Last updateThu, 27 Oct 2016 2pm



Warriors, Welding and Wooing the Workforce

For the last several years, one of the biggest concerns voiced by manufacturers, construction firms, refiners, petrochemical and petroleum producers is the shortage of skilled manpower. In fact, it could be said that employers in these sectors are weathering the perfect storm of circumstances: Experienced baby boomers are reaching the age of 65 at the rate of 10,000 per day and a good percentage of them are retiring shortly thereafter, manufacturing has a reputation in recent years as being a dumb, dirty and dangerous career option, and changes brought about by digital and technological changes in all facets of industry are taxing those who are in the field. Recruiting, training and retaining quality skilled people is proving difficult even for the most forward-thinking companies.

Add to the skilled labor shortage the extra challenge of competing in a global marketplace, and it becomes obvious that North American manufacturers have a lot of work to do to alleviate this problem. But it is not only the responsibility of manufacturers and producers.

Avoid Water Hammer Problems in High-Pressure Hydraulic Systems

Water hammer, high-velocity fluid flow and contaminated hydraulic media are among the worst enemies of high-pressure hydraulic systems. Water hammer, in particular, can be very destructive in high-pressure descaling applications. At steel mills, persistent water hammer in high-pressure piping systems often leads to burst pipes, cracked welds and descale header damage. In some cases, control valves have actually exploded due to water hammer.

This article will discuss the damaging effects of water hammer and how proportional poppet valve technology can eliminate this phenomenon in descaling applications.

The Critical Stem Nut: Who is Responsible for Maintenance?

One of the most important components of an automated threaded stem valve is the ubiquitous stem nut, a relatively simple and unsophisticated mechanical device that converts the rotary motion of an actuator into the linear stem movement needed to open or close one of the many types of gate valves or sluice gates.

The Dos and Don’ts of Isolating Pressure Relief Valves

Typically, isolation valves are used to block off a pressure safety valve (PSV) from system pressure, so that maintenance on the valve or related equipment can be conducted without a shut down. While isolation valves are not used on every PRV installation, they are common and often found in critical service or for production areas that cannot tolerate a shutdown.

Basics of Elastomeric Seal Design

Basics of Elastomeric Seal DesignEngineers need critical design information when choosing a seal for a particular valve application. This includes:

  • Operating temperature and pressure ranges
  • What fluids or gases are being processed
  • The environmental conditions
  • Whether the seal is static or will be exposed to dynamic motion
  • Expected life of the seal

In a recent presentation at the Valve Repair Council’s seminar, Nathan Sowder, business development manager for oil & gas and chemical processing at Parker’s O-Ring Division, explained the basics of elastomeric seal design. Starting out with an overview of the various polymers used in seals, he compared the pros and cons of various reinforcing fillers, plasticizers, process aids and cure systems. A key component of seal performance is the compound that it is made of.


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