Danger lurks everywhere. Fires are a daily risk in the oil and gas industry. Valves must cope with extremes in the case of emergency. Components thus need to be fire safe if they are to withstand threatening situations. Everything else would be playing with fire. No wonder demand is increasing for fire safe valves.
Losses can be devastating in a case of emergency; therefore, safety is just as high a priority for valves as high quality, and a long life cycle. “Fire safe valves are mainly used in the oil and gas industry, as risk of fire is high,” explains product manager Stefan Keller, AS Schneider. Fire hazards lurk in each step of the process – ranging from oil and gas production to transport, as well as in refineries and storage. The consequences could “understandably be substantial,” emphasises Keller.
Danger for man and material
Explosions in refineries or on oil rigs are a threat to man and material. A defective blowout preventer with safety valves played a major role in the devastating catastrophe on the oil rig “Deepwater Horizon”, in the Gulf of Mexico. The valves malfunctioned, 780 million litres of crude oil flowed uncontrolled into the ocean, and caused several billion dollars in damages. Even more, eleven men died and 600,000 birds perished.
Other sectors also place their trust in fire safe valves. Petrochemistry, for instance, where “filling processes of inflammable substances in tank farms” are usual, explains Vetec Ventiltechnik. In a critical situation, fire safe valves have to stand the test in real conditions, particularly in view of having to handle fast filling times. Vetec developed a rotary plug valve with a double excentric plug design, which ensures that there is no contact between plug and seat while rotating. No particles can adhere in between. “The housing is basically free of dead space, so no troublesome soot deposits can occur,” states Vetec.
Operating with highly flammable materials
Fire safe valves also provide the chemical industry with much needed security. Ethylene oxide becomes highly flammable in contact with oxygen, reports Vetec. In an emergency, fire safe valves go through hell to keep the plant safe. Valves should not only have a fire safe design, but also be certified as fire safe. Here, fire safe testing facilities come into play.
Specialised testing facilities leave nothing to chance and put valves through their paces. Take Amtec, for example. The company developed a new fire safe test rig to test valves according to DIN EN ISO 10497, API 607, API 6FA or API 6FB. “With this test rig, all important type acceptance tests for fire resistance can be conducted,” says Manfred Schaaf, Amtec Advanced Measurement. Not only that: if needed, client-defined testing procedures can also be performed. This allows individual applications to be tested.
Automated ignition process
Amtec’s test rig allows automated test procedures without manual intervention during firing and pressurising – for instance for regulating temperature and pressure. Ignition is automated, as well as the burner shutdown after the end of the firing period. Valve manufacturers are promised an improved repeat accuracy, a lower variation of temperature curves between tests and full compliance with norms. User-defined procedures are configured. And all of this with an increased level of safety, states Amtec: housing and burning chamber with window are closed, the flame is controlled, a pressure relief valve adds a further level of security. The housing temperature is controlled, including the automatic cooling system. The test rig is equipped with an emergency shut off function, turning off the burner and pump.
Under fire for 30 minutes
The stresses a valve must withstand in the test rig also depend on the test standard. There are important main criteria: the valve must be able to resist interior pressure – depending on norm, valve size and type. Water is used as a medium. Firing lasts 30 minutes, the flame reaches a temperature of up to 1000 °C, and the housing temperature 600 °C.
After the firing period, water is used to cool down the valve to 100 °C, over a period of ten minutes. Depending on norm, cooling can also take place using air. It is essential for the “leakage rate to comply with the specific norm,” emphasises Manfred Schaaf, Amtec. Packaging, housing seal and seat are viewed as critical. If a valve fulfils the leakage criteria set in a norm, the product receives a certificate: tested fire safe!
Enhanced test rigs
Safety is too important for things to stagnate. “Due to changing testing requirements the test rigs have to be modified again and again,” states Manfred Schaaf. Investments are always required: just recently, the company put a test rig for cryogenic temperature applications into operation. Amtec is continuously expanding in the lucrative testing facilities field. Meanwhile, various testing facilities are available for testing seals, valves and stuffing boxes. Development of the fire safe test rig was, by the way, realised within a project supported by the Federal Ministry of Economics. A project with propelling Germany forwards.
Various testing institutes in Europe already had individual test rigs, but the most important institute for fire safe certifications has so far been a testing laboratory in the USA. “With the test rig we developed type approval tests can now also be conducted here in Germany,” says Manfred Schaaf. “Valve manufacturers, or the customers, often want to attend tests, and this is now possible rather easily”.
