New ball valves improved via coating

Paul Boughton

Hardide Coatings, provider of advanced surface coating technology, has played a key role in the development of new ball valves manufactured by Heap & Partners.

The valve manufacturer has developed its own range of ‘Phase’ trunnion-mounted ball valves for the UK energy sector, and the use of the Hardide-T coating has significantly improved the valves’ performance.

Phase includes numerous variations of soft and metal seated side entry ball valves, used for the safe isolation of pipeline production and process equipment. This safety critical application often in erosive operating environments, meant the new valve required a durable protective coating.

Heap & Partners selected Hardide-T for use in the Phase range, particularly in the smaller diameter valves, for several reasons. The primary rationale being the inherent hardness of Hardide-T, at 1100 to 1600 Hv with a typical coating thickness of 50 microns.

Peter Burnett, business development manager at Heap & Partners, said: “The Hardide coating achieved excellent results, meeting all the required leakage rates and delivering consistent results on various substrates. We also chose to partner with Hardide Coatings as we worked with the team previously on a project in the nuclear sector to tackle a corrosion issue and carry out re-engineering of valves, so we knew they could deliver positive results.”

The Phase range comes in both metal to metal and soft seated options, which posed additional considerations. Metal to metal seated valves often suffer wear by erosion when there is particulate in the process fluid. Most ball valves are soft seated, but wear can also cause scratches and resultant leakage.

Heap & Partners has now utilised Hardide-T on many ball valve applications for both oil and gas and nuclear clients. There have been no wear issues since employing the coating and it has provided protection from erosion. In some cases the Hardide coating has also enhanced the corrosion resistance of the base material.

Hardide CEO Philip Kirkham said: “The success of the coating boosted the performance of the new valve range and we are proud to work with Heap & Partners to play a part in developing this technology. Hardide-T is especially relevant for intricate ball and seat valves with its uniform application by low temperature CVD, and together with its cobalt-free composition meaning it can be safely used inside nuclear facilities.”

The Phase valves are also supplied for high pressure applications, up to and above ASME 600 lbs. Ranging from 2” reduced bore to 12” full bore, the valves needed to operate at both low and high pressure. This bespoke product is aimed at niche applications in the UK energy sector, from upstream oil and gas to nuclear and power generation.

Recent Issues