After several years of exceptional growth in global demand for industrial products, particularly in the oil and gas sector, a period of reduced growth has presented a window of opportunity to fast-track the development of new products for the future.
UK based Goodwin International Ltd have developed a range of axial flow valves, suitable for both isolation and control duty and, in conjuction with Noreva GmbH in Germany, a new axial check valve engineered for challenging low flow gas applications. Several worldwide patent applications have been filed for innovative design features associated with each of the new valves.
Axial isolation valves
Axial flow valves have been used for around fifty years within the oil and gas industry. There are several areas where the axial flow valve has an advantage over the more common globe, gate and ball valves including:
• Tight shut off sealing performance & longevity
• Low pressure drop across the valve
• Low turbulence
• Low actuation forces
• Rapid soft closure
• High reliability & long maintenance intervals
Axial isolation valves are capable of moving from fully open to fully closed within 2 seconds and can maintain very low seat leakage rates, even after many years in service. Positioning the main flow seals out of the flow path when the valve is open is key to ensuring that they remain in good condition, ready to seal on demand.
Rapid valve closure is achieved with low actuation forces, resulting in the use of small actuators. Pressure balancing inside the valve mechanism means that seal and mechanical friction are the significant forces in play. This has the additional benefit of increasing the service life of the valve.
The axial flow principle induces low turbulence on the media passing through the valve. The flow out of the valve regains stable flow conditions much more quickly than a comparable globe valve thereby improving the performance and longevity of downstream equipment and pipework.
Despite the significant functional advantages, the axial flow valve is not simple to manufacture. As such, high level engineering and manufacturing specialists are needed in order to investigate and overcome the technical challenges, especially in addressing historic design limitations. In addition, extensive valve endurance testing is necessary for new design concepts.
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