Category Archive: Check Valves
With end products that must be safe for consumption, the food and beverage industry relies on high-performance parts in its manufacturing processes to prevent bacteria contamination and to meet stringent FDA and USDA regulations. Additionally, systems within this industry must moderate the temperature and humidity of a product for safe processing and spoilage prevention. Sanitary check valves are well suited to the piping systems of the food and beverage sector due to their high-quality stainless steel and polished surface, tight seal, clean-in-place (CIP) ability, reliability, and longevity.
Sanitary Check Valve Features
Because they prevent fluid backflow and protect pumps and compressors, sanitary check valves are ideal for use in a processing or material distribution system. To avoid contamination, the valve will seal or otherwise prevent fluid from reversing its flow direction, making the system a one-way system. These valves are designed to prevent product accumulation or corrosion, as well as other potentially harmful impurities from going through the piping. When replacing or adding sanitary check valves to your facility’s processing systems, look for the following features:
- Smooth internal features. Sanitary check valves are made from 316L stainless steel that has a highly polished internal surface that won’t allow buildup to develop. There are no rough surfaces or internal edges where buildup or impurities can cling and begin to degrade the metal or break off into passing fluid. The internal design of sanitary check valves also won’t have any crevices where potential contaminants can become trapped and cause unsanitary conditions.
- Tight seal. For sanitary applications in food and beverage processing, the elimination of potential backflow needs to be absolute, and an extremely tight seal addresses this hygienic concern.
- Reliable construction. Sanitary check valves need to be able to last without frequent replacements, degradation over time, or failure. The material composition and design of these valves should ensure low maintenance with a long lifetime.
When you’re looking for the right sanitary check valves, also look for products that meet the material, pressure, and performance standards for your system to comply with governmental and industry regulations.
Benefits of Tri-Clamp Piping Systems
Tri-clamp fittings are a type of leakproof sanitary fitting component that can join endpoints together by clamping a gasket in between two flanged ends. These versatile fittings use external sealing capabilities to make installation, maintenance, and inspections easy, allowing for an array of vertical or horizontal system design configurations. Operators can quickly and easily disassemble the system and valve for cleaning, and this feature is paramount for industrial sectors like food and beverage.
DSV® Valves for the Food & Beverage Industry From DFT® Inc.
For over 75 years, DFT® has served industrial sectors with reliable, quality check valves to ensure efficient, safer operations. We maintain a full line of our DSV® Sanitary Check Valves, which we design, customize, and manufacture to help simplify maintenance and maintain compliance to production and sanitation standards for your organization. We build our sanitary check valves to meet 3-A quality standards and CIP criteria. We specialize in serving the food and beverage markets with food-grade valves for reliable processing applications to prevent reverse flow or bacteria buildup from contaminating products and equipment.
Read our eBook about the critical role of our DSV® Sanitary Check Valves in the food and beverage industry. You can also contact our team to find the right check valves for your facility or request a quote to start your order.
The mining and mineral sector needs robust processing systems that can meet the harsh chemical, pressure, and temperature demands of the industry. To reduce costly and unscheduled downtime, systems and all components must function consistently and reliably, minimizing equipment damage and hazardous working conditions. Specialized valves within these processing systems, such as check valves, help ensure consistent movement and direction of fluid in numerous mining applications.
One of the least thought about, but most crucial types of valves in a mining operation is the check valve. Often these applications consist of both vertical and horizontal piping orientations. Check valves ensure the one-way flow of fluid throughout a piping system and protect pumps and compressors from backflow. They also rely on a tight seal to stop any reverse flow leakage. This functionality is crucial for mining operations, which need to provide a continuous supply of raw materials and processed fluids.
Check valves must be resistant to harsh substances despite their chemical properties, pH levels, temperatures, or pressures to prevent corrosion and overall wear. With a high-quality check valve, companies can efficiently maintain a controlled flow of fluid that doesn’t jeopardize production standards or cause downtime to mining equipment. Combined with a regular maintenance program, placing check valves throughout your piping system can reduce processing costs and downtime otherwise resulting from equipment strain, breakdowns, and component replacements.
