Sunday, September 15, 2019

What is a Ball Valve?

Ball valve cutaway
Cutaway of specialized ball valve with characterized
ball for control valve applications. (Neles)
A ball valve is a 90 degree rotational motion valve that uses a metal or ceramic ball with a hole through its center to stop or start fluid flow. The ball, shown below in Figure 1, opens and closes to allow fluid flow through the ball valve. When the valve handle or stem is turned to open the valve, the ball rotates to a point where the hole in the ball is parallel with the valve body inlet and outlet. When the valve is shut, the ball is rotated so that the ball's hole is perpendicular to the inlet and outlet of the valve body and the flow is stopped.

Most ball valve actuators are of the quick-acting type, which require a 90° turn of the valve handle or stem to operate the valve. Other ball valve actuators are planetary gear-operated manual,  electrically operated motors, or pneumatic piston type. All actuators provide the necessary operating force to open and close valves.
Figure 1 



Ball Valve Advantages

A ball valve is often the least expensive of any industrial valve configuration and has low maintenance costs. In addition to quick, quarter turn on-off operation, ball valves are compact, require no lubrication, and give tight sealing with low torque.

Ball Valve  Disadvantages

Conventional industrial ball valves have relatively poor throttling characteristics (except when using a characterized ball, as shown above). A standard ball valve when in throttling position will fail because of because of the impingement of high velocity flow and the erosive effect on the partially exposed seat.

Ball Valve Port Patterns

Ball valves are available in the venturi, reduced, and full port pattern. The full port pattern has a ball with a bore equal to the inside diameter of the pipe.

Ball Valve Materials

Balls are usually metallic in metallic bodies with trim (seats) produced from "soft" seats referring to the elastomeric materials used such as PTFE (100% Virgin Polytetrafluoroethylene), RTFE (Reinforced Teflon®), TFM, CTFE, Polychlorotrifluoroethene, Polyether Ether Ketone, and UHMWPE. Care must be used in the selection of the seat material to ensure that it is compatible with the materials being handled by the valve.Ball valve bodies may also be made of various plastic materials for corrosive applications.

Ball Valve Stem Design

The stem in a ball valve is not fastened to the ball. It normally has a rectangular portion at the ball end which fits into a slot cut into the ball. The enlargement permits rotation of the ball as the stem is turned.

Ball Valve Bonnet Design

A bonnet cap fastens to the body, which holds the stem assembly and ball in place. Adjustment of the bonnet cap permits compression of the packing, which supplies the stem seal. Packing for ball valve stems is usually in the configuration of die-formed packing rings normally of TFE, TFE-filled, or TFE-impregnated material. Some ball valve stems are sealed by means of O-rings rather than packing.

Ball Valve Position

Some ball valves are equipped with stops that permit only 90° rotation. Others do not have stops and may be rotated 360°. With or without stops, a 90° rotation is all that is required for closing or opening a ball valve.

The handle indicates valve ball position. When the handle lies along the axis of the valve, the valve is open. When the handle lies 90° across the axis of the valve, the valve is closed. Some ball valve stems have a groove cut in the top face of the stem that shows the flowpath through the ball. Observation of the groove position indicates the position of the port through the ball. This feature is particularly advantageous on multiport ball valves.

For more infomration about industrial ball valves, contact Mead O'Brien by calling (800) 892-2769 or visit their website at https://meadobrien.com.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Tutorial on Installing the ASCO 212 Series Valve Using the FasN Connection System



This video is a tutorial on how to install the ASCO series 212, using ASCO's FasN connection system. It includes instructions for all three types of connections, namely NPT thread connection, turn and lock, and solvent bond.

The ASCO series 212 composite valve is designed for use in water purification and water treatment applications, specifically within the membrane based filtration system application. The series 212 composite valve is ideal for use in mid-size Reverse Osmosis Systems applications where lead free and NSF approved constructions are required. The series 212 composite valves are available in 3/8", 1/2", 3/4", and 1" pipe sizes. The series 212 composite valve also handles pressure up to 150 PSI and operates at up to 180° F.

For more information about the ASCO 212 series valve, contact:
Mead O'Brien
(800) 892-2769
https://meadobrien.com

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Steam and Gas Hot Water Equipment for Industry

Regardless of the method you use to heat water, Armstrong has the intelligent solutions you need. They will show you how to avoid scaling, improve efficiency and safety, and increase your production and yield. Armstrong delivers groundbreaking accuracy, simplicity and unparalleled performance with their advanced steam heated and gas heated solutions. From a single product to a complete, fully integrated system, Armstrong hot water solutions for steam and gas can fulfill your most exacting demands.

Products:
  • Readitemp™ Steam/Water Hot Water System
  • Emech® Industrial Mixing Center
  • Emech® Digital Control Valve
  • Vfd Pump Assembly
  • Hot & Cold Water Hose Stations
  • Flo-Direct® Gas-Fired Water Heater


Saturday, July 20, 2019

Mead O'Brien 2019 Steam Seminar Registration is Now Open

Steam SeminarDo the people who maintain your plant’s steam system really understand how to save you money?

