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Technical

The Many Layers of Valve Qualification

While there has been much rhetoric from the new U.S. administration over the past two months about “deregulation,” Cameron’s This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. pointed out in his presentation at VMA’s 2017 Technical Seminar there is much more to achieving approved status for valves than meeting governmental regulations.

Daglio joked that there are many terms in use now to attempt to convey just how important valves are. Whether they’re called “supercritical” or “ultracritical” or just “critical,” the bottom line is that valves are essential to the operation of many systems. They must also function in increasingly high pressures and temperatures, as well as in unconventional and extreme environmental conditions, while being robust enough to stand up to highly corrosive chemicals and meet end-user requirements for near-zero leakage, especially valves in gas service.


Valves Help Achieve Net-Zero Water Use

With drought and climate change affecting countries around the world, there is a tremendous need for development of sustainable architecture. One shining example of what can be done with proper planning and intelligent use of existing technology—including smart controls and valves—is the Center for Sustainable Landscapes (CSL) at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Pittsburgh, PA.

The 15-acre campus of Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens includes a LEED-certified Welcome Center and Production Greenhouse, a conservatory and the Center for Sustainable Landscapes, one of the greenest buildings on earth.

How to Improve Control Valve Performance with Positioners

As the final control element in most process control and automation systems, control valves are part of a complex system-within-a-system in which the valve positioner can be an integral component.

The control valve is made up of four principal sub-systems:

  • The valve body, which includes the bonnet and piping inlet and outlet connections.
  • The valve trim, plug, stem, cages, retainers and disc, used to control the flow through the valve body.
  • The actuator, used to provide power to move the valve stem or shaft.
  • The positioner, used to control the position of the valve stem and provide linearization.

VMA Technical Event: Engineering Valves in the Extreme

While much the 2017 VMA Technical Seminar, held March 2-3 in Nashville, focused on numbers, statistics and specifications, attendees were reminded in a highly charged, emotional presentation by safety awareness speaker Brad Livingston just why it is important to be so vigilant when engineering valves in the extreme.

In “Just a Second Ago” Livingston recounted the events of 1991 when he nearly lost his life because of decisions he and a co-worker made to shave a few moments off a welding job on a natural gas pipeline. According to Livingston, the two explosions—which were 100% preventable—happened because standard safety procedures were ignored. He blamed himself for not speaking up and insisting they be followed, and his plea to those gathering for this event was: “Consider, what is it worth?”

How to Improve Reliability and Safety of Solenoid Valves

In an industrial setting such as a chemical plant, oil refinery or a deep-sea oil rig, there are safety instrumented systems in place that are designed to promptly bring about a safe shutdown of a process if certain hazardous conditions are detected. Such safe shutdowns frequently involve isolating a process fluid flow, often accomplished using an ESD (emergency shutdown) valve. If the ESD fails dangerously, when a hazardous condition necessitating a shutdown occurs and the ESD does not perform its function when required, the worst-case consequences can be catastrophic.

ESD valves often include a solenoid valve in the ESD design with the solenoid valve energized in an open position while the process operates normally and with the solenoid valve moving to the closed position to initiate a safe shutdown of process fluid flow. Solenoid valves can fail (be unable to close on command) due to several different conditions. However, the failure mode contributing most significantly to the dangerous failure rate of the solenoid valve is that of sticking or adhesion.

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