11152018Thu
Last updateThu, 15 Nov 2018 4pm

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Designing for Safety: Failure Modes on Gate Valves

15 spr gateFor over 100 years, preventing catastrophic failure in the process control industry has been a continuously evolving area of study. To protect life, the environment, reputations and capital investments from compromise, we deliberate over safety and risk in every aspect of a system. As a positive result, systems of designed failure scenarios are strategically located throughout chemical refineries, power plants, floating vessels and offshore rigs. Understanding how process failure modes are achieved and where certain valves and actuation fit into the scenario is key to our efforts.

Why Quarter-turn Valves ‘Pop’ Open

We’ve all seen this situation: A quarter-turn valve is in the closed position. A pneumatic actuator applies an opening torque that exceeds what’s required to begin to open the valve. Suddenly, the valve “jumps” or “pops” open to as much as 45 degrees or more, resulting in a sudden surge of potentially disruptive flow. Why did this occur and how can we avoid this phenomenon?

Smaller Electric Actuators Fulfill Expanded Needs

14 spr actuators 1The conventional perception of a motorized valve is one of a large ­isolating valve with a heavy-duty valve actuator, usually powered by a three-phase electrical supply. However, many processes require smaller valves, and those valves often call for small electric actuators for isolating and modulating applications. As a result, the number of these smaller actuators is steadily growing.

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