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Valve Type Comparison<h< span=""></h<>


Advantages and Limitations of Valve Types

Pressure Relief Valves *

The following summary of Pressure Relief Valve (PRV) type advantages and limitations is offered to provide relative
information. The summary is not intended to be an absolute list of valve pros and cons.

Otherwise unacceptable valve types might be used if the following circumstances dictate:

specific application
prior experience
available commercial and special valve configurations
various optional accessories for pilot operated valves
rupture disc in series with the PRV
special valve location

Weighted Pallet Type


Advantages Limitations
Low Cost Set Pressure not readily adjustable
Very low set pressures available
Extremely long simmer and poor tightness
(down to 0.5 ounce/in2)
High overpressure necessary for full lift (100%
Simple
or more in some cases)
Seat easily frozen closed at cryogenic
temperatures

Conventional Metal-Seated
Advantages Limitations
Seat leakage, often resulting in lost product and
Lowest Cost (in smaller sizes and
unacceptable emissions, causing environmental
lower pressures)
pollution
Simmer and blowdown adjustment is a
Wide chemical compatibility compromise, which may result in intolerable
leakage, product loss and high maintenance costs
High temperature compatibility Vulnerable to effects of inlet prssure losses
Standardized center to face Sensitive to effects of back pressure (set pressure
dimensions (API 526) and capacity)
Modulating action during small
Not normally able to obtain accurate, inplace set
pressure relief excursions may result
pressure verification
in reduced product loss
General acceptance for most
applications

Balanced Bellows, Metal-Seated


Advantages Limitations
Seat leakage, often resulting in unacceptable
Protected guiding surfaces and
emmissions, causing loss of product and
spring
environmental pollution
Set pressure stability with
Simmer of blowdown may be unacceptable
superimposed back pressure
Capacity reduced only with
Bellows life limitations
higher levels back pressure
Good chemical and high
High maintenance costs
temperature capabilities
Vulnerable to effects of inlet pressure losses
Not normally able to obtain accurate, in-place set
pressure verification

Conventional or Balanced Soft-Seated


Advantages Limitations
Good seat tightness before relieving Temperature limited to seat material used
Chemically limited according to soft goods
Good reseat tightness after relieving
used
Good cycle life and maintained
Vulnerable to effects of inlet pressure losses
tightness
Low maintenance costs Limited back pressure capability

Soft-Seated, Pilot Operated - Piston Type


Advantages Limitations
Smaller, lighter valves at higher Not recommended for polymerizing type
pressure and/or with larger orifice sizes services without pilot purge
Vital to match soft goods with process
Excellent seat tightness before relieving
conditions
Excellent reseat tightness after relieving Limited low pressure setting (about 15 psig)
Not generally used in dirty services without
Ease of setting and adjusting set
options to eliminate introduction of particles
pressure and blowdown
into the pilot
Pop or modulating action available Code restricted by ASME Section I
More wetted parts exposed to fluids. Exotic
In-line maintenance of main valve
materials can result in an expensive valve.
Adaptable for remote pressure sensing
Short blowdown obtainable
Set pressure can be field tested while in
service
Remote unloading available
Lift not effected by back pressure (when
pilot discharges to atmosphere or is
balanced)

Soft-Seated, Pilot Operated-Low Pressure (Diaphragm or Metal Bellows Type)


Advantages Limitations
Good operation at very low set pressure Not recommended for polymerizing type
(3-inch wc) services without pilot purge
Vital to match soft goods with process
Excellent seat tightness before relieving
conditions
Excellent reseat tightness after relieving Limited high pressure setting (about 50 psig)
Ease of setting and adjusting set
Liquid service limitations
pressure and blowdown
Not generally used in dirty services without
Pop or modulating action available options to eliminate introduction of particles
into the pilot
More wetted parts exposed to fluids. Exotic
Adaptable for remote pressure sensing
materials can result in an expensive valve.
Short blowdown obtainable
Set pressure can be field tested while in
service
Remote unloading available
Lift not effected by back pressure (when
pilot discharges to atmosphere or is
balanced)
Fully open at set pressure with no
overpressure
In-line maintenance of main valve

Rupture Discs
Advantages Limitations
Absolute tightness when disc is
Relatively wide burst pressure tolerances
intact
Available in exotic materials Non-reclosing
Can prematurely burst wtih presence of pressure
Minimum space required
pulsations

Metal-to-Metal Seated, Pilot Operated - Pressure Relief Valves


Advantages Limitations
Excellent seat tightness before relieving Only pop action available
Excellent seat tightness after reclosing Pressure limited to 1200 psig
Ease of setting and adjusting set pressure and Temperature limited to
blowdown 1000F
Adaptable for remote pressure sensing
Short blowdown obtainable
Set pressure can be field-tested while in service
Excellent chemical and temperature compatibility
Dual pilot option allows in-service pilot replacement

*Anderson Greenwood Crosby Technical Seminar Manual, pages 55-56. (c) 2001

Control Valves **
Gate Valves
Advantages Limitations
High Capacity Poor Control
Tight Shutoff Cavitate at low pressure drops
Low Cost Cannot be used for throttling
Little resistance to flow
Recommended Uses
Fully open/closed, non-throttling
Infrequent operation
Minimal fluid trapping in line
Applications
Oil
Gas
Air
Slurries
Heavy liquids
Steam
Noncondensing gases
Corrosive liquids
Best Suited For:
Frequent on-off service
Processes where "instantly" large flow is needed (ie. safety systems or cooling water
systems)
Globe Valves
Advantages Limitations
Efficient throttling High pressure drop
Accurate flow control valves More expensive than other valves
Available in multiple ports
Recommended Uses
Throttling service / flow regulation
Frequent operation
Applications
Liquids
Vapors
Gases
Slurries
Corrosive Substances
Best Suited For:
Liquid level or flow loops
Systems where the pressure drop across the valve is expected to remain fairly constant
(ie. steady state systems)
Processes where large changes in pressure drop are expected
Processes where a small percentage of the total pressure drop is permitted by the valve
Temperature and pressure control loops

Ball Valves
Advantages Limitations
Low cost Poor throttling characteristics
High capacity Prone to cavitation
Low leakage and maintenance
Tight sealing with low torque
Recommended Uses
Fully open/closed, limited-throttling
Higher temperature fluids
Applications
Most liquids
High Temperatures
Slurries
Best Suited For:
Frequent on-off service
Processes where "instantly" large flow is needed (ie. safety systems or cooling water
systems)
Liquid level or flow loops
Systems where the pressure drop across the valve is expected to remain fairly constant
(ie. steady state systems)

Butterfly Valves
Advantages Limitations
Low cost and maintenance High torque required for control
High capacity Prone to cavitation at lower flows
Good flow control
Low pressure drop
Recommended Uses
Fully open/closed or throttling services
Frequent operation
Minimal fluid trapping in line
Applications
Liquids
Gases
Slurries
Liquids with suspended solids
Best Suited For:
Frequent on-off service
Processes where "instantly" large flow is needed (ie. safety systems or cooling water
systems)
Processes where large changes in pressure drop are expected
Processes where a small percentage of the total pressure drop is permitted by the valve
Temperature and pressure control loops
** Article: "Valve Sizing and Selection", http://www.cheresources.com/valvezz.shtml, 2004

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