By: Chett Norton, C.E.T.

When it comes to finding the appropriate gasket material for your system, gasket selection can be one of two things: confusing or intimidating. Some are not really sure where to begin, while others find the thought of dangerous leaks or costly shutdowns put them on edge. To help ease the selection process pain, we have developed a few simple tools that will help with gasket selection.

The first, a simple gasket flowchart, will help narrow down which Durlon sealing product is best based on a few simple operating condition guidelines.

 

    1. 1. Critical service can be any factor essential to plant operation or personnel/plant safety and can include environmental compliance. Failure or disruption of any critical service could result in serious impacts such as fines, time loss and/or injuries.
    2. 2. Durlon Extreme Temperature Gasket Series

 

*Note: This information is a general guide for the selection of a suitable gasket material. Triangle Fluid Controls does not accept responsibility for the misuse of this information.

 

How To Select
Gasket Material


No matter the gasket application there are always 3 things that need to be verified:

  •  Pressure

  •  Temperature

  •  Media

 

Pressure x Temperature

 

Gaskets are composed of and contain various binders, fillers, materials and metals. Each gasket type or material can have very specific pressure and temperature parameters that affect the performance of the gasket. For compressed non-asbestos and PTFE gasket materials, both temperature and pressure are critical and the result of not verifying these values could result in a leak or possibly a blowout. Generally, as the temperature increases, the material pressure rating decreases for that material. To help identify pressure and temperature limitations of a product, there are Pressure vs. Temperature charts (also known as P x T charts) that will essentially give you a “Yes” or “No” answer when selecting material. When the intersecting point of both the pressure and temperature of your application are inside the material boundary (green area below), it lets you know that the material is safe to use for your application.

 

Media

 

Media can be verified by simply checking out a chemical resistance chart and verifying whether or not the material is chemically compatible. Unfortunately, most chemical compatibility charts are based on standard concentrations at room temperature, so you may find some ratings as ‘C’ for caution or ‘N/A’ for unknown. In these cases, contact TFC engineering for further information.

Here’s an easy tool we developed to help identify chemically compatibility (resistance). Click on the image to use the tool.

 

You should always feel confident that you are using the correct material for installation, but if you are still unsure, I highly recommend speaking with a trained applications engineer. Contact us to learn more about gasket selection from the fluid sealing experts at TFC.

Until next time, keep the fluid between the pipes!

 

 



Why are in-line check valves so expensive?

June 8, 2017

By: Bruce Ellis and Stephanie Jouppien

 

As Canada’s national DFT Check Valve channel partner, we speak with many different people across many different industries in need of an in-line check valve. Once we’ve priced out a valve that fits someone’s needs with custom sizing, trim and exotic metals, it’s common for a new user to baulk at the price tag. We’re used to hearing the question, “Why are check valves so expensive?”.  That is why we feel the time has come to address one of the biggest factors in a customer’s buying decision: cost. Cost is a factor that tends to make a rookie salesperson uncomfortable, and I won’t lie, check valves aren’t all inexpensive. My intention is not to have you buy the most expensive valve on our shelf today. It is to have you look past the initial, upfront costs, and instead consider your needs combined with the lifespan you would like to get out of your valve.

In any given application, valves can cost four or five times as much as a competitive product, but here are 4 things that must be considered when weighing Cost vs. Benefits:

 

What is your media?

Are you dealing with a fluid that is highly acidic or caustic? If so, the trim in these applications may need to be of a higher-grade alloy than the standard offerings of 304 or 316 SS (stainless steel) for chemical resistance purposes. If required, most check valve manufacturers can offer you trim and casing choices ranging from alloy 20 to titanium. However, dependent on which alloy is needed, some prices will be inherently more expensive.

 

Does your pump have a high cycle rate?

This is where a simplistic valve design and custom sizing become important. With fewer moving parts than swing checks and double door designs, there is less chance of parts breaking off the valve and potentially damaging other components in the system.  As we have explained here proper check valve sizing is essential to ensuring they function correctly and do not prematurely wear out internal components. Building a design around your flow and pressure needs, is the key to having a worry-free valve in service.

 

Do you have water hammer problems?

