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GEHO Info for sales representatives

Volume 12, No. 5, September 2002

Pulsations proof - single safety valve

Mandatory protection

The insertion of a discharge relief valve should be close to the pump and ahead
of suitable size for the capacity of the of any other valve. The exhaust
pump, set to open at a pressure above slurry from the relief valve must be
the operating discharge pressure of directed to an inherently safe location
the pump, is mandatory because of the such as the supply tank. Experience
safety it affords. has taught that spring-loaded relief
In compliance with API 674 and the valves and rupture discs are not reliable
Hydraulic Institute Standards a relief in slurry service.
valve shall be installed on a crankshaft
driven positive displacement pump. Where the slurry is compacting inside
the inlet nozzle, their function may even
Internal versus external be obstructed.
GEHO PUMPS offers the purchaser a
When installed [by others] in the cost option to install the safety relief valve
discharge line, the safety relief valve internal the piston diaphragm pump.


The internal single safety valve is cost-effective and provides maintenance free service.
(Photo Lunan, pumptype TZPM 180)

Single valve the piston and the diaphragm. Pressure

pulsations at this point in the pump are
A single internal relief valve protects all not dampened. In a few services such
diaphragm housings individually from undampened pulsations did affect the
over-pressurisation. It is installed on a valve performance and lead to the use of
header that connects to the propellant a secondary soft seal.
liquid side of each diaphragm. Non- The single relief valve provides a simple
return valves isolate the diaphragms system that is long-term free of wear and
from the header. The relief valve is a maintenance.
spring-loaded, self-seating type, which
complies with the European Pressure Performance improvement
Equipment Directive 97/23/EC.
The relief valve set pressure is 15% The single safety valve system was
and 20% over the rated pump discharge duration tested before the design was
pressure respectively for triplex and implemented. At Minera Alumbrera,
duplex style pumps. The rising dis- Argentina, it exhibited flawless perfor-
charge pressure will have triggered an mance under 18,500 kPa operating
alarm and also tripped the drive motor pressure.
before activating this primary safety The autoclave feed pumps at Twin
device. Creeks, Lone Tree and Goldstrike were
Undampened pressure spikes do pres- retrofitted and the single safety valve
surise the header. A stable header pres- remedied high valve maintenance.
sure is established, which is closely the These earlier feed pump designs are
same value as the final pump discharge known to be generating high undamp-
pressure. That safety valve inlet/sealing ened pressure pulsation levels.
pressure is virtually free of pulsations. Pressure spikes cause micro-move-
The valve instantaneously responds to ments and eventually fine particles get
overpressure in any or all diaphragm trapped between the faces of the valve
housings. Over-pressure relieving i.e. disc and seat. Wire-drawn leakage
loss of propellant liquid, is evidenced results. With the single valve these are
and corrected by filling signals. now eliminated with the establishment of
Upon pump shut down for the purpose of a high but stable pressure.
maintenance a bleed valve is cracked
open to de-pressurise the header as
dictated by safety precautions and as
shown on a pressure gauge provided.

Maintenance savings

Previously, each diaphragm housing

was fitted with its own safety valve. This
valve was either a direct acting or a
hydraulic preloaded type. The preloaded
Excellent valve requires a hydraulic system with
Weir Netherlands b.v.
Engineering controls integrated in the propellant fluid P.O. Box 249, NL-5900 AE Venlo
Solutions system. It is used for the upper range of Phone: +31(0)77-3895200
operating pressures. Fax: +31(0)77-3824844
Email:, Website:
Also previously, the valves were fitted
onto the propellant fluid cavity between Copyright Weir Netherlands b.v.