Medium-pressure ball valves are incorporated into panels or
skids for topside control of subsea systems in the oil and gas market,
including wellhead control and chemical injection panels. Pressurized
substances in these applications are often flammable, so leakage is to be
avoided. The SwagelokÂ® FKB series medium-pressure ball valve seals
and reseals reliably for leak-tight performance across the entire pressure
range, up to 15,000 psig (1034 bar), required for these systems. The valve's
bottom-loaded stem eliminates blowout and increases operator safety. The stem
and end connection seals help prevent shell leakage and provide robust cycle
life even in severe conditions. Traditional medium-pressure ball valves are
prone to leakage across the seat and body leakage to atmosphere, especially
when pressure is being built up slowly after a valve has been cycled. While
other designs will likely leak following actuation, the FKB series valve
provides consistent sealing across its entire pressure range due to a patent-pending
"direct load" technology that uses upstream system pressure on one step in the
seat carrier and springs on a second step to maintain a leak-tight seal. A
positionable handle provides flexibility in component layouts, helping
engineers overcome design issues in tight spaces and reduce system footprints.
FKB series valves have a proven high cycle life far exceeding the 300 cycles a
ball valve typically endures over a chemical injection skid's 20-year life. In
a third-party test simulating conditions on a methanol injection skid for deep
water exploration, the valve completed more than 4,000 cycles without failure.
Swagelok medium-pressure tube fitting end connections on FKB series valves
provide robust tube grip on the hard SAF 2507 tubing commonly used in subsea
systems. Two case-hardened ferrules in the end connection protect the fitting
from vibratory stresses and provide a secure grip to allow for the valve's
rated working pressures.
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An MIT research team has invented what they see as a solution to the need for biodegradable 3D-printable materials made from something besides petroleum-based sources: a water-based robotic additive extrusion method that makes objects from biodegradable hydrogel composites.
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