The DFT valve design virtually eliminates this costly and damaging issue. Again, this can be handled by custom sizing your valve for the application, not the line size. Unlike a swing check, DFT silent check valves do not rely on gravity or fluid flow to close. Instead, the disc closes by the spring assist, just a short distance from where the disc must close to prevent backflow and water hammer on both sides of the valve.

 

What is the cost of downtime?

Ask any Production Manager this question and they cringe. Imagine stopping production in a plant of 200 employees that make $20/hour CAD for an entire 8 hour work day. That’s $32,000 CAD in lost revenue for just a single day.  Or imagine stopping production in a Northern mine where underground and service miners typically start at $21.50 CAD and are onsite 12 hours a day, 7 days a week, for 2 weeks at a time. An inferior check valve installed for de-watering in this instance could fail and lead to high revenue loss from labour and downtime.

 

All things considered, is it really expensive to use a top-quality product? Especially one that could be in service 70+ years from now? The answer is a resounding NO. It makes sense to use a check valve that is made to or above industry standards. It is also good to note that all DFT in-line check valves are made in the USA and were designed to give years of trouble-free service. Take these examples of application success stories from DFT Inc’s website:

 

Problem: A chemical facility in the USA, was experiencing extreme water hammer and pressure spikes with their cycling double door check installed in a cooling tower loop pump discharge application. This caused damage to the check valves and components around them. The 10” double door valves being used at the time, had to be replaced every 6 months due to cycling.

Solution: Three – 10”, 150/300# ALC Check Valves replaced the worn double door check valves eliminating the water hammer and the valves have performed well since installation.

Installed Since: 2012

 

Problem: A food processor in the Midwest was requesting assistance in their wash down stations that must be sanitized using very hot water at 74°C (165°F) or higher.

Solution: The DFT® model SCV® Check Valve was used to meet safety needs and criteria.

In Service Since:  The 1950’s & 60’s.

 

Problem: A petrochemical plant was experiencing swing check valve failures. The plant was part of an OEM turbo-expander that originally installed swing check valves. These original valves had failed quickly due to low flow and excessive cycling/pounding.

Solution: The DFT® model GLC® Check Valves were custom-sized for this application to minimize excessive cycling and chattering problems that were seen with the previously installed swing-type check valves.

Installed Since: 1999

 



May 4, 2017

By: Chett Norton, C.E.T


Gasket installation seems like a simple concept:

You take a gasket, put it between two pipes, tighten the bolts and voilà…..it’s done.

Although this seems like a straightforward process, even to a seasoned veteran pipefitter, it can be tedious or downright scary if proper care is not taken during the installation process. To help with gasket installation, I have compiled a list of 6 of my favorite tools that will help even the most novice pipefitter install gaskets with ease. Before reading this list, you should already know how to install a gasket.

 

Torque Wrench

They can come in many shapes, sizes and styles ranging from the basic beam, clicker wrench or even electronic wrench. In 60% of gasket failures, the main cause of the failure is linked to under loaded gaskets. Applying the correct torque helps ensure that you are properly stretching the bolts, which in turn act like a spring pulling the flanges together, creating load on the gasket and achieving an effective seal. Torque wrenches can range in price and accuracy, however, despite the tool’s price tag, a torque wrench is only as good as it’s last calibration. So be sure to do this before putting it to use.

torquing bolts on flange

 

Gap Tools

These little dandies are very important in the gasket installation process. An important thing to remember is that bringing the flanges together in parallel ensures maximum contact between the flange and gasket. This transmits the most load that can be applied to the gasket, increasing the chance of success with your gasket installation. When you are tightening the bolts, it is important to measure the gap between the flanges, around the flange circumference in a minimum of 6 spots. If the gap is uneven, loosen or tighten the appropriate bolts until the gaps are within 1/32” (0.8mm). Once the flange gap spacing is evened out, you can continue with your cross star tightening pattern. The flange gap should be checked between every tightening round, paying special attention to first 2-3 passes.

gap tool for gasket installation

 

Drift Pins

These hardened tapered steel pins aid in the alignment of flanges. Inserting a minimum of two drift pins into the flange bolt holes helps with two things: flange hole rotational alignment and centre line high/low alignment. After these pins have been inserted and the flanges are properly aligned, the bolts can be inserted with ease for future tightening.

