High-alloy valves for the most challenging industrial applications
Certain petrochemical applications can be quite demanding on the valves and piping installed at the facility, and requirements can vary greatly from a one process to another. Corrosive acids, extreme operating conditions, high temperature reactors, critical safety applications, high-pressure conditions, and abrasive service make high demands on the valves. Most petrochemical facilities harbor some severe services hotspots. As piping can be extensive and essential pieces of equipment need to be controlled and protected, reliable industrial valves made of alloys specifically devised to meet the challenges of a particular application need to be used.
The use of high-alloy valves is therefore significant within the demanding petrochemical processes. Exotic alloy valves provide processes with safety, durability, efficiency and functionality. These valves can be used for corrosive gases and fluids, for example in cryogenic service for LNG processes; super duplex valves, for example, are highly suited for marine, subsea and desalination applications. Monel valves, on the other hand are mostly found in alkylation processes where HF acid is involved, and oxygen services. Acids and slurries might also require special material valves to withstand wear and tear. Nuclear service valves are usually made of zirconium to meet the integrity standards required for nuclear facilities.
The proper performance of a valve will not only ensure the process’s integrity and plant personnel’s safety, but also the rate at which the plant can manufacture products. In most petrochemical processing plants, there are multi-stage or single letdown systems between the raw-material processing, upstream end of the process, and the downstream, final end product. These systems may include reducing the pressure in the flow while at the same time ensuring the media’s integrity. By decreasing pressure, energy can be released in many stages in order to stabilize the media’s flow before it arrives downstream to deliver the required process or product conditions. Special valves installed along different points at the facility can offer the desired control characteristics.
Both alloy valves and corrosion resistant valves may be utilized within letdown systems in accordance to the process and media conditions. These valves for may be used to decrease temperatures and/or controlling high pressure. Since these applications may bring along high wear and tear, inspection and routine maintenance of valves are a primary safety concern.
Severe service valves are installed both at the injection (beginning) and the withdrawal (end) of the process. The ones located in the end of the process’s reaction are often exposed to harsh conditions, which could be punishing to the usual commodity valve, hence the use of alloy material. The usual conditions that extreme valves should handle on the reactors may include abrasive media, high pressure or high temperature, acids, slurries.