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From Cannon Balls to Pressure Seals: Graphite for Sealing

From time to time, we re-publish well-received or particularly valuable articles that have previously run on VALVEMagazine.com so that those who might have missed them will be able to catch up on the best of the best. This article, “From Cannon Balls to Pressure Seals: Graphite for Sealing” initially ran on July 15, 2015.

Graphite has qualities that make it a great choice for certain applications in the manufacturing world. Those qualities include its reaction to extreme temperatures, as well as its flexibility when engineered a certain way.

In the valve world, flexible graphite provides an ideal choice for many sealing products.

Your Valves May Be Weaponized

The advent of the Internet of Things (IoT) has brought with it unparalleled opportunity for businesses and facilities to monitor their assets and enact predictive maintenance that can extend an asset’s lifecycle. Although this technology brings new methods of caring for equipment that can lead to savings, it also may lead to increased exposure to cybersecurity challenges.

One of the most significant areas for attacks on businesses, hospitals, networks, utilities and other critical infrastructure is through IoT devices. These attacks range from denial-of-service attacks to ransomware and information theft to aggressive destruction of information and cyber-physical systems. The devices involved include security cameras, monitoring devices or control systems, to name just a few, that are either connected or considered “smart devices.”

Metal Additive Manufacturing in the Valve Industry

Metal Additive Manufacturing (AM) is a fascinating technology that has gained acceptance over the past several years. Metal AM has found a foothold in the aerospace and automotive industries, and it’s beginning to expand into other trades as well. While plastic 3D printing has been around for over 30 years, metal AM is relatively young, but the potential growth is substantial.

Advancements in Blue Laser Scanning

As the industrial world continues to expand in its use of CAD data and 3D digitizing technology, the advances in blue laser scanning and structured blue light are further supporting industrial operations throughout the design, manufacture and aftermarket servicing processes. Valve manufacturers especially can make use of this technology to inspect components and develop new products.

With their speed of data capture, cleanliness and higher accuracy, these 3D technological advancements are not only throttling the productivity of existing adopters but qualifying new applications and setting the stage for partial or complete automation of the inspection and dimensional verification process.

Cavitation in Globe Valves—and Proposed Solutions

Straight pattern globe valves are widely used in the oil and gas industry to regulate and control the flow of fluids. During operation, these valves are exposed to problems such as cavitation.

The working principle of straight pattern globe valves is that flow reaches the center of the valve where the seat and plug are located. Two 90-degree rotations of the fluid inside the globe valve upstream and downstream of the plug (Figure 1) create a significant pressure drop.

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