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What Are the Right Valves to Select For Process Piping Best Practice?

Selecting the right valves for process piping is very important, and since different valves have different functions, it’s important to know the best ways to know which best suits your project to avoid potential process piping issues. However, the process isn’t easy and knowing the right valves to select can sometimes be problematic. So, what are the right valves to select for process piping best practices? Read this article to find out which scenarios require which valves, the particular materials you can choose from, and the best ways to select the right valves for your process piping project.

Why is knowing the purpose of your valve crucial?

The critical step you must start with is knowing the purpose of your valve. Do this first because, once you know the purpose of your valve for your piping engineering project, you can evaluate a wide range of other factors with less difficulty, such as the price, function, and (despite being time consuming) piping material specifications of the valve.  What are the Right Valves to Select For Process Piping Best Practice

What are the functions of different valves for process piping?

Some of the main functions of different valves for process piping include air releasing, pressure reduction, pressure retention, shutting off the flow, redirection, throttling, and syphoning prevention.

Which workflow processes are important for piping design and valve placement?

You’ll then need to think about the workflow processes that will help you with piping design and valve selection. There are a few workflow processes that are critical for piping design and valve placement, including piping and instrumentation diagrams, important considerations such as a pipe stress analysis, and code compliance to ensure the code requirements are met with piping and valve placement.

How do piping and instrumentation diagrams help you select and position a valve?

Piping and instrumentation diagrams lay out the pipes’ routing and help establish the placements of the valves’ locations in relation to the instrumentation. Since a process engineer can prepare with process flow with diagrams, combining this with sound engineering judgment and common sense skills, facilitates the selection and positioning of valves.

How is stress analysis carried out for purchasing piping system components and valves?

Stress analysis is carried out by using stress analysis software and piping specifications, which procurement departments will use to make the right purchases of valves and piping system components. Stress analysis can also detect thermal expansion and how dynamic loads pass through the pipe.

How are code requirements met and which organizations set standards for process plants?

In terms of valve placement and process piping design, not only is the Occupational Safety and Health Administration important for setting safety standards, but the National Fire Protection Association is also important for offering protection standards in relation to fires and the storage and handling of gas. Ensuring the proposed design meets the code requirements is also important, which process piping engineers can do by understanding the code and matching the design, including valves, to the requirements.

Valves: what types of valves can be integrated into a process system?

As mentioned, there are several different types of valves that can be integrated into a process system such as control valves and check valves. Here’s more information on these two types of process system valves. 

What is a control valve and how are control valves used?

Control valves are types of valves that regulate the flow of fluid in pipes by altering the flow passage. They correspond to fluid mechanics since they affect the rates of pressure and flow in process systems and pipes. If a piping systems design consists of straight pipe runs, a control valve must be used with sufficient straight pipe runs both at the outlet and inlet of the control valve body. This is important to minimize both noise and vibration. If a pipe run is short prior to a valve, there is a greater likelihood of turbulence when the flow enters the control valve body, so acknowledging the piping design, piping layout, and piping system is important, as well as the facilities involved in your process plant’s chemical processing.  What are the Right Valves to Select For Process Piping Best Practice

Choosing check valves: what are they and when is a check valve required?

In certain scenarios, such as to ensure that backflow is mitigated, a check valve is required. Now, this means that in addition to certain other piping components and other equipment in process plants, such as a centrifugal pump and process machines, mechanical engineers should ensure that the right check valves are installed.

How can you use a check valve for a centrifugal pump and acknowledge the pipe size?

The best way to use a check valve with a centrifugal pump in process plants is to incorporate an expander that corresponds to the right pipe size. You can then place a check valve, which will mean the valve is protected from flows of high velocity. 

Choosing check valves: which types of check valves are available?

In addition to ball cone check valves, you can also choose between folding disc, swing, and lift type valves for a chemical plant. Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Ball cone check valves: what are their advantages and disadvantages?

A ball cone check valve will protect sensitive piping systems from media backflow and keeps pressure loss to a minimum. It’s also beneficial because it prevents leaks with its unique seal.  However, if your process piping system vibrates repetitiously, this type of valve is not ideal for such systems. They also cannot be cleaned easily in terms of operation and maintenance requirements, meaning using them with applications that are sterile isn’t possible.

Folding disc check valves: what are their advantages and disadvantages?

With folding disc check valves, their quiet operation is perfect for process heating systems or ventilation systems. They are also ideal for liquid systems that are low pressure and for systems that you need to conserve space.  However, as one side or section of the folding disc remains in contact with the flow, despite being completely open, pressure switches occur.

Swing disc check valves: what are their advantages and disadvantages?

Despite the fact that you cannot use swing disc check valves for systems that have pulsating flows, they sustain less amounts of shock when they have to close with high pressures. They also open with ease if they are used for low pressures.

Lift type check valves: what are their advantages and disadvantages?

Although lift type check valves are an economical choice because they don’t have any moving parts, externally, their energy costs are quite high. This is because when it operates, the disc stays within the stream of the flow. What are the Right Valves to Select For Process Piping Best Practice

Other factors to consider when selecting the right valves for process piping

Some of the other factors that you will need to consider when selecting the right valves for process piping include the pipe supports, support structures, and the equipment locations.

Pipe supports and valves: why are pipe supports important when selecting valves?

Pipe supports are important when selecting the right valves because control valve manifold components can have a substantial weight. For this reason, the right pipe supports must be selected with the right pipe supports. Now, pipe supports are normally structural steel. It is the structural steel material that helps to support the piping, so chemical plant engineers should be aware of the materials used for the construction of pipe supports.

Support structures and valves: why are support structures important for choosing the right valves?

Since pipe supports help to transfer a pipe’s load (including valves), to a supporting structure, the right supporting structure is vital. The supporting structure will also determine where the support locations are positioned.

Equipment locations and valves: why is the location of equipment important for valves?

Positioning valves in the right locations in relation to the other equipment of your process plant is critical as it can help with plant maintenance and upkeep. Planning for equipment locations is therefore critical, helping plant engineers to establish the right spaces between and around the equipment, and to access each piece of equipment—including the valves.

What are the right materials to select for a valve?

Three of the main materials you may choose from when selecting the right valve for your process piping project include stainless steel, Monel, and brass. Here’s more information on each of these materials.

Using stainless steel for valves

One of the most commonly used materials for valves, stainless steel is resistant to corrosion and rust resistant. It can cope in chemically saturated environments (for instance, in chloride) and can also work well in high-temperature and high-pressure environments—but avoid using it for applications with extremely high temperatures.

Using Monel for valves

This superalloy is the superior option for corrosion resistance. Outperforming a vast number of materials, Monel can handle seawater conditions, and environments that contain powerful chemicals or corrosive concentrated locations. 

Using brass for valves

Brass is an affordable material that gives plant engineers the best of stainless and carbon steel. If you’re processing crude oil, types of fuel, or water, brass can handle these applications.

Choose the best valves for your process piping requirements

The best valves will suit your unique process piping requirements and satisfy the demands required for your project. Remember that knowing the purpose of your valve is critical, and always remember the important workflows and piping and instrumentation diagrams before the installation of a valve. A detailed design can help you maintain your process piping more efficiently. Also, don’t forget to visit Pro Support Solutions to help you get your hands on the right pipe supports, components, and equipment. All the equipment, tips, and support for commissioning, maintenance, and plant design can be found there.

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