Developing a reliable reciprocal valve can be a complex, challenging task, as a wide range of functions and factors must be carefully considered. In sensitive industries like oil and gas, quality and safety are key.
First off, reciprocal plunger pumps must be designed to impose minimum flow resistance while forming an effective seal at precise points in the process. Suitable geometric flow areas and simple but rugged design are critical.
Allowing for all of the requirements mentioned above, plate valves are among the most commonly used valves in various applications. Depending on the specific use scenario, different types of plate valves can be utilized in reciprocating pumps.
Reciprocating pumps have two sets of valves: Inlet, or suction, valves allow fluid into the compression cylinder, while outlet, or discharge, valves evacuate the compressed fluids from the cylinder. Both inlet and discharge valves have one primary purpose — to permit the flow of fluids in a single direction while preventing the flow of fluids in the opposite direction.
In addition to their other components, plate valves are mainly comprised of a disc and seat. The disc moves between the seat and valve cover in relation to the variations in fluid pressure on its sides.
A number of factors — primarily, the material used to construct the sealing plate — determine the handling pressure, differential pressure, and cycle speed that a plate valve can handle. Valves can reach handling pressures as high as 15,000 psi, and cycle speeds as high as 500 rpm.
Plate Valve Components
Plate valves should be designed and manufactured to minimize unnecessary complexity while maximizing efficiency and strength. The success of a plate valve depends on the quality of its individual components, so it’s critical to establish a solid understanding of each part. Below are critical plate valve components.
- Retainer — Single-piece stainless steel, houses one or two springs depending on customer needs
- Bolt — Constructed from 316 stainless steel or Monel, depending on plate valve model, with nylon thread locking insert
- Springs — Manufactured from Inconel, unless noted otherwise
- Plates — Made of either Delrin® or titanium, depending on model, to ensure prompt and tight plate closure
- Seat — Carefully machined and available in a variety of metallurgies; designed to maximize service life and optimize flow in port area; when needed, the outside diameter is machined for press or screw fit for easy installation in the specified pump port
Oil and Gas Industry Applications
Because the raw materials and products processed in the oil and gas industry are fluids, a large number of reciprocal plunger pumps is required, and an even larger number of valves. Both plunger pumps and valves play important roles in various functions, including:
Custody transfer, sometimes referred to as fiscal metering, involves the exchange of fluids between parties. These are sensitive operations; payment is usually made as a function of the volume of fluid transferred, making accuracy extremely important. Even small errors can add considerable costs. Employing high-quality plate valves can go a long way toward eliminating these inaccuracies, as well as easing flow stream disturbances and ensuring smooth, quiet operation.
Efficiency in operations and reduced energy consumption are becoming increasingly important for oil and gas companies of all sizes, as well as for their customers. Replacing old, ineffective, or outdated valve models with high-performance plate valves allows for reduced energy use while increasing process output and product quality.
Inlet/Suction and Outlet/Discharge
Plate valves are ideal for use as both suction and discharge valves in reciprocal plunger pumps; the design is the same for both types of valves.
Working with Triangle Pump Components
Triangle Pump Components has been designing and manufacturing high-quality pump products — products that lead the industry in efficiency, longevity, and dependability — for nearly 100 years. Our expertise extends to Durabla® valves, Resista™ Abrasion Resistant (AR) valves and PlenaFlow™ plate valves.
We offer a double-sprung, stem-guided plate style valve, available with a Delrin®, stainless steel, or titanium plate. This valve features a one-piece retainer that can house either one or two springs, and has a standard seat made of 316 stainless steel unless otherwise specified.