Leakage-free and closable
AS Schneider’s valves and valve blocks have championed the load tests in a test rig. Even after extreme test conditions, the certified valves not only showed themselves leakage-free, but could also be fully operated, as well as opened and closed repeatedly without problems.
High-performance ball valves made by Hartmann Valves are another example in case. They can be operated in temperatures ranging between – 200 to +550 °C, pressure stages up to 700 bar and with aggressive media. Realised entirely in metal, the sealing systems between ball and seat ring fulfil a leakage rate of A, or 0. Special construction features and safety-oriented functions such as DBB (double block and bleed), DIB (double isolation and bleed) and fire safe create higher levels of safety. This is a necessity, as the ball valves are used with all kinds of media, from oil, natural gas, acid gas, brine, oxygen or hydrogen, steam, thermal water and abrasive or degreasing media.
Quenched below 100 °C
Ebro subjected its HP-300 valves to intensive fire tests complying with ISO 10497. The valves were placed under water pressure, the ISO norm demand 75 percent of the operating pressure. “The HP 300 was pressurised with an operating pressure of 37.5 bar,” states Ebro. Afterwards, the valve was fired with a propane gas, with temperatures reaching 650 to 1,000 °C. A condition which lasted 30 minutes, followed by a first leakage test. “Subsequently, the valve was quenched to a temperature below 100 °C and a second leakage test was conducted”.
Ebro’s test objects were nominal diameters DN 80 and DN 200 in two different materials – CrNi steel 1.4408 and C steel 1.0619 – each with a full metal and laminated seal. “The tests were successfully completely, without any complaints”. Mission accomplished.
What can increase the likelihood of a valve being certified as fire safe? Strength is important when choosing the material, especially as far as higher temperatures are concerned. “Not only the materials used for the valve housing play a role, but also the material the screws are made from, and naturally also the material used for the seal are essential,” states Schaaf. Only then can a valve withstand its trial by fire, without finding itself under fire.
AS Schneider’s company practice shows: “Fire safe valves made from all common materials are in demand,” reports product manager Stefan Keller. “Exotic materials are more seldom,” he adds, as separate certification tests have to be made for different materials groups. Common and proven valves in the oil and gas industry are made from stainless steel and carbon steel.
Ball valves for power to gas
Fire safe products also let valve manufacturers score with special projects, such as power to gas plants. Such valves are successfully used in the “WindGas Falkenhagen” plant, operated by Eon Gas Storage GmbH. Hartmann Valves supplied this German demonstration plant with 24 metallic sealing ball valves, designed to meet the high requirements and safety levels for use with pure hydrogen. Power to gas is a process to change electricity from renewables into chemical energy. The technology is supposed to help feed-in management match electricity production from renewables to consumption, in order to prevent bottlenecks.
Fire safe a seal of quality
Fire safe has long become a seal of quality. Companies in various sectors can’t do without this seal, and sometimes even are not allowed to. “We conduct fire safe tests for all new products to be used in such industrial sectors, from the ground up, in order to certify them,” states Keller. Demand, however, depends on the oil price, but is “continuing to rise”. Customers will always need fire safe valves. Innovations in these fields will be presented at Valve World Expo Düsseldorf from November, 27 – 29, 2018
The fourth edition of Valve World Expo Asia has come to a successful conclusion, after featuring 140 exhibitors in a total exhibition space of 8,000 square metres. In all, the trade fair and its accompanying conference were visited by over 6,000 experts.
The leading Asian trade fair for industrial valves and fittings took place in Hall B 1 of the Suzhou International Expo Center from 20 to 21 September 2017. The products which were showcased covered all types of valves and fittings as well as the relevant components, actuators and also the latest developments in measuring and control technology. Furthermore, exhibitors included service providers from the areas of software development, servicing, quality control and testing.
The two-day trade fair was accompanied by a conference, held in parallel. 250 delegates met to exchange ideas on innovative technologies and products.
Valve World Expo Asia centred around automation, servicing and inspection. The focus was therefore on the vast area of Industry 4.0 as well as on sustainability and the conservation of resources.
As before, the trade fair saw another rise in internationalism among both exhibitors and visitors. In all, 140 exhibitors had travelled to Suzhou from 14 countries.
The industries represented by the trade fair’s 6,000 visitors covered oil and gas, petrochemical, chemical, food, marine and offshore, water and waste management, automotive, mechanical engineering, pharmaceutical, medical engineering and power engineering.
