7 Trends in Valve Design
Used to regulate the flow of liquid, gasses, or any kind of fluidized solid, valves are an essential part of any pipeline and of multiple processes across industries.
Whether it’s Chemical, Power, Metalworking, or Oil & Gas, they all have an increased demand for innovative valves that meet the industries’ requirements. To fulfill this demand, the valve production sector needs to substantially lower fabrication costs and the development time, while keeping up with the industry’s innovations.
Here are 7 Trends in Valve Design that should be taken into account by any valve production company:
1. Control Valves – One of the Main Trends in Valve Design
With an expected Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of about 6.6% between 2014 and 2018, control valves manufacturing is enhanced by the Oil and Gas industry as automation and controlling needs increase in refineries. Moreover, these valves have an application in deepwater exploration activities. Designing control valves includes all the categories, i.e. sliding stem control valves (mainly used in the oil and gas industry) or the rotating shaft control valves (predominantly linked to power generation, water and wastewater, and chemical processing industries).
2. Smart Valves
For subsea oil and gas, intelligent control systems with integrated embedded processor and networking capability for valve trees are becoming imperative, being one of the most powerful trends in valve design. Having increased reliability and responsiveness, these systems are preferred to industry standard electro-hydraulic control systems as they allow monitoring through a central control station.
The biggest advantage of smart valves is that the consequences of a damage or a blockage in the pipeline network are now prevented. This happens due to the possibility of reconfiguring piping and networking systems.
3. Growth in Automatic Valves Demand
The process of choosing a type of valve for an application takes into account, among other criteria, the leakage rate, the safety requirements, the nature and components of what is flowing in the pipeline, the amount of acceptable flow and the scale of operation. Split into 2 large categories – standard and automatic, valves have a broad enough market to include them all, especially due to the significant price difference as well as the versatility of standard valves.
Most of them being leak-free, standard valves meet emission and safety requirements. Also, the majority of them, especially the rotary shafts, are easy to convert into automatic actuation which can be used with an automatic actuator.
Automatic valves, on the other hand, which include electric, hydraulic, pneumatic, solenoid, and digital mechanisms, are gaining popularity among manufacturing plants that need an unmanned operation but with a precise flow modulation. The main advantage offered by automatic valves is the advanced preventive maintenance ability, eliminating more risks of shutting down the operation as often as the standard valves.
With the rapid changes in technology, having a computer-generated control system, the automatic valves are getting an increasing importance on the global market.
4. Integrated Electronics
An important trend for servo and proportional valves is the integration of electronics into the valve. In the present, most of the integrated circuits feature digital electronics with powerful processors for decentralized intelligence on the component level.
Hydraulic valves, for instance, with a significant share in the valves market, are constantly being improved with new mechanical designs. The innovations are incorporated into the digital electronics and on-board electronics have a direct connection to field bus systems.
5. High-Performance Globe Valves
Over the last few years, valve production companies across the world have been developing high-performance globe valves design to overcome the problems of the conventional globe, i.e. reduced flow capacity, noise, pressure drops, cavitation issues, difficult manual operation, and much more.
Using CFD & FEA simulation tools, valve manufacturers have as primary focus optimizing the valves’ design. The resulted high-performance globe valves include new features like non-rotating stem globe design, in-suite seat arrangement, seal-welding of threaded seat ring and guided disc arrangement, which enhances high sealing performance and requires less hand wheel effort.
6. Butterfly and ball valves
Quarter-turn valves are dominated by butterfly and ball valves. Ball valves can mainly be found in pipelines, the oil and gas industry, gas storage applications, tank farms, offshore production platforms and specialized LNG applications. The triple offset butterfly valve is also preferred, due to the applicability in offshore platform installations.
7. Increased Usage of Simulation Software
Playing a key role nowadays, simulation can make a real difference in valve manufacturing and it’s one of the most important trends in valve design. With the increased number of requirements and the need for non-standard, customized products across multiple industries, valve manufacturers can decrease both fabrication costs and the development time by leveraging simulation software.
3D simulation software can now be used to analyze and test various solutions without the need of building and testing multiple designs and prototypes.
Helping valve manufacturers develop high-quality products worldwide, SimScale includes all the functionalities you need for secure and reliable results. Ball, Butterfly, Globe, Gate, Check, Hydraulic, Dump, Industrial Plug, Diaphragm, Relief, Pinch, Poppet or any other type of valve can be easily simulated with the SimScale cloud-based platform.
If you are interested in learning more about how you can leverage simulation for a better valve design, watch the webinar recordings on the SimScale website.