Oil and gas: Disc Stack for choke valves

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25 January 2017

oil and gas

The oil and gas industry represents a key sector which is currently generating rapid growth for FILMS.

Recently, our engineers have developed innovative products and solutions for this market, and have fine-tuned a new production process which creates the possibility to produce hard metal Disk Stacks without using brazing materials.

These disk stacks are used trim for choke valves and serve to disperse energy in order to control the flow of fluid running through them in terms of speed and pressure. In particular, the valve creates a decrease in pressure between the entrance and the exit, according to a parameter called Δp (pressure drop); basically, it chokes the flow (hence its name “choke valve”).

The choke valves are protected thanks to the use of a quality of hard metal, designed specifically by FILMS, which optimizes resistance to erosion and also corrosion, if necessary, thus avoiding rapid deterioration of the valve’s components and guaranteeing a duration that is much longer than that of conventional choke valves. Furthermore, a smooth exit flow maintains the levels of mechanical vibrations and its related noise within a safe range for the environment and anyone working in proximity to the system. Our scope of action represents a particular case in the valve sector, and is defined as “severe service conditions”. Therefore the valves will be considered as severe service valves (SSVs), due to the verification of certain conditions:

  •  Abrasion conditions (impurities in the fluid, – which may present itself in either liquid or gas form – impurities in the valves themselves, toughness, the angle of impact with the valve surfaces, high pressures, speed, and temperature)
  •  Corrosion conditions, that is, the presence of H2S

The research project carried out by the FILMS laboratory was motivated by a specific request from a leading company in the Oil&Gas sector, which aimed to lengthen the life cycle of the choke valve product, and therefore reduce production downtime. This aspect is crucial for companies that work in extraction systems.

The objective was reached step by step, with progressive improvements over the past 2 years of work, through the fine-tuning of a production cycle which guarantees the attainment of functioning prototypes, as well as a process in which the optimization of each phase allows for full control over the quality of the products obtained. With on-field experience and in collaboration with clients, an efficient result has been reached; particular attention was given to the mix which, today, guarantees overall endurance of the joints – free of cracks, even if minimal. This was specifically verified by using penetrating liquids.

For the client, the final result has proved to be extremely satisfying and well-performing, despite the inherent difficulties encountered during the disk stack production process.

Once again, FILMS is positioned as one of the most competent companies in this sector, and its organization, which is strongly devoted to co-engineering, stands out as a special and trustworthy partner in the development of complex projects in a variety of application fields.

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