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Last updateMon, 26 Sep 2016 7pm

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An Alternative Basics Education: Valve Ed Comes to You!

An Alternative Basics Education: Valve Ed Comes to You!

For the first time in the seven-year his...

Give Your Flow Meter a Happy Home

Give Your Flow Meter a Happy Home

Increased emphasis on the need to improv...

What’s in Store for the Construction Market?

What’s in Store for the Construction Market?

As was the case with many of the present...

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Industry Headlines

Alaska, ConocoPhillips Forming LNG Joint Venture

Monday, 26 September 2016  |  Chris Guy

The State of Alaska, through the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation (AGDC), and ConocoPhillips Alaska Inc. have executed a Memorandum of Understan...

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Industry Headlines

Flowserve's Mark Blinn Announces Retirement

13 HOURS AGO

Mark Blinn plans to retire as Flowserve president, CEO and a member of the board of directors. To ensure an orderly transition, Mr. Blinn will remain in those roles until the appointment of his successor.

Flowserve’s board of directors has a robust succession planning process and, in an effort to...

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Powell Valves Names Niagara Controls as Exclusive Representative

16 HOURS AGO

The Wm. Powell Company (Powell Valves) and Niagara Controls LLC., a division of The Collins Companies, have entered into an exclusive agreement to represent and distribute Powell Valves to Praxair.

Based in Buffalo, NY, Niagara Controls is a technical sales representative and stocking distributor for m...

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Alaska, ConocoPhillips Forming LNG Joint Venture

11 HOURS AGO

The State of Alaska, through the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation (AGDC), and ConocoPhillips Alaska Inc. have executed a Memorandum of Understanding regarding negotiations to form a joint venture (JV) that could facilitate marketing LNG from the Alaska LNG project to global LNG markets and acqui...

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Many Houston Chemical Facilities Could Be Operating Illegally

12 HOURS AGO

“Firefighters once routinely visited buildings in their districts to plan for emergencies — including ferreting out hazmat sites — but those visits stopped in April 2014. The department had started entering old plans into a new, sophisticated database and didn't want to create a ba...

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Manufacturing Growth Eases Again in September

3 DAYS AGO

At 51.4 in September, the seasonally adjusted Markit Flash U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) was down from 52.0 in August and pointed to the weakest improvement in overall business conditions since June. The latest PMI reading marked seven years of continuous growth across the ...

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Leading Economic Indicators Down Slightly in August

4 DAYS AGO

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index (LEI) for the U.S. declined 0.2% in August to 124.1, following a 0.5% increase in July, and a 0.2% increase in June.

“While the U.S. LEI declined in August, its trend still points to moderate economic growth in the months ahead,” said Ataman Ozy...

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Cast or Forged?

materials_q_and_a_graphicQ: Should I be concerned whether my valve is cast or forged?

 

A: Just as in politics, everyone has an opinion on this issue.

 

The good news is that both types of valves should be able to provide you with acceptable performance, although a perception exists that forged valves are superior to cast valves. However, if cast valves are made properly, they can and have worked equally well in a variety of services and usually at a much lower cost than forged valves. Also, the belief that forged components are infallible is not true. Let’s look at an example of a 4-inch diameter wrought valve stem in N07718 (Figure 1). A crack-like defect was seen on the end of the stem, so the part was cut in half, and the large shrink cavity you see here was discovered. This shows that forged material is not without its own problems. But let’s examine how cast and forged valves are made and how we can assure we get a good valve.

What most people don’t realize is that cast and forged valves start out the same way—molten metal is poured into a mold or ingot. As a result, both types can have defects such as the shrinkage in the above mentioned N07718 bar. Other defects associated with forgings are inclusions, laps, seams, cold shuts and cracks. Defects with common castings are inclusions, porosity, misrun and hot tears. As you can see, both have their potential issues.

An issue with forgings often overlooked is that forgings and wrought products will have non-uniform mechanical properties. This is because they are worked or formed more in one direction than in another. Therefore, the grains will be elongated more in one direction than in the other, which has a direct affect on mechanical properties, particularly impact strength. As a result, the design of forgings needs to take into account these anisotropic properties whereas castings have uniform properties no matter what the orientation of the test coupons.

Another advantage of cast valves is that they can be produced in more complex designs than forged valves. Certain valve designs such as a globe valve are simply difficult or impossible to produce as forgings. This flexibility of design in cast valves allows them to be more efficient in controlling flow than a similarly forged valve.

Something else to consider with forged valves is that they usually are made in halves, particularly the larger sizes. This means there is either an additional flanged connection that can be a potential leak path or the halves are welded together. Welding, however, is another process for cast metal that can have its own set of problems.

The questionable reputation that castings have is from two sources. First, most of the ASTM cast specifications are lenient in requirements for composition, heat treatment and inspection. Second, some foundries either use this latitude to their advantage or simply do not know enough to implement tighter controls when needed on chemistry or heat treatment. This concern about castings has resulted in equipment produced to ASME Section VIII having a quality factor on castings of 80% of the allowable stress values for a wrought component. However, this quality factor can be increased to 100% if sufficient NDE (non-destructive evaluation) per Appendix 7 is performed.

Casting purchasers need to understand that in most ASTM specifications these additional NDE requirements are not mandatory. They are simply listed as supplementary requirements at the end of the product specifications and are only invoked if included in the purchase order. Specifying additional NDE-like radiography or dye penetrant inspection is one way of helping ensure the quality of valves being purchased. However, a more cost-effective way is to deal with valve suppliers who already control the quality of the products they produce and have a long and successful track record. In either case, the decision to go with cast or forged valves depends on several factors, and cost is usually the determining one.


THOMAS SPENCE is director of materials engineering for Flowserve Corp. (www.flowserve.com), Dayton, OH. Reach him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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