Why it pays to use a custom severe service valve for your critical applications

Did you know that 15 percent of control valves cause 85 percent of all valve problems in any given industrial plant?

Severe applications require resilient and high-grade equipment. If your control valve can’t handle the extreme conditions of your process, it can quickly suffer damage caused by corrosion, erosion, cavitation, flashing, and vibration.. And, as you’ll know, this can result in costly downtime, delayed projects, unanticipated costs, and even safety risks.

To mitigate these problems, you should turn to a specialty severe service valve.

In this blog, we’ll assess the risks of off-the-shelf control valves before examining the benefits of a custom solution.

Why off-the-shelf valves don’t always measure up

All severe service applications are unique and handle varying extreme conditions, such as high and low temperatures, corrosive and erosive media, high-pressure drops and velocities, as well as noise and vibration.

Often, off-the-shelf control valves are not sized, configured, or built to even briefly withstand extreme process conditions. We refer to these as “problem valves.” There are three categories of problem valves that you should be aware of:

  1. Cavitation and flashing. Here, fluid velocity and pressure drops result in cavitation damage, which causes small pits in the metal and wear away surfaces. Flashing damage results from a fluid changing phase and accelerating through the valve — scalloping the trim, body, and downstream piping.
  2. Noise and vibration. In gaseous applications, turbulence caused by sudden pressure drops and high velocities results in aerodynamic noise. Besides the obvious noise pollution, high volumes can be a safety risk to nearby technicians. What’s more, the subsequent vibrations can cause physical damage to equipment.
  3. Corrosion and erosion. General and localized corrosions occur from a chemical or electrochemical reaction with the environment. General corrosion uniformly affects the entire surface of the exposed material. Meanwhile, localized corrosion causes pits and cracking in specific locations. Erosion occurs when abrasive solids in suspension wear away material.

Installing a valve that’s unfit for your critical application may result in one of these risks. To avoid these problems, you should opt for a custom severe service valve.

The benefits of a custom severe service valve

With such variety in severe service processes, it makes sense to source a custom valve that’s specific to your environment, application, and use case. Customization may involve changes to the size, materials, trim, or end connections of a valve. Or it may require creating a completely new control valve from scratch.

Working with the right manufacturer, you can design a custom severe service valve that benefits from:

  1. Precise control. Built for your specified conditions, a custom severe service valve will deliver precise control over flow rates, pressure, and other critical parameters. This precision ensures optimal performance and minimizes the risk of inefficiencies in your processes.
  2. Reduced downtime. Custom valves are built to withstand the unique challenges of your critical applications, whether it be space-like pressure conditions or highly corrosive materials. This limits the likelihood of breakages due to corrosion, flashing, noise, or similar, and minimizes the chances of costly downtime.
  3. Extended performance. The durability and hardiness of custom valves will also result in an extended lifespan. This means you’re less likely to require replacement valves prematurely — a win for your bottom line and your technicians.
  4. Lower maintenance costs. Off-the-shelf valves may require more frequent maintenance due to their limited compatibility with severe service conditions. Custom valves operate efficiently and reliably under the specific demands of your application. This reduces maintenance requirements, resulting in cost savings over time.

Choosing the right valve for your critical processes

Severe service applications handle challenging conditions, so it’s important to choose control valves that are fit for the job. With the right solution, you can maintain operational efficiency, keep your factory safe, and avoid costly breakages.

At Trimteck, we manufacture control valves for the world's most critical applications. Our high-quality, custom severe service valves go beyond off-the-shelf solutions, providing superior performance and durability.

To learn more about our control valves and services, please get in touch.

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