Category Archive: Check Valves

Webinar Q&A: Hydrogen Production and the Role of Engineered Check Valves

As a follow-up to our November 2022 webinar, Hydrogen Production and the Role of Engineered Check Valves, we’re sharing the questions we received from the audience. The answers are provided by host Stephen O’Neill, Director of Sales and Marketing of DFT ® Inc. O’Neill, MBA, is a degreed Mechanical Engineer with 30 years of experience in the valve industry including check valves, control valves, pressure relief valves and pulse jet valves.

In our webinar, Stephen broke down what to know about hydrogen production, including what hydrogen is, how it’s produced, the different methods of storage and more. He also provided in-depth information on the right check valves to use for various hydrogen applications.

Hydrogen and the Role of Engineered Check Valves Webinar

If you missed the webinar, you can now view it on demand. Simply click this link.

Below, our knowledgeable host answers questions regarding engineered check valves to help you find the right type and fit for your hydrogen application.

Q: Are there any pipelines in the USA (or in the world) with hydrogen injection?  If so, what is the percentage of hydrogen?  Is any pipeline operator nearing the 15% hydrogen composition?

A: Hydrogen can be injected in Natural Gas pipelines, but only up to 15% of the mix.  This can be done, but it is still in the pilot stages.

Excalibur® Silent Check Valve

Q: Can the Excalibur be used in temp around 113F to -50F?

A: Yes, the Excalibur can be used in temperatures ranging from 133F to -50F, but in order to function at -50F the valve must be made of stainless steel.

Q: Is there something specific of API6D that only applies to check valves & not generally also to ball valves?

A: This specification defines the requirements for the design, manufacturing, assembly, testing, and documentation of ball, check, gate, and plug valves for application in pipeline and piping systems for the petroleum and natural gas industries.

This specification is not applicable to subsea pipeline valves, as they are covered by a separate specification, API 6DSS.

This specification is applicable to valves for the following pressure ratings only: Class 150, Class 300, Class 400, Class 600, Class 900, Class 1500, and Class 2500.

PDC® Silent Check Valve

Q: How many cycles per minute can the PDC valve handle?

A: The PDC does not cycle on and close when it is installed downstream from a reciprocating compressor.  The PDC has a built-in pulse dampening chamber that is designed to remain in the open position even as the compressor cycles.  The valve does not begin to close until the upstream pressure decreases and begins to approach the cracking pressure.

Q: Would the PDC valve be used in addition or in lieu of the check valves used in a diaphragm compressor?

A: A diaphragm compressor is a variant of the classic reciprocating compressor with backup and piston rings and rod seal. The compression of gas occurs by means of a flexible membrane, instead of an intake element. The back and forth moving membrane is driven by a rod and a crankshaft mechanism.  These compressors have built in check valves as part of their assemblies.  The PDC would not typically be used in this application.

Q: What is the “special cleaning” required with cryogenic check valves?

A: Special cleaning is required to clean cryogenic valves and piping. This cleaning process is designed to remove oils, grease, and fibers, which may interfere with your system’s functionality or present a flammability hazard depending on the service. After washing the valve’s component parts in a solvent cleaner, workers must inspect them for any residues the cleaning procedures may have missed. In most cases, the valves and pipes should not contain any assembly grease or oils, although there are some approved lubricants for oxygen service components that will not harm the system with their presence. Some customer specs may not allow for the presence of any lint or fibers within the valve. Even if some fiber is allowed, no system should contain fibers greater than 1/8” (3 mm) in length. In oxygen systems, the presence of lint can be quite problematic due to the risk of flammability. It is critical to thoroughly inspect all the components that go into the system to make sure they are free of any and all contaminants. Black light testing allows inspectors to easily identify lint, fibers, or other residue that needs to be removed.

Q: Do you do check valves where the downstream pressure could be intermittently as low as or close to vacuum?  Is there some special feature you use for this type of application?

A: DFT makes special check valves for use in vacuum applications.  These valves are called Vacuum Breaker Check Valves.  These valves have cracking pressures that range from .6 to .15 PSI.