Gerrit Nawracala, Deputy Director Metals and Flow Technologies of Messe Düsseldorf GmbH, was pleased about the successful trade show: “Industrial valves and fittings,” he said, “are key technologies and therefore indispensable for all sectors of industry. Valve World Expo Asia has become the place to be in Asia.”
To take account of this development and to facilitate further growth, the next Valve World Expo Asia will be held in Shanghai, and so the Shanghai World Expo Exhibition & Convention Center (SWEECC) will be the meeting point and innovation platform for valve professionals in Asia from 28 to 29 August 2019.
Valve World Expo is now in a good position, featuring the world’s number one trade fair for industrial valves and fittings – Valve World Expo Düsseldorf – at the Düsseldorf Exhibition Centre from 27 to 29th of November 2018 and two international satellites, one in China and the other in the United States, held at two-year intervals in odd years. It is thus expanding its position as the leading trade fair of this industry.
The next Valve World Expo Asia and its accompanying expert conference will be held in Shanghai from 28 to 29 August 2019. 85 exhibitors have already registered for 2019 which means that 60 per cent of the general exhibition area is sold so far.
To the tune of 20,000 square metres of exhibition space, 725 exhibitors from 40 countries and 12,350 trade visitors – the fourth Düsseldorf Valve World Expo took place against the backdrop of a rather subdued business climate in the industrial fittings industry. Posting noticeable growth in both exhibitor numbers and square metres it proved the biggest Valve World Expo in Düsseldorf so far.
“As a key technology industrial valves are indispensable for just about every branch of industry. As an innovation platform and meeting point for this sector the Valve World Expo has developed into what is the international “place to be” today,” rejoices Joachim Schäfer, Managing Director at Messe Düsseldorf GmbH.
Halls 3, 4 and 5 of the Düsseldorf Exhibition Centre saw current technologies, components and systems presented from the most varied industrial fittings segments. Once again running as a parallel event was the Valve World Expo Conference in Hall 4. Short distances between the trade fair activities and conference for the approx. 400 participants ensured avid cross-fertilisation between theory and practice for exhibitors, visitors and conference delegates.
The 725 companies exhibiting at the Valve World Expo showcased the latest valves, valve components and parts, actuators and positioners, compressors, measuring and control technology, upstream supplies, service, support and consulting services, and engineering services. Software as well as relevant associations and publishing houses supplemented the ranges.
Exhibitors felt themselves and their products perfectly placed in Düsseldorf: “The Valve World Expo is also a must-go event for Hartmann Valves. We have invested heavily in our stand presentation. This really pays off since this trade fair is so important as a sectoral get-together. We also found that many international visitors came here this year. To my mind there is only one conclusion for us to draw: We have been part of it since the Expo has existed – and it will stay that way,” delighted Sonja Seitz, Marketing Manager at Hartmann Valves.
Thomas Schlösser from Pentair also rated the trade fair as a resounding success after three days: “The partnership between Valve World and Pentair has been lived and highly appreciated for a long time. 75% of the key decision-makers in the valve and actuator sector are here. This means the Expo is perfect for networking. We found our stand ideal to present Pentair’s complete package. And it is not only about products but also about complete solutions for customers: we analyse and improve processes,” says Pentair Managing Director, Regional Sales Director Central & Eastern Europe, Benelux, Russia & Kazakhstan.
Looking at 2018 Elif Er, Marketing & Quality Management at GFD – Gesellschaft für Dichtungstechnik, adds: “A customer came to see us to express his satisfaction - and he brought along another new customer. After all, these personal contacts are key for networking and canvassing. The follow-up business is of paramount importance for us – there will definitely also be some positive surprises we are still unaware of now. No doubt about it – we will be back again in 2018, too.”
12,350 Trade Visitors over three Trade Fair Days
12,350 high-quality trade visitors from 88 countries came to visit the Valve World Expo 2016. Approximately 70% of the guests came from abroad, most of them from Italy, the Netherlands, Great Britain, France, Russia and Spain as well as from the fast growing economic regions in Asia, the Middle East and South America.
With two satellite events held biennially in the USA and China in the odd years, the Valve World Expo is also well positioned on the international stage. This means it continues to further expand its position as the No. 1 trade fair in the industry.
