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Understanding the Implementation of a Kunkle Pressure Relief Valve

Published : 11/6/2017 06:33:51

If you are hoping to learn about safety in pressurized systems, you have come to the right place. This article will explore the reasons to implement a Kunkle pressure relief valve, as well as some technical definitions that can help you make a choice on a final component. In systems utilizing pressure, safety is incredibly important, so taking the time to understand the value of a Kunkle pressure relief valve is well worth it. Don’t take chances on the job, learn your terms and you’ll be able to deliver masterful, safe results you can be proud of.

1. Core Terminology
A Kunkle pressure relief valve is a subtype of safety valve manufactured by Kunkle, a valve company with a long legacy of quality products in the United States. Safety valves are subdivided into two types, pressure relief valves and pressure safety valves, the difference being that pressure safety valves have manual emergency releases while relief valves are automatic only.

Within pressure relief valves, there are many subtypes which are as follows:

Relief valve – a valve used with liquids that opens in response to liquid pressure in the system.

Safety relief valves – valves used with both gasses and liquids, though not both at the same time.

Pilot operated relief valves -- Valves that are tied to another valve type which reads pressure in a different area of the system and adjusts the operated valves’ opening accordingly.

Low pressure safety valves – Valves that function to relieve pressure when pressure is low, instead of high.

Vacuum pressure safety valves – Valves the function to relieve negative pressure within a system, such as pressure caused by empty space after a gas is vented.

Pressure vacuum release valve – Valves that merge the function of a vacuum pressure safety valve and a standard relief valve into one component.

Understanding these varied types can help you come to the correct decision on a Kunkle valve. There are some other important terms to be aware of going into pressure system-related work. Set pressure, for example, is the limit at which pressure relief valves begin to open and relieve pressure. You should also understand the concept of the “path of least resistance,” which governs gas and liquid motion within pressurized systems. The path of least resistance refers to the fact that gases and liquids will always take the path that offers the least physical resistance when confronted with multiple possible paths. This is core to the function of relief and safety valves, as these function by dynamically creating a path of least resistance for liquids and gasses once certain parameters are met.

2. Understanding Function
Now that you understand the basic terminology necessary to discuss pressure systems, we can explore the function of the valves more in depth. While the exact function of different types of valves can vary slightly, the basic purpose and functionality is the same. For this example, we will use a very conventional valve design which utilizes a pressure-sensitive spring.

At the bottom of a pressure relief valve is an inlet nozzle which allows for fluid to come in contact with what is known as the “valve seat.” The valve seat makes a seal across the top of the inlet nozzle, allowing for fluid to contact the seat and apply pressure. Behind the valve seat is the body of the valve which attaches to the spring through a tight seal. In the space between the seal and the seat is an area into which fluid can enter, which has an outlet path for the fluid to exit the valve.

The spring will be attached to an adjustment system of some form. When the fluid pressing against the seat of the valve reaches the set pressure determined by the adjustment system, the spring will allow the body of the valve to lift, and the fluid will vent through the outlet path. As the fluid exits the system, and the pressure within lowers, the spring will press the body back down, restoring the seat to its position blocking the inlet nozzle.

3. The Purpose of Kunkle Valves
A Kunkle pressure relief valve, as you likely now understand, serves an important function: relieving excess pressure in a system. You might be wondering why this is important in the first place. Pressure relief valves are important because pressure systems function by constricting fluids in a controlled space. In these conditions, excess pressure can be dangerous, both to workers and to components of the system. Excess pressure can cause pipe rupturing, incredibly high temperatures, and malfunctioning of connecting systems (like heat systems, pumps, etc.) Implementing a pressure relief valve will allow for the control of excess pressure and the safe operation of your pressurized system.

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