Published : 08/8/2017 05:23:01
If you have ever done work with gasses or liquids under pressure, you surely know that the risks associated with a malfunction are often quite severe. When working with systems utilizing pressure, safety is more important than ever, and foundational tools for ensuring pressurized system safety are Kunkle safety valves. Whether working on a steam boiler, a gas compressor, or in more heavy industrial applications, understanding the function of the safety valves is essential to a safe work environment. To help promote such safety, and to help professionals begin their journey on the road to mastery, we’ve created this basic introduction to understanding Kunkle safety valves.
Safety valves vary in their complexity, from incredibly basic weighted retainers, to more modern designs that allow for pressure release remotely. Safety valves have evolved significantly over time, starting with the first safety valve design in 1679 for use in steam systems, progressing to basic models employing springs, and now to a great variety of popular designs including vacuum safety valves that help prevent the damage of emptying pressure systems. Additionally, there are two major subtypes of the devices commonly referred to as safety valves: pressure safety valves (PSV) and pressure relief valves (PRV.) While they both function similarly, there are some differences.
Safety valves function by having a seal connected to some form of counterweight that maintains the pressure within the system until the pressure becomes great enough to overcome the counterweight. In the case of spring-based systems, for example, the spring is calibrated to resist pressure up to a certain point, at which point the spring is compressed and the gas or liquid is vented off until the pressure is lowered back to a controlled point. The difference between pressure safety valves and pressure relief valves lies in the manual control option. Pressure safety valves include a lever that allows for manual venting of the system in case of an emergency.
There are subgroups that divide safety valves further, however. PSVs, which are designed for gas systems, are split into low-pressure valves, pilot-operated valves, and vacuum pressure valves. Low-pressure valves activate when the interior pressure and the exterior pressure to the system have a very small difference. Pilot-operated valves are remotely controlled by a pilot instrument that measures pressure within the protected area. Vacuum pressure systems relieve the passive pressure on internal gasses.
PRVs, which are used for liquid systems, are subdivided similarly, though there are less types of PRVs. Pilot PRVs function identically to pilot-operated safety valves but for liquid systems while safety PRVs function by relieving static pressure on gasses and liquids.
Kunkle safety valves, of course, are not control valves, which should be the primary manner of maintaining pressure within a system. Safety valves are designed to be a failsafe that can prevent severe system failure in the case that something malfunctions. Kunkle safety valves do not have the full functionality to maintain the pressure of a system on a day to day basis and should not be used as a substitute for a proper control valve.
At this point, you might be wondering what sets a Kunkle valve apart from all other brands of safety valves. Kunkle valves are high quality, certified and well tested valves that are manufactured by a company with a legacy for quality and safety. Additionally, Kunkle Valves offers special-use products that many competitors do not offer, including safety valves for use with cryogenic, extreme heat, vacuum, and high pressure environments. The range of available, tested, and audited models offered by Kunkle Valves sets them apart from the competition. Kunkle offers their valves in a wide range of material types depending on the needs of your unique system, and they guarantee double-testing of every valve ordered to your personally requested specifications, ensuring you will get a safety valve that is ideal for your system and made of materials you need.
Now that you understand the basics of Kunkle safety valve function, as well as some of the differences communicated by minor changes in terminology, you will be better equipped to handle and understand issues that can go wrong within a pressure system. Knowing how safety systems function equips you to approach them with due care and respect, both when purchasing and/or upgrading safety valves, or simply the systems that work around those valves. Additionally, having this information in mind can help you spot a potential issue long before it ever arises, avoiding the need for a fix in the first place.
Don’t stop learning here, though. This article is just the beginning! Safety systems are one of the most important and things you can possibly devote your time to learning, so take the time to do it and you might just save yourself a lot of money and time!
Ready to learn more? Talk with one of our experts at 1-713-395-1508!