The Mead O’Brien Steam Seminar provides you a window into elements of the plant steam cycle as you observe live steam and condensate behavior in glass piping and glass-bodied steam traps under differing conditions. You will gain useful knowledge regarding:
  • Steam generation
  • Distribution
  • Control & Heat transfer
  • Heat Recovery opportunities
  • Condensate removal & return
Follow this link to sign up.

SAMPLE AGENDA

Steam System System-Wide Objective 

  • Basics of steam 
  • Steam energy facts 
  • Thermodynamic relationships 
  • Steam table uses 
  • Video: What is Steam? 
  • Steam system-wide components

Steam Traps 


  • What it is, where it fits, how it works 
  • Function and Operation of generic Steam Trap types How they operate against typical characteristics 
  • Testing techniques 
  • Troubleshooting and Video 
  • Functional problems associated with Steam traps 
  • Tools to maintain an efficient steam system 
  • Surveys and assessments 
  • Continuous monitoring 
  • SteamStar™

Distribution systems 


  • Functional problems associated with Distribution Systems Effects of not removing condensate formed in the system Water Hammer and Corrosion 
  • Differential Shock water hammer demonstration 
  • Piping for effectively removing the condensate 
  • PRVs: Use and effect on the steam distribution system Video: Guidelines for Steam System efficiency 

Steam usage systems (heat transfer) 


  • Different heat transfer devices 
  • Functional problems associated with heat transfer systems Process control considerations & challenges 
  • Pressure zone and partial load example 
  • What the control people usually don’t consider 
  • Stall and how to overcome it 
  • Vacuum Breakers and TAVs (thermostatic air vents) Control modes and unintended consequences 
  • Leaving the pressure zone

Condensate return systems 


  • System efficiencies 
  • Electric condensate pumps: operation and advantages Mechanical condensate pumps; operation and advantages Open and closed systems: advantages & disadvantages Stall review and solutions 
  • Flash systems and heat recovery options 
  • Back to the boiler house: Deaerators and their function
For more information, or to sign up, visit this web site - https://events.meadobrien.com

Sunday, June 30, 2019

US Power Grids, Oil and Gas Industries, and Risk of Hacking


A report released in June, from the security firm Dragos, describes a worrisome development by a hacker group named, “Xenotime” and at least two dangerous oil and gas intrusions and ongoing reconnaissance on United States power grids.

Multiple ICS (Industrial Control Sectors) sectors now face the XENOTIME threat; this means individual verticals – such as oil and gas, manufacturing, or electric – cannot ignore threats to other ICS entities because they are not specifically targeted.

The Dragos researchers have termed this threat proliferation as the world’s most dangerous cyberthreat since an event in 2017 where Xenotime had caused a serious operational outage at a crucial site in the Middle East. 

The fact that concerns cybersecurity experts the most is that this hacking attack was a malware that chose to target the facility safety processes (SIS – safety instrumentation system).

For example, when temperatures in a reactor increase to an unsafe level, an SIS will automatically start a cooling process or immediately close a valve to prevent a safety accident. The SIS safety stems are both hardware and software that combine to protect facilities from life threatening accidents.

At this point, no one is sure who is behind Xenotime. Russia has been connected to one of the critical infrastructure attacks in the Ukraine.  That attack was viewed to be the first hacker related power grid outage.

This is a “Cause for Concern” post that was published by Dragos on June 14, 2019

“While none of the electric utility targeting events has resulted in a known, successful intrusion into victim organizations to date, the persistent attempts, and expansion in scope is cause for definite concern. XENOTIME has successfully compromised several oil and gas environments which demonstrates its ability to do so in other verticals. Specifically, XENOTIME remains one of only four threats (along with ELECTRUM, Sandworm, and the entities responsible for Stuxnet) to execute a deliberate disruptive or destructive attack.

XENOTIME is the only known entity to specifically target safety instrumented systems (SIS) for disruptive or destructive purposes. Electric utility environments are significantly different from oil and gas operations in several aspects, but electric operations still have safety and protection equipment that could be targeted with similar tradecraft. XENOTIME expressing consistent, direct interest in electric utility operations is a cause for deep concern given this adversary’s willingness to compromise process safety – and thus integrity – to fulfill its mission.

XENOTIME’s expansion to another industry vertical is emblematic of an increasingly hostile industrial threat landscape. Most observed XENOTIME activity focuses on initial information gathering and access operations necessary for follow-on ICS intrusion operations. As seen in long-running state-sponsored intrusions into US, UK, and other electric infrastructure, entities are increasingly interested in the fundamentals of ICS operations and displaying all the hallmarks associated with information and access acquisition necessary to conduct future attacks. While Dragos sees no evidence at this time indicating that XENOTIME (or any other activity group, such as ELECTRUM or ALLANITE) is capable of executing a prolonged disruptive or destructive event on electric utility operations, observed activity strongly signals adversary interest in meeting the prerequisites for doing so.”