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A study on the flow characteristics of butterfly valve with baffles

The butterfly valve was originally used where a tight closure was not absolutely necessary. However, over the years, these valves have been manufactured with fairly tight seals made of rubber or elastomeric materials that provide good shut off similar to other types of valves. Butterfly valves are used where space is limited. Unlike gate valves, butterfly valves can be used for throttling or regulating flow as well as in the full open and fully closed position. The pressure loss through a butterfly valve is small in comparison with the gate valve. The L/D ratio for this type of valve is approximately one-third of that of a gate valve. Butterfly valves are used in large and small sizes. They may be hand wheel–operated or operated using a wrench or gearing mechanism.

Concentric butterfly valves are bidirectional. Double offset and triple offset bi-offset butterfly are also bidirectional but with preferred flow (pressure) direction, such as flow from the stem side. Fig. 2.96 shows the preferred flow direction of a flanged end double offset butterfly valve.

Butterfly valves tend to be cheaper than gate valves because they require less material and less civil works. They are also easier to operate against unbalanced water pressures as the disc pivots about an axis on or near the pipe axis. Consequently butterfly valves are now commonly used in water distribution systems. Butterfly valves can be metal seated or resilient seated; in the latter case the seat is usually made of natural or synthetic rubber and is commonly fixed to the body of valves of smaller sizes or to the disc. Plate 28(b) shows a resilient seated butterfly valve.

Resilient seated valves can remain virtually watertight, even after prolonged use in silty water. Therefore, resilient seats are usually specified for isolating valves in distribution systems. Resilient seated valves may also be used for control purposes but, if operated at small openings, the seal may be damaged. Solid rubber is the material usually used for resilient seatings: inflatable seals have been used on very large valves but not always with success. Metal seated butterfly valves do not have tight shut-off characteristics and are mainly intended for flow control purposes where they need to be held in the partially open position.

Distribution network pipe systems are now designed to produce self-cleaning velocities at least once every 24 hours and should not need swabbing as part of normal operation. A transfer pipeline may need to be swabbed periodically. Butterfly valves on the line prevent the passage of foam swabs (except for very soft ones) but this does not usually pose a problem if the valves are spaced sufficiently far apart to allow the pipe to be cleaned in sections. Short lengths of pipe either side of the valve are made removable so that the cleaning apparatus can be inserted and removed.

Butterfly valves should normally be mounted with the spindle horizontal since this allows debris in the pipe invert to be swept clear as the valve is closed. Where the spindle is vertical solids can lodge under the disc at the spindle and cause damage to the seal. Disc position indicators are useful and strong disc stops integral with the body should be specified, so that the operator can feel with certainty when the disc is fully closed or fully open.

Butterfly valves have been made to very large diameters (10 m or more) operating under very high heads and at high water velocities (20 m/s or more) and have proved successful in use. However, when a centre-pivoted butterfly valve is to be used for flow control purposes the maximum velocity of approach to the valve should be limited to 5 m/s. Resilient seated valves can be specified to have no visible leakage on seat test but the range of acceptable seat leakage rates for metal seated valves varies from about 0.004 to 0.04 l/h per 100 mm of nominal diameter (DN), at the specifier’s choice. However, a low rate for a high pressure differential would be expensive to achieve and difficult to maintain with metal seats. For some control applications, an acceptable seat leakage rate of about 0.4 l/h per 100 mm DN may be appropriate.

If a valve may be required to remain in place closed on removal of the pipe on one side for a temporary operation, it must be flanged for bolting to a pipe flange on the other side. ‘Wafer’ butterfly valves whose bodies are sandwiched between pipe flanges do not achieve this. Use of such valves for isolation of air valves allows maintenance to be carried out on the air valve in situ with the pipeline in service but does not allow removal and replacement of the air valve under pressure. Since replacement of air valves is likely to be cheaper than in situ refurbishment, flanged isolating valves are preferred in such situations.

The butterfly valve is a rotary valve in which a disk-shaped seating element is rotated 90° to open or close the flow passage. They are used in throttling service, particularly where large-size valves with automatic actuators are required. Butterfly valves cannot be used where a nonobstructed, full opening is needed. They offer a size and weight advantage over plug and ball valves.

