Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Valve testing facility in France

New testing facility at Cernay, France ensures optimal valve performance for applications in the LNG industry

Emerson Process Management has expanded the test facilities at its control valve manufacturing plant at Cernay, France to include tests at cryogenic temperatures. The tests are suitable for Fisher® valves being used for the growing number of applications in the LNG (Liquid Natural Gas) industry, for example during the extraction of underground natural gas and in processes where the gas is liquefied for storage or transportation.

The new facility has two tanks for testing globe, angle, butterfly and ball valves up to DN 900, 36 in NB, and can carry out a range of tests at cryogenic temperatures down to -196°C. It is important that valves designed for low temperature applications are tested at typical operating temperatures to ensure optimal performance. For example, a tight shut off is crucial in many cryogenic applications and valves need to be tested for leakage across the seat. These tests are performed by immersing the valve into a tank of liquid nitrogen, pressurising the valve inlet with helium gas at 7 bar and measuring the seat leakage.

The test facility has been specifically designed to minimise any environmental and safety issues and is fully monitored and controlled by Emerson technologies, including a DeltaV™ digital control system. Oxygen sensors, linked to an alarm, monitor the local atmosphere, eliminating any risk to personnel in the area. The DeltaV system enables the valve tests to be controlled from a remote location, ensuring complete safety for test and inspection personnel.

Emerson’s Cernay plant, situated in the Alsace region of France, is the largest of the five Emerson facilities manufacturing Fisher control valves in Europe. The plant is helping Emerson to meet increasing demand for its Fisher control valve ranges, in particular for the larger sizes including low noise trim technology, anti-cavitation solutions and also special valves for the most arduous applications.

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