 

Flange Spreader

Tight quarters or flanges that have very little spacing or clearance make it difficult to install a gasket and can increase installation time. Prying flanges apart with a bar or screwdriver is not a good idea, nor a safe one. Flange spreaders allow you to safely increase the gap between the flanges and give you enough room to remove the old gasket and insert a new one.

 

Sharpie

Perhaps one of the cheapest items on the list, but a useful one. A permanent marker such as a “Sharpie” allows you to number the bolts correctly so that you can follow a cross bolt tightening pattern during multiple rounds of tightening and not forget where you left off or which bolt is next.

 

Gasket Installation Worksheet

This is not necessarily a physical tool, however, it can help a great deal with the installation procedure. These documents give the installer step-by-step instructions of the installation procedure in a check list format with the appropriate torque values for the installation. These sheets can also record the size, class, condition, bolting material, lubrication and installer. These installation details can be recalled at a later date and may help you will troubleshooting a problematic flange or a difficult sealing application based on previous installation history.

 

Hopefully you found my recommendations useful and have learned something new. If you haven’t tried any of the tools I mentioned, give them a try to compare things like ease of installation, tool usability, and installation time. Until next time, work safe, work smart and most importantly……keep the fluid between the pipes! If you would like more detailed information related to gasket installation, contact us.

 



flow chart for gasket material selection

 

1. Critical service can be any factor essential to plant operation or personnel/plant safety, and can include environmental compliance. Failure or disruption of any critical service could result in serious impacts such as fines, time loss and/or   injuries.

2. Extreme Temperature Gasket Series

*See product descriptions for more information

NOTE: This selection chart is for general use only. For critical applications consult with Triangle Fluid Controls technical department. Triangle Fluid Controls does not accept responsibility for the misuse of this information.

 

 



Belleville, ON – March 3, 2017

Finding a reliable sealing solution has never been easier!

Triangle Fluid Controls (TFC) the manufacturer of Durlon sealing solutions is excited to present a brand new video series, SEALutions, that answers basic fluid sealing questions in 1-2 minute videos. Topics will range from gasket installation to reusing gaskets and troubleshooting joint leaks, among others.

SEALutions will star TFC’s Gasket Guru, a hands-on, tech guy with a plethora of fluid sealing knowledge to share. Starring as the Guru will be none other than TFC’s QA & Engineering Manager, Chett Norton. Chett has 14 years of experience in fluid sealing and industrial process and is a certified member with the Ontario Association of Certified Engineering Technicians and Technologists (Mechanical Discipline) as well as an active participating member of the Fluid Sealing Association’s Gasket Technical Committee.

TFC has released a teaser video that can be viewed below. Stay up to date with SEALutions by subscribing on YouTube. In the meantime, you can reach the Guru by e-mailing chett@trianglefluid.com for your fluid sealing needs.



March 1, 2017

 

Triangle Fluid Controls Ltd. (TFC) is proud to announce its debut as an associate member into the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC) – the voice of Canada’s chemistry industry. CIAC represents Canada’s leading chemistry companies including petrochemical, inorganic and specialty chemical producers, bio-based manufacturers, and chemical transportation. CIAC members are recognized as world leaders in the sustainable stewardship of chemical products.

 

“Triangle Fluid Controls is happy to be working with CIAC members in sharing our unique knowledge of global chemical industry fluid sealing best practices to improve safety and reduce leaks and fugitive emissions in process piping and containment applications,” says Mike Shorts, TFC President.

 

TFC has many years of process safety know-how from manufacturing sealing devices for the world’s chemical, petrochemical, food & beverage, pharmaceutical, rail and manufacturing industries. TFC recognizes the importance of CIAC’s Responsible Care® program in helping to reduce health, safety and process safety incidents and looks forward to working with CIAC.

 

TFC will also be participating in Chemistry 2017 – CIAC’s two-day conference and trade show held in Toronto, Ontario, April 2017.

 

Read CIAC’s article here. 



