‘Plugging’ the issues; an alternative to Ball Valves
There is nothing “new” in the World may be a slightly overstated cliché given the plethora of technologies, techniques and triumphs that we read about on a weekly basis – but it is true that some inventions, although improved, can never be bettered.
One such tried and tested idea may just be the Lift Plug Valve.
Metal Seated Ball Valves have been the trusted technology for many applications where high pressure or temperatures are endemic to the process – but they do have issues – for example; oil and gas can contain impurities that damage the ball seats over a period, causing in-line leakage.
This is made worse by friction when grains of sand are trapped between the ball and seat; grinding away the seat surface.
The answer could be to use a metal seated Lift Plug Valve.
Like the ball valve they allow 90 degree operation, are suitable for High Pressure/Temperature applications and the tapered plug is lifted from the seat, so there is no friction damage.
In comparison to the ball valve the seat of a Lift Plug Valve is larger, which virtually eliminates the chance of wear caused leakage.
With the harshest of media such as those processed in coking plants, valve seals can be destroyed in a matter of months, but there are reports of SchuF Lift Plug Valves lasting up to four times longer before maintenance is required. That’s four times more production before earning potential is interrupted.
SchuF also offer three and four way lift plug valves, adding not only value but flexibility to your process design.
That flexibility, created using the highest specification tolerances through precision CNC machining, has allowed SchuF to supply valve solutions that have handled temperatures of 800°C, proving the Lift Plug Valve is ideal for many niche applications.
There will always be process engineers who are quite conservative – sticking to the ball valves they know and love – accepting and working with the imperfections, but with the added value of longer periods between maintenance and ultimate replacement, alongside the other easily explained benefits of the Lift Plug Valve, it has to be worth a conversation with Valve and Process Solutions.
Valve & Process Solutions Ltd
Tel: 01246 220 070
Published in Valve User Magazine Issue 34