How a Quality Valve Assembly Can Assure Safety in The Oil and Gas Industry
Explore the essential role of the valve assembly in the oil and gas industry and how a quality valve assembly can enhance safety and efficiency in the field. We examine the key factors when selecting valves for specific applications, the importance of proper installation and maintenance, and the benefits of partnering with an experienced valve manufacturer.
The industrial valve assembly is essential to any piping system and plays a crucial role in the oil and gas industry. Valve assemblies are used to protect equipment, isolate or control flow rates, and even function remarkably well in the refining process of gas, oil, hydrogen, as well as other such media.
So, it won’t be far off the mark to state that oil and gas operations – ranging from refining to distribution – rely heavily on pipeline systems. Trustworthy control systems and infrastructure make industrial valves essential as they ensure the safety of the operators as well as the industrial operations of pipelines.
This article focuses on different types of valves and how they are integral to several applications and functions.
What is a Gas Valve Assembly?
A gas or industrial valve is a carefully designed or constructed device that steers or regulates fluid flow by partially blocking passageways or opening and closing key routes or apertures. In a technical sense, valves are fittings, though they are usually considered individual components. When a valve is open, fluid – such as liquidized and gaseous materials – flows from higher to lower pressure.
Valves used in the oil and gas industry come in a wide range of sizes and shapes. These valves are specifically designed to perform several functions. As a result of their extended use in automation and commercial construction projects, the demand for valve assemblies is set to increase at some time in the future.
Technological advancements, the expansion of existing facilities, and increased industrialization have undoubtedly sparked a huge demand for valves, thereby boosting the industry’s growth.
Types of Industrial Valves
Several valves are available and differ in operation and design. These unique differences result in big changes in their industrial applications. Since no two environments are precisely the same; some are extremely corrosive while others operate under constant high pressure.
Since each valve type has its benefits and drawbacks, understanding the different types and uses in the oil and gas industry guarantees successful operation.
Therefore, here are some of the common industrial valves you should know:
- Globe Valve
The globe valve, or throttle valve, controls fluid flow within a pipeline, meaning it can be used for controlling or stopping the flow of gas or liquid through a pipe. This valve comes with an internal baffle that divides it into 2 halves, hence the name.
- Check Valve
Check valves, also known as non-return valves or one-way valves, are unidirectional, i.e. they allow fluid flow in only one direction. They usually come with 2 ports; one port for the media inlet and the other for the media output.
The primary function of a check valve within a system is to prevent backflow. But the only way it will function is via a pressure differential. More pressure on the input side is required to open the valve. The check valve only closes when the pressure at the output side is higher or insufficient at the input side.
Check valves don’t require actuators, handles, levers, or even humans in order to function properly.
- Gate Valve
This is the most common valve in the oil and gas industry. It utilizes a gate system for opening and closing a pipeline. Gate valves are excellent choices for controlling and maintaining flow rates.
When the valve opens up, the channel is free from obstruction, allowing slurry fluids to flow easier. But it is not the perfect valve to use when throttling is required.
- Ball Valve
A ball valve is a rotary valve that gives fast shut-offs in pipelines where tight sealing is always a requirement. It is most suitable for operations under fully closed or fully open positions since it does not offer throttle functions or reasonable regulation control.
Ball valves are available in several different styles, giving users lots of options in the industry.
- Butterfly Valve
Butterfly valves are compact and lightweight with simple construction. They utilize a disc-type element held in place by a rod in order to regulate fluid flow. These valves are capable of handling high-pressure pipelines, allowing easy flow of materials.
Butterfly valves shut tightly when they are closed. They are often employed in places where gate valves are non-applicable and in large-diameter pipes.
- Plug Valve
Plug valves comprise plug-shaped discs bored through with a horizontal passageway. When the linear valve is fully open, fluid travels through the hole. When the actuator is turned 90 degrees from the open position, there is a blockage of flow through the pipeline.
Plug valves are not ideal for throttling functions but perfect for those unrefined oil products found massively during biogas production.
- Slam-Shut Valve
Slam-shut valves offer additional safety for equipment downstream or upstream from them. They are usually found right before a regulator and designed to stay open until after detecting a considerable pressure change. When it does, the slam-shut valve immediately shuts off the flow and can only be reopened manually.
Slam-shut valves may be known as relief and safety valves and are highly crucial in the oil and gas industry. They help prevent accidents and extensive injuries.
Different Applications of the Valve Assembly
The different gas or industrial valves highlighted in the previous section are utilized for various purposes. Some major processes involving valve applications include:
Operating industrial valves manually is possible, depending on if it functions with a lever or handle. However, they can also be set up to function automatically in response to significant changes in pressure. These changes prevail upon a piston or diaphragm that, in turn, activates the industrial valve.
Several highly complex systems require an actuator for regulating water flow via pipes, though this depends on external input. Due to the setup and input, the valve may be controlled and precisely positioned to meet a wide range of requirements.
Valves are crucial to the oil and gas industry and will remain so for many decades. They help ensure safety within the industry while guaranteeing accurate production processes. This is why industrial valves come in different sizes and shapes to meet specific requirements for seamless operations or functions.
Looking for a reliable and experienced partner for your valve assembly needs in the oil and gas industry? Look no further than KB Delta. Our team of experts can help you select the right valves and develop customized solutions to meet your unique requirements. Contact us today to learn more.
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