March 2, 2017

By: Bruce Ellis and Stephanie Jouppien

 

You may have heard this one before but size really does matter!

 

When it comes to check valves or one-way valves, the properly sized valve is the best preforming valve. As simple as this logic is, check valve sizing is largely misunderstood. Check valve “sizing” refers to how much the valve’s disc opens in order to accommodate media flow through a pipe – a vital component to the system’s overall functionality. Engineers typically oversize their designs anticipating a greater demand or line capacity down the road, however, it’s usually more than is necessary and many projects are already over-specified when designed.  A good place to start with check valve sizing is to ask yourself:

 

“What will the check valve be used for 90% of the time?”  

 

Check valves should be specified for the current application and can be re-sized at a later date to fit future requirements.

Check Valve Chatter: It’s Trying to Tell You Something

Valve sizing is by no means a new topic. Valve manufacturers have long recognized the importance of proper sizing and how often it’s misinterpreted in the field. It’s important to point out that unlike a standard open-close valve, check valves are flow sensitive. They are designed to allow fluid, steam or gas to flow in one direction. As the flow ceases, the valve’s internal disc automatically closes [see below video animation for more info]. Let’s say a project is over specified to use 6” piping where 4” would be suitable for its current use.  In this instance, a 6” valve would be needed but is not the flow rate maximum (the maximum volume of media that travels through a pipe in one minute).  A regular 6” valve used in this manner would be subject to pressure loss and would not fully open, causing it to flutter against its internal stop, making chattering sounds due to unstable flow. This will significantly shorten the valve’s lifespan by causing wear on the metal internals or by causing the disc to become stuck open, possibly leading to complete valve failure. Though less common, there are instances in which valves are undersized or under-spec’d which leads to a flow restriction.  

 

 

How to Calculate Valve Size

In order to properly size a check valve, you must have viscosity of material, media, pressure, temperature and flow rate (defined as: the number of US gallons of water per minute at 60°F that will flow through the valve with a pressure drop of 1 psi) to be able to customize a centre-guided check valve to the application – this involves changing the distance the disc travels from the closed to full open position. When the valve’s disc is stable and fully open or closed against the seat, no fluttering, chattering or excessive vibration will occur.


 

Tips & Tools for Sizing

DFT Inc. has a sizing program that uses the required information from above to calculate the required amount the valve must open to accommodate flow volume. This calculation is used to make a travel stop that is installed in the valve. The disc will be able to fully open against the stop, keeping it stable in the flow.

For further reading on check valve sizing, we recommend reading DFT’s E-Book: “Common Mistakes in Check Valve Sizing.” If you prefer a more personalized approach to sizing for a custom application, fill out this contact form and a check valve expert will follow up with you.

Proper sizing is essential and will ensure that the valve works at peak efficiency and will require less downtime, maintenance or result in a dreaded system failure. Happy Sizing!

 

 

 

 

Additional Resources:

Valve Data Sheet

A 360° Look at Check Valve Flow Orientation

DFT Inc. Silent In-Line Check Valve Brochure

 

 

 

 

 



January 26, 2017

By: Chett Norton, C.E.T and Stephanie Jouppien

 

Figure 1: Pitted flange with steam cuts. Photo courtesy of Slade Inc.


Imperfections on flange faces happen. With regular maintenance and removing old, stuck-on gasket\debris, flanges with scratches, pits, dents and dings are a common site in many a plant. With more and more companies adopting low emissions business practices, can damaged flange surfaces seal to meet environmental compliance?

 

In the fluid sealing world, we know that flange surface is directly related to sealability and sealability is directly related to environmental compliance. As 85% of all known flange gasket failures are installation related, installers must take extra care when sealing damaged flange faces. Acknowledging the importance of proper gasket installation, we’ve compiled a list of 10 steps and considerations for diagnosing and overcoming flange damage.