Conventional butterfly valves are used mainly in low-pressure water service and throttling applications. The seats, disk, and shaft are in the same plane. The seat is obtained by an interference fit between the disk and resilient (flexible) liner. This type of fit is shown in Figure 4.64. The tightness of the seat is limited by the operating torque of valve and the seal between the shaft and the liner. The sealing characteristics of this valve are poor and leakage usually occurs.

The high-performance butterfly valve provides good sealing characteristics and a tight shutoff. The disk is essentially an off-center slice of a ball, and the seating mechanism of this valve is similar to that of a ball valve. The disk and seats of this valve are offset from the shaft and shaft sealing in this valve is not critical. Many valves offer a primary seat made of a resilient material and a secondary metal-to-metal seal making them “fire-safe.” High-performance butterfly valves are available in pressure classes as high as ANSI 900 and can be used in applications requiring tight shutoff.

The gate valve has a unique body style unlike the other valves we have discussed. The butterfly uses a circular plate or wafer operated by a wrench to control flow. A 90° turn of the wrench moves the wafer from a fully open position to a fully closed position. The wafer remains in the stream of flow and rotates around a shaft connected to the wrench. As the valve is being closed, the wafer rotates to become perpendicular to the direction of flow and acts as a dam to reduce or stop the flow.

Traditional butterfly valves now work at high pressure drops across the disc which can be both metallic and “soft”. Upper and lower temperature limits are the same, by and large, as those for globe valves, depending on duty and material of construction. The butterfly construction is especially suitable for high temperatures. Bodies can be fabricated from bar and plate and the seals can be mounted on cooling extensions away from the main flow. 

Butterfly valves can be used as a control valve and also as a shut-off valve, as discussed in Chapter 3, Section 3.3.3, against high pressure drops of regularly up to 415 barg. Depending upon the materials of construction and the seat design a butterfly control valve may have very limited shut-off pressure drops. Some 100 barg valves are only rated for 4 barg shut-off differential.

A globe valve should have a range of possible shaft diameters for each nominal valve size in order to handle the variation in torque due to various operating pressure conditions and packing box friction. Shafts should not be made of material prone to creep, such as some austenitic stainless steels. In these situations a precipitation hardening stainless steel such as 17-4PH is preferred. The corrosion resistance of such materials, equivalent to AISI 304, must be borne in mind. The disc must withstand high differential pressures. Some valves do have restrictions on the maximum throttling differential pressure, 35% of pressure rating in some cases.

Generally, butterfly valves are used for the inlet control and bypass valves. They are inexpensive to manufacture, and their actuators are able to operate in accordance with the requisite response times. Butterfly valves do, however, have the disadvantage of a tightly curved characteristic.

Additional non-linearities arise from the fact that valves of different nominal sizes are operated in sequence. An initial improvement in the control response was achieved in that the steady-state duty point characteristics for operation with and without the expander were stored in function generators in the controller. Depending on the operational state, the output of the process controller (regenerator pressure, or differential pressure, between the regenerator and the reactor) is applied to one or the other of these characteristics. In the event of an expander trip, the system immediately switches from one characteristic to the other. This results in linearization of the characteristic profile, so that the process controller is able to operate independent of the duty point concerned and independent of the operating mode (i.e., with or without the expander). This switching between characteristics in the event of an emergency trip also ensures that the bypass valves are always driven at maximum actuating speed to their new steady-state position in accordance with the prevailing operating conditions. All this is performed independent of the prevailing duty point (i.e., whether the system is operating at partial load or at overload).

In the industry, globe valves, which are commonly used to precise control the flow rate along with opening and closing flow in pipes, are technically and economically limited in valve size due to structural instability related to complex internal flow passage. Butterfly valves, on the other hand, have advantages such as low weight and low manufacturing costs, but it is difficult to control the flow rate at an opening angle of 60°or higher and flow is unstable in the case of butterfly valve. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to have characteristics of flow rate of the globe valve that is used in the industry at the same diameter of pipeline and flow stability due to uniformity of flow through the baffle hole by adding 1/2 baffle to forged valve. Hole size of baffles were set at 5, 7 and 9 mm and baffles were set at the rear of the butterfly valve. To verify the method of numerical analysis, the results of experimental study were compared with the results of numerical study. As a results, it is confirmed that characteristics of flow rate of butterfly valve with baffle is similar to globe valve in the case of hole size 5 mm. In addition, flow pattern is to be stable by analyzing turbulence energy. Consequently, when applying baffle to butterfly valve, it is possible to reduce the flow unstability and change the flow rate of butterfly valve.
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