In 2016 most trade visitors took an interest in valves, valve components and parts, actuators and positioners, engineering services and software, compressors as well as in associations and publishing houses. Some 50% were users of valves and valve producers, followed by valve dealers, service providers, other types of trade and skilled crafts.
Visitors came from the oil and gas industry, petrochemical, chemical, food, marine and offshore industries, water and waste water management, automotive production and mechanical engineering, pharmaceutical and medical device technology as well as power plant technology.
Over 60% of the visitors had purchasing and decision-making competence, 97% gave top scores when asked to rate the event.
Maintaining contacts with existing suppliers, finding new ones and an interest in trends and innovative technologies of the industry were given as principal reasons for visiting the trade fair.
Valve World Expo Conference: Again at the Heart of Trade Fair Activities in Hall 4
Organised and executed by KCI Publishing, the international expert conference was once again held in Hall 4. The lectures, workshops and seminars focused on future themes such as material selection, new technologies and processes for valve production and applications, new energies, the analysis of new services and sectoral structures. To the tune of 400 high-calibre experts from the field of valve technology met at this international expert exchange in Düsseldorf.
Pump Summit Düsseldorf 2016: Top-Notch Pump Technology
The Pump Summit Düsseldorf was held as a forum for the pump industry on 29 and 30 November concurrently with the Valve World Expo.
State-of-the-art pump technologies were exhibited in Hall 7.0, in the immediate vicinity of the Valve World Expo. As an interface to the valve and fittings technology displayed at the Valve World Expo this event generated valuable synergies for visitors of both events. The second Düsseldorf Pump Summit was accompanied by a technical conference.
The next Valve World Expo with accompanying technical conference will be held in Düsseldorf from 27 to 29 November 2018.
New exhibitor record:
660 companies from 40 countries at third trade fair for industrial valves
With exhibition space of more than 17,800 square metres already sold and 660 exhibitors from 40 countries, the third Düsseldorf edition of VALVE WORLD EXPO at the Exhibition Centre Düsseldorf from 2 to 4 December 2014 is fully booked!
The three-day-long trade fair will present valves and fittings along with relevant components and parts, actuators and positioners, pumps, compressors, engineering services, and software.
Exhibition halls 3, 4 and 5 will be occupied, and both the North and the South entrance will be open. Traditionally, European companies from the UK, Italy, Spain, the Czech Republic, Turkey, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Finland, Poland, Russia and Germany have been represented in great numbers. Many exhibitors travel to Düsseldorf from overseas countries such as the United States, India, China, South Korea and Taiwan to attend the trade fair and the congress.
Valve World Conference in Hall 4
Once again, the Valve World Conference will take place concurrently with the trade fair! New this year: for the first time, the conference venue has been integrated in Hall 4. Workshops and lectures covering 70 different topics will be offered. Experts from around the globe will be on-hand to engage 400 conference participants in an exchange on the innovations from the dynamically growing valve technology segment and related upstream and downstream technologies.
Valve World Expo Forum in Hall 5
The first Valve World Expo Forum in Hall 5 D 06 will introduce and discuss topics surrounding innovative technologies. This open discussion forum will bring together exhibitors’ customers to present their experiences and talk about current issues facing the industry.
Featuring a visually appealing design, the Valve World Expo Forum provides about 50 experts with a quiet discussion platform amidst the hustle and bustle of the trade fair.
The forum kicks off at 10:00 am on Tuesday, 2 December: Bob McIIvaine will get things started with an overview of what’s happening in the industry globally. Later that day, as well as on the next day, the focus will be on issues such as valves and fixtures, standardisation of pipe categories, handling control valve seat leakage in protection devices, redox flow batteries and the future development of industrial valves.
Renowned companies will dispatch their experts, including Siemens AG, the Fraunhofer Institute, BASF, Z&J Technologies GmbH, Petrobras, Sage International, BP USA, Shell Netherlands, Dow Benelux, Fluor Canada, MRC Global and Lloyds.
Pump Seminar & Summit
On 2 and 3 December 2014, the first Pump Seminar & Summit will take place on 2,000 square metres of exhibition space in the Stadthalle venue at the Exhibition Centre Düsseldorf. About 60 exhibitors are expected. This event sets up a dedicated specialist forum for manufacturers, suppliers, retailers and end users of pumps, compressors and seals.
Held concurrently with the pump trade fair will be a seminar with speakers addressing topics such as energy efficiency, the future recruitment of engineers, fugitive emissions, sealing technology, purchasing and maintenance.