Check valves are essential in both above- and below-ground applications for mining and processing materials. Some of the most common applications for check valves in the industry include:
- Autoclaving. High-quality alloy check valves can be used to prevent the reverse flow of fluid in autoclaving operations requiring Class V shutoff capabilities.
- Extraction processes. For above-ground extraction procedures, solvent extraction (SX) plants and pregnant leach solutions (PLS) processes utilize check valves. In SX plants, check valves are located at the pump discharge point for managing aqueous leach and organic fluids to prevent backflow and water hammer. These valves also function at the pump discharge stage in PLS procedures, but they can also stop reverse flow within a system.
- Mine dewatering. Dewatering processes use pumps to lower the water table near a mining site or quarry. The pumps that manage the dewatering in mining need robust check valves that can function well in vertical or horizontal orientations to guard against water hammer and keep the removed water flowing away from the site.
- Pipelines. Check valves maintain the one-way flow of water to and from mining locations, regardless of piping distance, orientation, or changes in elevation and height. They also protect valuable pumps from reverse flow and prevent water hammer.
- Pump isolation and discharge. Check valves prevent backflow and mitigate the risk of pump damage throughout discharge.
Flanged & Wafer Check Valves From DFT® Inc.
- Our robust WLC® and ALC® wafer check valves can handle a wide range of substance types, pressures, and temperatures for use throughout mining and refining processes.
- Each valve has a spring-assisted, non-slam mechanism to prevent backflow and seal tightly shut.
- The WLC® is available in sizes 1″-10″ and classes 150-1500 and features a center-guided design for superior performance and reliability.
- The ALC® wafer check valve is available in sizes 2″-24″ and in classes 150 and 300.
- Each of the wafer check valves has minimal leak paths and is compact, fitting between joining flanges in vertical as well as horizontal installations.
- DFT® also offers a line of flanged check valves. Our Excalibur® Silent Check Valve series is another low-maintenance solution for ensuring a consistent, one-way flow of fluid through a processing system.
- The Excalibur® series includes an extensive range of options to meet different size requirements, pressure and temperature ratings, and material standards for best fit in most systems in the mining industry.
- Excaliburs are designed to meet the ASME B16.10 face-to-face standard.
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Clean water is important for industrial processes, but the water a facility receives may not be clean enough. Using a reverse osmosis (RO) purification system can provide the level of purity companies need for product specifications and quality standards. Reverse osmosis water purification is a common technique for removing impurities from water for use in processing everything from pharmaceuticals to food and beverages. Systems using reverse osmosis rely on durable check valves to dependably manage reverse flow and water hammer to purify contaminated water.
Why Check Valves for the Reverse Osmosis Industry?
Reverse osmosis processes use pressure and a semipermeable membrane to purify water. In the first stage, unpurified water, or feedwater, enters a system. The system applies pressure so that the feedwater flows from the intake point to downstream operations, passing through a membrane. At this stage, the membrane collects any impurities and allows only purified water through, which is also called permeate water. Valves manage that flow to ensure a steady stream of water that will not overwhelm the system.
Different check valves provide different benefits, functionalities, and levels of control at various stages. For example, a check valve located after water exits the membrane housing stops backflow and ensures that permeate water continues out the outlet port. Check valves are also required components for reverse osmosis systems that have automatic shut-off valves and pressurized tanks. When a tank is full, it creates enough back-pressure that it could send water surging backward through the system, causing breakage or recontamination. A spring-assisted valve can stop purified water from exiting back through the membrane. Flow only begins again after the back-pressure is below the feed pressure.
