Without valves, success in the oil and gas industry would be a mirage, especially as far as pipeline transport is concerned. Valves are vital components that control or inhibit the flow rates of fluids in the refining and transportation of oil and gas products. While some companies may choose to design their own valves, outsourcing from a specialized manufacturer still sounds like a good plan. A small mistake on dimensions and precisions of the valve can cause fatal
accidents, besides irreversible losses. Before getting a long-term e xpanding gate valve for your pipeline, make sure you have a deeper understanding of the valve itself and the different valve types.
Here is a quick, reliable guide that demonstrates the different types of valves used in the oil and gas industry:
Gate valves consist of a sliding gate to block fluid flow, with the design of the valve operating either fully open or fully closed in a linear motion. Gate valves cannot be used as throttling valves and are used most commonly in piping. If you are looking for a reliable gate valve, as mentioned before, an expanding gate valve, also known as a WKM Pow-R-Seal, is a valid
Control valves regulate the temperature, flow rate, and pressure by electrical signal, pneumatic, or hydraulic mechanism to ensure consistency. Most control valves are automatic, meaning they can be controlled and adjusted remotely, without necessarily being physically present at the pipeline. Transportation conditions for different oil and gas products vary accordingly, hence different types of control valves too.
ARV or ARC Valves
ARV stands for Automatic Recirculation Valve, while ARC stands for Automatic Recirculation Control. Just like the word ‘automatic” suggests, these valves are multifunctional to ensure minimum flow in centrifugal pumps. Centrifugal pumps are exposed to a lot of heat, making them susceptible to inconsistent overflows, which can cause permanent damage. Well, buying
reliable ARV and ARC valves sounds like a better plan, compared to replacing the centrifugal pump every week.
Some pipes get damaged easily by reverse flows, which can escalate to slowdowns, expensive repairs, or even permanent breakdown. Check valves come with low pressure drops to prevent
such a situation from happening. Besides curbing reverse flows, check valves are widely used as a remedy for chatter inside the pipes.
Butterfly valves are sophisticated and will give optimum performance under little maintenance.
They are compact in size, meaning that they’ll fit in almost any pipeline system, hence high flexibility. It is important to note that butterfly valves come with inbuilt actuators for a
computerized operation. That is why they are prevalent in modulation and isolation of different fluids without exerting any damaging pressure.
Globe valves are common in the isolation process. However, they can also be used for throttling. The main advantage of globe valves is that they offer a tight, mechanical, shut-off ability that is only reversible with the same tightening force. Globe valves are easy to install since they work in linear motion.
Lastly, ball valves are prevalent in air and gases, as they are effective in controlling flow. These valves use ball-shaped disks to cover inlets/outlets and open when rotated. It is important to note that ball valves operate in varying temperatures hence the need to insist on reliable construction material like Teflon. While ball valves are functional in ensuring tight sealing with lower torque, they don’t have any throttling properties.
As the oil and gas industry grows, the above valves should constitute your budget if you’re thinking about joining.