 

10 Steps to Sealing Damaged Flange Surfaces

 

    1. 1. Get an updated copy of ASME PPC-1

      ASME PPC-1 is unarguably the post-construction code bible of bolted flange joint assemblies (BFJA) in North America and following their published guidelines is best practice for bolting assembly procedures. A big benefit in using PPC-1 when sealing damaged flange faces is that it addresses the issue of working with imperfect flange faces and determines permissible amounts of damage that can still work as part of a BFJA and maintain an effective seal. Keep an eye out for updated versions of PPC-1 as fugitive emissions regulations become stricter.

 

  1. 2. Understand how a gasket & flange work together as part of a BFJA
Figure 2: Bolted Joint Flange Assembly. Photo: Guidelines for Safe Seal Usage, Flanges and Gaskets. ESA/FSA Publication No. 009/98

 

The gasket is meant to create and maintain a static seal between two stationary, imperfect surfaces, containing a variety of liquids or gases under various service conditions. The surfaces or flanges must significantly compress the gasket to ensure a tight seal that has uniform pressure across it, despite any physical damage, like pits or dents. Mating flanges connected by a sealing device have serrations (roughness) on the faces that are meant to “bite” into the gasket material, effectively holding the gasket in place as it is compressed between the two flanges. As the compression happens, forces try to push the gasket material outwards. By holding the gasket in place, the installer is able to compress the seal and achieve desired tightness. The hole in the centre of the ring gasket will compress inwards slightly but remain open to allow media to pass through the pipe.

 

  1. 3. Take apart flange and assess for damage

When replacing gasket material in a BFJA or performing maintenance, pay attention to the flange face. Note any visual defects or damage – marks, scratches, dings or anything that changes the serrations on the flange face that can affect the flange’s ability to “bite” into gasket material. If so, reference PPC-1 for the maximum allowable defect depth and determine if the flange is suitable for service.

 

  1. 4. Identify a compressible gasket material that can fill imperfections

There is a high probability that damaged flanges could be a factor in BFJA failures. Warped and damaged flanges need to have imperfections filled by a compressible gasket material that can “bounce back” or recover with the flange and prevent leak paths from forming. Because this is widely known, installers believe installing a thicker gasket will solve the problem. However, what they do not take into account is that the thicker the gasket, the more creep will occur and paired with the inevitable decrease of force on the gasket, a gasket failure could result.  The more that creep relaxation occurs, the higher the chance of a blowout.

When using smooth face finishes, such as those usually found in machinery or flanged joints other than pipe flanges, it is important to consider using a thinner gasket to lessen the effects of creep and cold flow. It should be noted, however, that both a thinner gasket and the smooth finish, in and of themselves, require a higher compressive force (i.e. bolt torque) to achieve the seal.

Durlon low emission gaskets for damaged flanges


Durlon PTFE
–compressible gaskets with low creep properties suited to a wide range of service conditions and aggressive chemicals

Durlon ePTFE – highly compressible and versatile biaxially stretched PTFE product that conforms well in worn flanges and can handle a wide range of aggressive chemicals

Durlon ePTFE with metallic core – Durlon Durtec gaskets are virtually uncrushable under recommended loads and are an excellent low-emissions sealing gasket, paired with the conformability of ePTFE on both sides to suit imperfections on flange faces

Durlon SWGs (spiral wound gaskets) – winding density can be altered to allow conformability of SWGs

 

  1. 5. Determine correct thickness

A general rule of thumb for gasket thickness, is that if your flanges are in good condition and under 10” NPS the industry standard is to use 1/16” thickness. For flange sizes 10” NPS and larger the recommended thickness is 1/8”. If a previously installed PTFE gasket is removed and the serrations of the flange protrude through the material, this indicates that perhaps the gasket material being used is too thin and a thicker material should be used. In most industrial sealing applications, 1/32” is the minimum thickness that should be used, depending on the roughness or extent of damage on the flange face.

Figure 3: Gasket thicknesses; Left – 1/16″; Right – 1/8″

 

Note: Regardless of thickness, all of the other standard gasket qualifications must be met including bolt load, chemical resistance, working temperature/pressure ranges, material recovery, systematic thermal cycling, etc.