While check valves can protect the reverse osmosis setup, they do experience harsh conditions. Corrosive seawater and chemical contaminants can degrade these valves. Over time, dissolved salts (ions), chloride, and other chemicals will break down the seal and housing, which can lead to contaminated water. However, facilities can reduce the risk of deterioration by choosing the right seals and housings for the expected contaminants and environmental conditions. Nickel-aluminum-bronze and duplex stainless steel valves, for example, can withstand constant exposure to seawater. These materials are commonly used in check valves for reverse osmosis/desalination plants throughout Saudi Arabia, Israel, and the coast of California.
Reverse Osmosis Applications and Industries
Water purity is especially essential for the production of consumable goods, and reverse osmosis systems used along with other water treatment systems meet this challenge. Two of the most common industries with applications for reverse osmosis valves are:
- Food and beverage. Reverse osmosis can purify water to guarantee safety, consistency, quality, and controllable tastes and odors in the final products.
- Pharmaceuticals. Pharmaceutical manufacturers cannot create safe products without pure water. Even trace amounts of bacteria, organic material, chemicals, or minerals can jeopardize a product. In fact, some of the strictest water purity mandates call for water that has 10,000 times lower impurity levels than safely rated drinking water.
No matter the industry or water source, DFT® Inc. manufactures and distributes check valves that can keep reverse osmosis equipment running smoothly. Four of our highly recommended RO valves are:
- GLC® NAB (Nickel-Aluminum-Bronze) Silent Check Valves
- GLC® (Duplex Stainless Steel) Silent Check Valves
- Excalibur® NAB (Nickel-Aluminum-Bronze) Silent Check Valves
- Excalibur® (Duplex Stainless Steel) Silent Check Valves
These check valves have a spring-assisted and non-slam design with applications in pressurized systems for preventing water hammer and in systems with exposure to extremely harsh conditions. With their use in brine, brackish water, and more, check valves are rated to withstand corrosion and deter marine life. They also feature a nozzle style for easy operation and require little maintenance.
Choose Reverse Osmosis Check Valves From DFT®
Reverse osmosis systems can purify water to make it safe for drinking, industrial processes, and pharmaceutical and food production. In those systems, check valves allow for safe and efficient water processing. For over 75 years, DFT® has innovated to provide its customers with in-line check valves and severe service control valves to fit their specific needs. Contact us today to learn more about our capabilities, or request a quote to start your order.
Natural gas demand rises in tandem with economic growth. For example, in the Utica and Marcellus Shale areas, the need for metering facilities and gas compression stations has expanded rapidly in recent years. Forecasts suggest that this ongoing infrastructure expansion should continue for the foreseeable future.
A Large Natural Gas Company in West Virginia was experiencing issues with its piston check valves. They were installed at its compressor station located near the natural gas underground storage.
Six of the 6” 900# WCB/SS DFT® model PDC® Check Valves were the right solution to replace the piston check valves originally installed for this application.
DFT® Model PDC® Features:
- 2” to 26” line size
- ASME class 150 to 1500
- RF & RTJ flanged ends
- ASME B16.10 face-to- face dimensions
- Standard Body Materials:
- A216 WCB carbon steel
- A351 CF8M stainless steel
- A352 LCC low-carbon
- Stainless steel trim
- Center-guided/dual-guided stem
- Spring assisted silent closing, non-slam
- Tight shutoff – lapped disc & seat
- Horizontal or vertical installation
- Protected spring
- Axial Flow
- Nozzle style
Access our eBook to Learn More about the Role of Natural Gas in Today’s World
Proper check valves reduce the likelihood of malfunctions and potentially catastrophic side effects in your natural gas system. Our new eBook, Check Valves in the Natural Gas Industry, explores:
- Which Check Valves Are Suitable for Natural Gas Applications?
- How long Do DFT® Check Valves Last?
- Construction of the PDC® and GLC® Check Valves
You can also download our free webinar, Engineered Check Valve Solutions For Natural Gas Applications to learn more about the important role of check valves and how to resolve flow issues and avoid failures.
