forged valve.

Something else to consider with forged valves is that they usually are made in halves, particularly the larger sizes. This means there is either an additional flanged connection that can be a potential leak path or the halves are welded together. Welding, however, is another process for cast metal that can have its own set of problems.

The questionable reputation that castings have is from two sources. First, most of the ASTM cast specifications are lenient in requirements for composition, heat treatment and inspection. Second, some foundries either use this latitude to their advantage or simply do not know enough to implement tighter controls when needed on chemistry or heat treatment. This concern about castings has resulted in equipment produced to ASME Section VIII having a quality factor on castings of 80% of the allowable stress values for a wrought component. However, this quality factor can be increased to 100% if sufficient NDE (non-destructive evaluation) per Appendix 7 is performed.

Casting purchasers need to understand that in most ASTM specifications these additional NDE requirements are not mandatory. They are simply listed as supplementary requirements at the end of the product specifications and are only invoked if included in the purchase order. Specifying additional NDE-like radiography or dye penetrant inspection is one way of helping ensure the quality of valves being purchased. However, a more cost-effective way is to deal with valve suppliers who already control the quality of the products they produce and have a long and successful track record. In either case, the decision to go with cast or forged valves depends on several factors, and cost is usually the determining one.


THOMAS SPENCE is director of materials engineering for Flowserve Corp. (www.flowserve.com), Dayton, OH. Reach him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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