10 must-check factors before specifying sealing material for valves

Title image for 10 must-check factors before specifying sealing material for valves.

As a plant planner, you don’t want to go down in history as the person who bought and installed leaky valves in what was supposed to be a breakthrough project. You want to be remembered as the pro who got the resistant valves that ease the plant operators’ lives and lift operational confidence.

On paper, the seals seem like a small detail to care about. In reality, they can make the difference between an efficient plant and one that suffers from frequent downtime due to persistent leakage.

Learn now, what sealing material features should you check out before buying your next valve!

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Are close-coupled installations the secret ingredient for painless measuring and improved TCO?

Examples of close-coupled installations in front of a petrochemical plant.

Am I building the plant my client wants? What needs to be done to make it so? As a plant builder, you have probably asked yourself those questions too many times. Even more, you sure know the answers. They imply technical assurance under the project’s budget and schedule constraints.

Throughout my career as an instrumentation hardware specialist, I have observed a significant trend among EPC engineers, particularly in the chemical industry. When choosing accessories for a measurement system, they tend to prioritize investment savings over the total cost of ownership (TOC). Even when those savings don’t guarantee smooth upkeep for the facility.

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Sealing solutions for valves: Types, materials and applications

Title image for sealing solutions for valves - Types, materials and applications.

During the EPC project, you define the operating conditions, process constraints, and service type for the valves with relative ease. But when the time comes to settle on the right sealing material, you suddenly lack the confidence to complete your specifications without support from your vendor of choice.  

In this blog, you’ll find insight to improve your valve selection process by learning more about sealing materials. Once done, you will know what sealing attributes to consider when buying your next valve.

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How DBB valves help meet offshore size and vibration restrictions

Workers install DBB Valves at a gas lift compression module of a FPSO vessel in west Africa.

Offshore is without question one of the most challenging working environments for the oil and gas sector. The harsh weather conditions and remote location add a unique layer to everyday operations. Having impeccable timing takes on a whole new meaning in maintenance tasks. I’m touching the ground on this subject because AS-Schneider recently had me assist a client with their valve technology. The project was for the gas lift compression module of a floating production, storage, and offloading (FPSO) vessel in West Africa. We not only completed the job but also got to learn genuinely valuable lessons worth sharing. Thus, I’m happy to have the chance to do so today through this blog. Here’s the story of how we helped a dear customer, an upstream contractor, obtain double block and bleed (DBB) valves that met the site’s tight constraints on space, weight, and vibration. Read along!

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Hydrogen embrittlement prevention and control [Part 4 of 4]

Hydrogen pipelines and trees stand for hydrogen embrittlement prevention and control.

At last, we reached the final delivery of our hydrogen embrittlement series. In part IV, we continue our interview with Material Testing Institute’s expert, Brain Kagay. Before, in part III, he shared precise insight into the effect of hydrogen embrittlement in different materials (metallic and non-metallic). Now, he’s disclosing more vital information relevant to the future blended operations of natural gas-hydrogen to be held in Germany’s existing grid and what’s next for research of hydrogen effects on materials.

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Effects of hydrogen embrittlement on different valve materials [Part 3 of 4]

Hydrogen pipelines and trees stand for effects of hydrogen embrittlement on different valve materials.

Here is the third part of our hydrogen embrittlement series with special guest Materials Testing Institute’s expert Brian Kagay. In part II, we addressed the causes of hydrogen embrittlement in valves. So, naturally, in this installment, our conversation flowed toward the effects of embrittlement by H2 in different types of valve materials.

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Causes of hydrogen embrittlement in valves [Part 2 of 4]

Hydrogen pipelines and trees stand for causes of hydrogen embrittlement in valves.

Welcome to the second delivery of our hydrogen embrittlement series. In this follow-up piece, our talk with Materials Testing Institute’s expert Brian Kagay turns to a new topic that complements part I’s basics of H2 embrittlement and its effects on valves. Here, the focus is on the causes behind valve embrittlement by H2. We also go over the enabling factors, how they impact the welding process, and the ways to spot affected materials.

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Is hydrogen embrittlement a threat to valves? Get the answer here! [Part 1 of 4]

Hydrogen pipelines and trees stand for hydrogen embrittlement of valves.

Germany is hard at work on becoming a decarbonized region. The country found a scalable solution in hydrogen that favors all parts—the environment, citizens, and industries. To get the H2 initiative started, the government, with the help of the scientific community, is developing several macro projects. The first phase focuses on blended operations that lead to the controlled addition of hydrogen into the existing natural gas grid infrastructure.

Under such a novel context, it is natural to inquire about the potential implications of gas blending. How can the addition of hydrogen affect the existing systems? Is hydrogen embrittlement of materials a possibility? What are the causes? How to prevent it? These are rather important questions raised by plant operators. So, as valve manufacturers, AS-Schneider felt committed to taking action and finding answers. We sent our team to a one-on-one meeting with specialist Dr. Brian Kagay. His work in the prestigious Materials Testing Institute at the University of Stuttgart qualifies him as an expert in this subject. If you are a plant operator, you don’t want to miss out on what he had to say.

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How a natural gas terminal meets 99% supply availability with DBB valves

Natural gas terminal meets 99% supply availability with DBB valves.

The cease of natural gas imports from Russia forced Germany to switch from energy providers. Since then, Norway has grabbed the number one spot as the main supplier. To secure reliable gas transfer and distribution, all facilities within the circuit must be at peak capacity. One of those facilities is a Gassco plant located in northern Germany. The revamped Emden natural gas terminal kicked off operations in 2016 with the operative premise of providing an availability delivery rate above 99%. Since the start-up the plant did not reach its potential due to a leakage problem at the shut-off valves. Together with the customer, we set about working out a solution to achieve the high requirement of 99% availability. Here’s how we helped Gassco get to the promised target.

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Practical test installation of a DBB Piping Ball Valve at a gas storage facility

Practical test installation of DBB piping ball valve in natural gas plant.

One of the things that I enjoy the most about my job is discussing new improvement opportunities with clients. Situations like that push me to engineer viable solutions that solve operational setbacks, so they can enjoy more reliability and safety at work. And that was what happened when I designed the practical test installation procedure I’m about to share. It was for a double block and bleed (DBB) ball valve installed in a gas storage facility.

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