Technology Review

Valve Operability During a Fire

[+] Author and Article Information
Karan Sotoodeh

Piping Engineering,
Aker Solutions,
Oslo 0477, Norway
e-mails: karan_sqi@yahoo.com; karan.sotoodeh@akersolutions.com

Contributed by the Ocean, Offshore, and Arctic Engineering Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF OFFSHORE MECHANICS AND ARCTIC ENGINEERING. Manuscript received July 7, 2018; final manuscript received November 19, 2018; published online January 17, 2019. Assoc. Editor: Kazuhiro Iijima.

J. Offshore Mech. Arct. Eng 141(4), 044001 (Jan 17, 2019) (4 pages) Paper No: OMAE-18-1093; doi: 10.1115/1.4042073 History: Received July 07, 2018; Revised November 19, 2018

Fire and explosion are a major cause of concern for refinery, gas processing, petrochemical, and gas installations. The safest way to deal with a fire is to prevent it. However, fire prevention strategies are not always successful, and fires can happen. Therefore, valves should be designed and tested to be fire-safe. This paper reviews valve design features that can help prevent fires, including secondary sealing between the ball and body in case of losing a soft seat, a graphite fire-safe ring design for stem and seat sealing, antistatic devices, and antistatic tests to ensure that the valve is fire-safe. In addition to design considerations, a fire-safe design should be validated through tests defined in standards such as API 607, API RP 6FA, and ISO 10497. The API RP 6FA tests reviewed in this paper include seven tests that check the operability of the valve from closed to open position. A case study was done to prove the operability of a fail close 38″ pipeline ball valve on an oil export pipeline in case of fire during the first 20 s from the open to the closed position. Thermal analysis on the body of the valve proved that there was no thermal expansion inside the valve after 150 s of fire. Additionally, the maximum radial displacement on the valve body after 150 s of fire was 0.34 mm which is negligible. Thus, the valve thermal expansion did not disturb the operation of the valve after 20 s.

Copyright © 2019 by ASME
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Fig. 1

Fire prevention triangle (Courtesy of Health and Safety Authority)

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Fig. 2

Soft seat floating ball valves fire-safe design (Courtesy of Flow-Tek)

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Fig. 3

Antistatic springs (Courtesy of REMY)

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Fig. 4

Ball valve during a fire test (Courtesy of HARTMANN VALVES GmbH)

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Fig. 5

Pipeline ball valve 38 in CL1500 on the platform

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Fig. 6

Pipeline ball valve 38 in CL1500

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Fig. 10

Fire box around the actuator of a ball valve

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Fig. 9

Maximum radial displacement in the body of the valve

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Fig. 8

Temperature distribution on the valve body after 150 s

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Fig. 7

Applying 1100 °C to the outer surface of the valve



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