 

  1. 6. Take extra time installing & use proper torque values

It’s best to take a little extra time when installing a gasket between damaged flanges as improper installation causes approximately 85% of flange gasket failures and can greatly impact plant safety and piping structural integrity. If a single void is left unfilled, the gasket buckles or pinches, a leak path will be created. Be sure the reference the correct torque values by flange size and gasket style/class. Torque values are made readily available by the gasket manufacturer; Durlon torque values can be found on pages 49-53 of the Durlon Gasket Manual.

 

  1. 7. Add extra passes to bolting “star pattern” in assembly procedure

As an installer begins incremental tightening with the standard “star pattern” bolting assembly, additional passes will ensure the gasket is flat against the flange face. Concentration points forming over pits and marks will increase stress in those areas and possibly crush the gasket in certain places. Extra passes are especially important on worn flanges when serrations don’t “bite” into the gasket and hold it in place. For a printable Bolt Tightening Worksheet, click here.

 

  1. 8. Re-torque

The gasket will inevitably relax, with the majority of creep-relaxation happening between 4-20 hours after the initial installation and must be re-torqued. This is a step that is frequently missed in many day-to-day gasket installations, in part because downtime is not an option for many. An even bigger issue, is when those installers fire up a system right away and re-tighten when the system is hot. This is known as hot-torquing and is not recommended. When a soft gasket material, such as compressed non-asbestos is hot-torqued, the material can crack as it becomes brittle when elastomer based material comes into contact with elevated temperatures.

 

  1. 9. Keep a record of damaged flanges and record leak rates

Keep a detailed record of which flanges in your systems are damaged, so that the same installation procedure can be used.

 

  1. 10. Replace gaskets or flanges when necessary

In many cases, an imperfect flange won’t be cut off and replaced, but when sealing with environmental compliance in mind, it is best to ensure that leaks are properly identified, recorded and dealt with. In some cases, this means replacing gaskets more frequently, especially if stress concentrators over dents/scratches are causing issues. It is best practice to not re-use gaskets unless direct application and user experience suggests it is safe to do so.

 

Main Takeaways

 

Slowing down and properly assembling a flange gasket connection can help companies meet environmental mandates by reducing emissions in BFJA’s. Be sure to properly assess physical flange damage on a flange surface and reference PPC-1. The imperfections seen may be well within the recommended guidelines for use by ASME. If you do have some damage to contend with, consider using a thicker, more compressible gasket material to fill imperfections, effectively preventing leak paths. Become familiar with proper bolt-up procedures and understand how much compression is needed if the switch is made to a thicker, softer material. Avoid firing up any systems immediately after installation and observe and record how the new BJFA performs compared to others.

For sealing solutions for damaged flange surfaces or detailed instructions on low emissions sealing, fill out this form.

 

 

You may also like…

Can Low Gasket Load Applications Meet Upcoming Fugitive Emissions Requirements?

What Does Gasket Installation Really Cost Your Plant?

How Long Will A Bolted Flange Gasket Last?



Durlon ® Sealing Solutions manufactured by Triangle Fluid Controls Ltd. is featured in the inaugural edition of the Fugitive Emissions Journal, December 2016.

Read the full article here.

 

 



Triangle Fluid Controls Christmas lights


Triangle Fluid Controls Ltd. (TFC) is delighted to announce that they have donated a newly created holiday addition to the City of Belleville’s annual Christmas Lighting Display. Along with a Santa-level sponsorship, a team of TFC elves worked diligently through the summer months to come up with a festive light display to share with thousands of local residents.


The annual lighting launch officially kicked off the holiday season on Friday, November 18th beginning at 5:45 PM at Jane Forrester Park in Belleville’s South-East end (near the city’s pier), and will remain lit through to the New Year.For a number of years, TFC has been happy to spread Christmas cheer throughout hometown Belleville, Ontario, by sponsoring the much-loved holiday creation that delights the young and young-at-heart and has become a beloved community tradition. The Christmas Lighting Display, originating from tragic events over 50 years ago, was built by a grieving family and epitomizes the true meaning of Christmas. Now operated by the City of Belleville, it is visited annually by thousands.


Be sure to check out Belleville’s must-see Christmas Lighting Display at Jane Forrester Park from November 18 – mid January. For more information visit: https://www.belleville.ca/recreation/page/christmas-lighting-display