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At the end of this lesson, the trinee !ill "e "le to de#onstrte n
$nderstndin% of Che&' (l(es)
Up to here, all valves described have been actuated from outside the pressure
envelope. Not only can they be opened and closed by direct force at any desired
time, but in addition, the human supervisor can verify the position by sight or by
test of the actuation means.
The elementary check valve lacks these characteristics. Its functioning is entirely
within the pressure envelope, its opening and closing are governed by flow
direction, with the human supervisor powerless to intervene; and also unable to
sense the position of the disc.
In addition, check-valve reliability must be high. ailure to close and prevent
backflow even once in a valve!s life could cause vast damage. or a check valve,
"reliability# is broader than for other valve types. Not only must the valve close, it
also must close according to the desired position$time relationship. % check valve
that closes suddenly and late can destroy itself, along with considerable piping
and supports.
The pressure drop through an open check valve is a source of energy loss. &ost
evaluation of the valve should include this effect, although energy loss will not be
as significant in the overall a picture as reliability and shockless closure.
% satisfactory check valve should therefore' open easily and completely to pass
flow with little pressure drop or disturbance to flow patterns; resist damage to seat
disc and disc hanging or guiding means in all flow conditions during valve life;
close (uickly, without valve in)ury or water hammer, at the instant or flow
stoppage. This adds up to a demanding design effort, and success has been
*ow tightly a check valve should be re(uired to seat depends on the service.
+ften, some leakage is permissible. ,ischarge lines of pumps are an e-ample.
%s long as flow is not enough to rotate the impeller or rapidly empty an overhead
tank, the valve will be satisfactory. +n the other hand, if the check valve is
supposed to isolate a machine for maintenance, a leak can prevent work from
being done and in the long run make a separate isolation valve necessary. The
repair work called for in keeping check valves tight is part of the life costs.
The continuing difficulties with check valves have forced many changes in and
ingenious additions to the basic elements. .-amples of additions are internal and
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e-ternal dashpots, e-ercise mechanisms, aspirator tubes, spring or power-
assisted closure, and position detection.
Two basic disc motions for conventional check valves are perpendicular lift from
the seat 8lift9 and pivoted lift 8swing9 which is nearly perpendicular when the disc
is near the seat. %nother motion is rotation of an eccentrically mounted butterfly
disc seating in a slated seat 8tilting disc9.
7. 2wing &heck
:. 0ift &heck
;. <all &heck used to prevent back flow.
The only moving part is a disc assembly that is attached to the body by a pivot
pin. The disc is raised when system pressure is greater than the weight of the
disc. ig. 4-7 used mainly in hori=ontal piping. The pivot-pin mounting leaves the
disc assembly free to swing toward and away from the valve seat. 2wing checks
commonly are in hori=ontal lines with pivot above the seat.
>hen there is no flow through the valve the disc is positioned so that the valve is
closed. 0i(uid or gas flows only when there is a difference pressure between two
points. If the pressure is higher at % than < the direction of the flow is from % to <.
In the swing check valve, the hinge pin may be located internally or e-ternally.
+N low pressure systems the hinge will be connected e-ternally; on high pressure
systems, the hinge pin will usually be internally connected. The opening or
closing of a swing check valve is automatic.
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% swing disc must largely clear out of the fluid path when open but must still have a
readily accessible space above it to convert backflow to pressure and closing tor(ue
in case torsion springs or disc weight cannot close the disc. 2wing-check valves
have failed because of this. The leverage of fluid forces on the cantilevered disc,
too, tends to wear the pivot and hinge.
2pinning of the disc by asymmetric turbulence of fluid can harm lift checks,
especially in non-lubricating fluids, although the danger is not as serious as it is for
swing checks. ,isc and stem wear can break off stems or cause hang-up, so stops
to limit rotation may be necessary.
2pinning of the disc by fluid forces has in)ured many swing-check valves. 2ome
times the disc stem has worn completely through, allowing the disc to float down
stream. %nti-rotation pins can prevent this.
%n important modification of the swing disc check is the dual-disc which two ,-
shaped pieces pivot about a vertical pin and seat on flat ,-shaped seats, which can
be .lastomer for moderate temperatures. These dual disc valves, with flaps
pressured on by a torsion spring, can close with low chock, because the flaps are
directly in the pipe center and are fully e-posed to fluid backflow force to assist
closure if the spring action is too slow.
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0ift check valves used in hori=ontal and vertical piping good for high pressure and
velocity. The line of flow through a lift check valve is similar to the line of flow
through globe valve. The direction of the flow is always from under the disc. ig. 4-
?. The lift check valve allows flows in only one direction. >hen flow occurs from % to
<, it raises the disc. %s flow stops, gravity pulls the disc into the seating, and the
back flow assist also.
2eat surfaces in lift checks can be flat or conical. 0ift is low and must never be so
high that back flowing water cannot reach the disc top to create closing pressure in
case the disc stocks open. % light helical spring may assist closing.
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The lift type must have disc guiding of one sort or another. or larger discs for low to
moderate pressure ig. 4-4 sleeve on the disc top envelops a pin protruding from
the bonnet, and a pin on the disc under surface slides in a guide bushing supported
by arms integral with the seat ring.
The lift check valve works &+11.&T0A when installed in the *+1IB+NT%0
position. %n other design allows to use a lift check valve is a vertical position.
The 2top check valve resembles a modified globe valve, but when the stem is
raised, the disc operates like that of lift type check valve.
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In large check valves, the danger of water hammer damage from sudden closure
after back flow has started has given impetus to internal dashpots ig. 4-C. &losure-
speed choice bases on water-hammer calculations, often done from computer
The ball valve is also a check valve used mainly for heavy li(uids.
The line of flow through such a valve is in a straight line.
The part of the valve that controls the opening is a ball.
>hen flow occurs, the ball is raised by the pressure of the flow.
The ig. 4-D. &heck is for vertical up flow, but the principle adapts to hori=ontal flow,
too, resulting in a globe-like body with flow upward through the seat and out through
the holes in a ball-guide cage.
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