Q: What is the suggested type of check valve for low pressures? (20-40 bar, non-cryogenic)

A: DFT does not consider 20 to 40 bar as low pressure applications. DFT has a side variety of check valves that can handle these pressures.  The choice of valve would depend on size, end connection and material requirements.

Q: If liquid hydrogen is needed to be compressed to at least 5,000 PSI, how is the PDC suitable at Class 1,500?

A: 5,000 PSIG exceeds the pressure of a 1500 Class valve. A 2500 Class (non-catalogue) valve would have to be used at these pressures.

Q: Is there a plan to manufacture valves less than 2″ size especially for high pressure hydrogen (>300 barg).

A: We do not offer a PDC in sizes lower than 2 inch, due to restrictions associated with internal components

Q: For Saltwater pump discharge applications, is 316SS internal material available?

A: Yes, 316 internals are available.  However, DFT also offers valves made of Nickel Aluminum Bronze material for saltwater applications. NAB may be a better choice.

Q: Do your check valves open only due to flow increase or delta P, or both?

A: DFT check valves are designed to open upon increased upstream pressure and/or decreased downstream pressure.  Either condition can result in the .5 cracking pressure.  Cracking pressure refers to the inlet pressure level at which the first sign of flow is present. It can also be described as a measure of the pressure differential between the inlet and outlet ports of the valve when flow is initially detected.

Q: Is H2 already used for running vehicles?

A: Yes, but the number is very limited.  Hydrogen fueled vehicles require Hydrogen fueling stations.  Most of the Hydrogen fueling stations in the US are in California.  However, more are planned in other states including Texas. However, there are more than 20,000 forklift trucks that operate on hydrogen fuel cells in the US.

Q: For the reciprocating application, I think you mentioned a spring designed for 1,000,000 cycles.  Does that spring cycle with every compressor piston stroke?  If so, 1,000,000 cycles is not very long.

A: The PDC does not cycle on and close when it is installed downstream from a reciprocating compressor.  The PDC has a built-in pulse dampening chamber that is designed to remain in the open position even as the compressor cycles.  The valve does not begin to close until the upstream pressure decreases and begins to approach the cracking pressure.

Q: How do you minimize the back pressure that can be created by the check-valve on upstream equipment?

A: The way to minimize the potential for upstream backpressure is to install springs with low cracking pressure.  A spring with a .5 PSIG cracking pressure would result in the release of any upstream backpressure that exceeded the .5 PSIG cracking pressure.

Q: Understanding that the PDC check valve is made for gas, what are the impact of particulates within the gas on the function of the valve (sensitivity to solids carried through)?

A: Particulate interfering with the operation of a PDC pulse dampening check valve is not something that we typically experience.  However, if particulate is present in the flow stream and it is present is sufficient volume, it would have the potential to affect the operation of the pulse dampening chamber within the PDC.  Scrubbers or separators would typically be installed in gas flow streams to remove such partials before they reach compressors or check valves.

Q: Is cracking a pressure and pressure loss related?

A: Cracking pressure refers to the inlet pressure level at which the first sign of flow is present. It can also be described as a measure of the pressure differential between the inlet and outlet ports of the valve when flow is initially detected.  So, the answer is yes.  If there is a loss of pressure on the downstream side of the check valve that results in a differential pressure that exceeds the cracking pressure, the valve will open and begin to flow.

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.

Common Problems in Steam & Steam Condensate Systems

Common Problems in Steam & Steam Condensate Systems

Steam plays an important role in just about every industrial segment we can think of.  Chemical processing, mining, petroleum production and refining, power generation, Pulp and Paper, and textile, are all just some of the industries that use steam every day to do what they do. Maintaining high-quality Steam carries a number of benefits including the prevention of a range of piping and valve issues.  Proper system designs are inherently lower in maintenance costs.  Recovering steam condensate saves the user money and can also be the source of low-pressure steam that can be used in some other part of the process.

Steam condensate issues are numerous.  Many steam maintenance problems can be traced back to inadequate or improper condensate removal from the system. Other factors like low steam quality, unsuitable equipment and components, poor piping practices, undersized or oversized pipes and valves, as well all play a role in some of the issues that we see in Steam condensate systems.  Those issues can be corrosion, reverse flow where we don’t want it, and steam condensation flashing into steam. Condensate flashing can have several different problems associated with it, all by itself.