As a follow-up to our webinar, Engineered Check Valve Solutions For Natural Gas Applications, we are sharing the questions we received from the audience. The answers are provided by host Arie Bregman, vice president and general manager of DFT® Inc. and a 35-year industry veteran, who is an active member in the U.S. Valve Manufacturers Association (VMA), serving as Chairman and on the group’s education, training, and technical committees.
When it comes to compressors and the gas applications they are used in, operational efficiency and safety are top priority. Reliable check valves are needed to protect compressors and other high dollar machinery. In our webinar, we discussed the many applications in which check valves are used throughout the journey from well to distribution, as well as how to resolve flow issues and avoid failures.
If you missed this webinar, you can now view it on demand. Simply click this link.
Below, our talented host answers questions regarding engineered check valves to help you find the right type and fit.
Q: You show 4 different valve styles as options. How do you choose the best valve?
A: Sometimes it’s dictated by the face-to-face requirements of the application. That being the case, then you’ll want a shorter pattern or longer pattern, if you don’t want to modify piping. If you have a new installation then a GLC, which is a non-standard face-to-face, may be a good solution. It has a one-piece body that may offer an advantage over a 2-piece body like the Excalibur. These are some important considerations. If we are talking about a reciprocating compressor, absolutely the PDC check valve is a very strong choice, probably the best choice in our family of products for that application. It is specifically designed for reciprocating compressor service and will give you a long lifetime, high-reliability product that can be custom tailored to be the ideal valve for the application.
Q: Can all DFT check valves be mounted in a vertical line? Why does flow up vs. flow down matter?
A: All DFT axial flow check valves can be mounted in a vertical line. All our valves have a spring opposing flow direction of the valve. So why does flow up vs. flow down matter? That gets to the consideration of the weight of the disc. If the flow is going up, the disc weight will help close the valve, so a lighter cracking pressure spring will be helpful. In the case of flow down, you absolutely have to compensate for the weight of the disc with a higher cracking pressure spring.
Q: In which applications would you use flanged valves and wafer style valves?
A: It’s easier to say where I would not use wafer style valves, and that would be temperatures below -50F and above +500F. In extremes of operating temperatures the flange bolts will be at a different temperature vs. the body of the valve which could lead to bolt relaxation or bolt over stress, either of which will lead to flange gasket leakage. If there is a risk of high temperatures from fire exposure, then stay away from a wafer style valve as well unless it is a lugged body design with tapped holes for the flange bolts. The inherently shorter bolts of a RF Flanged valve make it very preferable for high levels of gasket sealing and integrity.
Q: What kind of maintenance is required with this type of valve?
A: Maintenance requirements are based on the service conditions. Many, properly sized and selected DFT check valves can perform many years and even decades with no maintenance, but that requires investing the time up front and understanding the flow requirements and engineering the valve to work reliably under those flow conditions.
Q: How do your Excalibur, GLC and PDC valves compare to non-slam nozzle check valves?
A: These are all non-slam nozzle style check valves.
Q: Would it be possible to address the advantages of DFT valves vs. other brands?
A: DFT only manufactures axial flow check valves. This style of check valve has a demonstrated, significant advantage in reducing water hammer. DFT makes several styles of this axial flow design for short pattern requirements (wafer valves) up to and including flanged (RF and RTJ) and butt weld end ASME B 16.10 face to face requirements. DFT will also work with our end users to “engineer” the right valve for their application, whether that is due to low flow, low pressure drop, or special materials of construction. We will help you by providing the right valve solution.
Q: What is cracking pressure?
A: Cracking pressure is the pressure at which flow just begins. The fluid pressure has just overcome the forces of the spring and disc weight and the valve has just started to lose contact with the seat.
Q: How can I calculate the cracking pressure?
A: Cracking pressure is stated by the manufacturer and should be readily available by them along with the Cv flow characteristic, weights and dimensions.
Q: You mentioned that a lighter cracking pressure spring will slow down the closing rate of the PDC. Are there any other disadvantages associated with a lower cracking pressure spring?