A common concern in Steam condensate systems is corrosion. Particularly important when condensate is allowed to accumulate and sit stagnant within the system. Left untreated, over time the corrosion can lead to system contamination, valve malfunction, the bursting of pipes, and many other problems. Any of these events can lead to costly system shutdowns and huge emergency repair costs.

Pressure Spikes

Pressure spikes are another common concern. There are three different pressure spike scenarios that can occur in a piping system. The first occurs in liquid-only systems, these pressure spikes can be caused by valves closing suddenly or pumps shutting down suddenly.   In steam systems, condensate can accumulate and then flash to steam.  As the steam expands to a vapor its volume increases by five to six hundred times. The third and most dangerous form of water hammer also happens in Steam systems and is commonly called condensate-induced water hammer.  This is when the pooled condensate is being pushed by high-velocity steam traveling in the pipe.  When the steam builds up a “wavefront” in the pooled condensate, a flashing of the liquid to vapor will have dramatic and catastrophic when it pushes a slug of water into an elbow or other constriction at velocities in the hundreds of feet per second.

Considering Line Sizing & Handling Condensate

There are a number of factors that should be carefully considered when designing or redesigning a steam condensate system. These include line sizing.  Always make sure that the pipes themselves are properly sized. This can be a leading cause of condensate collection. The location of condensate return lines in relation to other pieces of Process Equipment is also very important. Insulation methods and techniques are particularly important to prevent flashing.  Look for low points where condensate can accumulate.  The final point is to consider the type or quality of the valve used.  Not all check valves will do an adequate job in handling condensate.

Check valves can be a very important part of steam processes or condensate processes in general. It is not always possible to use off-the-shelf check valves for the applications for check valves in a steam or a condensate system. Often times low cracking pressure check valves are required. Screwed end (NPT) check valves are quite common in these applications for low-pressure condensate but also flanged style and wafer style check valves can be used.  Generally, they need this low cracking pressure characteristic for use in condensate lines. In normal steam lines or hot water lines, standard cracking pressures may suffice but there may be other special modifications needed to a standard valve to get the best performance out of valves in those applications as well.

In-Line Check Valves from DFT®, Inc.

DFT Inc. has been designing and Manufacturing world-class in-line check valves since 1943.  When sized properly for the system requirements high-quality check valves serve as integral and critical component parts in your Steam condensate Management System. One of the most popular valves we sell into steam condensate is the SCV check valve. This valve style coupled with some simple modifications for low cracking pressures performs exceptionally well in many steam condensate lines. Find out more about Steam and Steam Condensate by viewing the full webinar here: 

Having problems? We suggest that you contact one of our valve experts at DFT with your problems and the specific issues that concern you.

Valves for the Mining Industry

The mining and mineral sector needs robust processing systems that can meet the harsh chemical, pressure, and temperature demands of the industry. Any leaks at a mining facility could result in environmental damage coupled with penalties and fines. 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.

Check Valves

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.

As an engineered valve company, DFT wafer and flanged check valve varieties meet the needs of the mining industry. 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. Each valve has an in-line, dual-guided, and spring-assisted design so your facility can rely on its consistent operation. Flanged valves feature a simple, well-constructed design consisting of body, gasket, spring, seat, and disc (with stem and guide bushing) components. Excaliburs are designed to meet the ASME B16.10 face-to-face standard.

For over 75 years, DFT® has been assisting clients with their in-line check valve requirements with a focus on superior customer service. Contact us today to learn more about our specialty valves or to request a quote for pricing details.

Reverse Osmosis and Purified Water

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 system at a plant 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

GLC NAB check valve Excalibur NAB check valve

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.

Check Valves in the Natural Gas Industry: Explore Our eBook

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.

Learn About Our PDC Valves: Download Our eBook

DFT® Model PDC® Features:

  • PDC check valve 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

Download Your Free Copy Now!

Additional Resources

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.

The experts at DFT® can help you select the best check valves for your needs. If at any time you have additional questions, please contact us or request a quote.