A: Some of the other disadvantages of a lower cracking pressure spring, not thinking about whether we are talking gases or liquids, is if you have a vertical line flow down you may have to go to a higher cracking pressure spring just to compensate for the weight of the disc. For vertical line flow up, you may want a lighter cracking pressure spring because you are fighting gravity and not concerned about the weight of the disc in that case as it is helping to close the valve. If we are talking strictly liquid services, then lighter cracking pressure springs will make the valve less able to reduce water hammer.
Q: What is the delivery for these valves?
A: Standard valves are available from our inventory or our distributor’s inventory for fast delivery. Special requirements will require longer lead times. Please contact DFT for your specific requirements and product availability.
Q: In general, to prolong the service life of any valve is it advisable to have centrifugal compressors in any gas plant or refinery?
A: Prolonging the life of any valve in any service often requires engineering the valve specifically for optimum service life. With check valves this starts with doing the valve sizing calculations but also involves specifying the right valve for the application. Reciprocating compressors require valves designed for that service. The DFT model PDC is designed for very long life in recip compressor service. The choice of centrifugal vs. reciprocating compressor is usually driven by the pressure and volumetric needs balanced against lifetime installed cost for those two options.
Q: With the PDC, can the amount of damping be adjusted? For example, with more compressors can it be activated and the vibration changes?
A: No. The amount of damping is set by the orifice valve internal to the valve itself and cannot be adjusted.
Q: Does DFT have a service support rep in Canada?
A: DFT is represented by Triangle Fluid Controls throughout all of Canada. Please go to their web site at: https://trianglefluid.com/ for contact information.
Q: What does a stop do?
A: The stop limits the opening travel of the valve and should be designed based on the min, normal, and max flow conditions for the valve.
Q: Does the valve require certain straight pipe length upstream and downstream?
A: We recommend 5 x NPS upstream and downstream of the valve to ensure non-turbulent flow entering the valve and for non-turbulent flow to be restored after the media exits the valve. Oftentimes, sufficient space is not available in those cases, and dual guided valves should be selected. That is a valve where the closure mechanism is supported on both the upstream and downstream sides with a stem and bushing.
Q: Is this DFT Sizing software available for customer use?
A: Access to the DFT sizing software is on a limited basis. Please visit our website and contact the DFT Sales Representative in your area to discuss access to our sizing software, or our Sales Team can assist you with the sizing of check valves for your specific applications.
Q: How do you handle mixed phase flow in your sizing program?
A: When dealing with mixed phase flow in our sizing program, there are so many different variables on how much of the different phases exist in the medium. If it is simply a 5% or so of mixture, such as water vapor in a flow of steam, then adjust specific gravity and molecular weight a little bit. However, if there is a higher mixture of the two phases—ex. 50/50—then the technique is to size it as if sizing with only a gas, then size again as if only the liquid, then proportion the two results based on those 2 sizing outputs. If you do have this or a similar situation, we recommend contacting DFT to run the sizing and consult with you on what the proper sizing result should be for your particular flow situation.
Q: If you put a travel stop in a check valve, can it be removed or changed at a later date?
A: The travel stops we use can be removed from the valve or changed. It requires the valve to be taken out of the piping system. The valves we are talking about here are for natural gas applications and are not inline repairable. Both stops and springs can be removed or changed to go to a higher or lower cracking pressure. So, all that DFT can do to engineer a valve for an application can be changed or modified for changing conditions that you may experience with the application.
Q: Could it be a water-hammer hazard when the natural gas is flowing as a gas substance in a pressurized pipes network?
A: No. Water hammer is strictly a liquid or steam phenomenon.
Q: Is it possible to have water-hammer risk if the natural gas is flowing in gaseous form in a pressurized gas piping network?
A: No. Water hammer only occurs in liquid or steam service, where condensate is present in the lines.
Q: Are your slides available for us to download?
A: Yes, they are located in our Resource Section and can be accessed here.
For more than 75 years, DFT® Inc. has helped customers find and install the right check valves for their unique applications. To learn more about our valves, and how we can assist you, contact us directly.