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# Control-valve seat leakage | Hydrocarbon Processing | August 2011

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Control-valve seat leakage

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30-04-2013 11:35

For each of these classes. the flow restriction is the subject valve. the MAL rates for this valve are: •  Class II: 33 gpm •  Class III: 6. metal-seated control valve that meets standard ANSI/ISA 75. Using 50 psi of water at 60°F. “rated valve capacity” can be a rather elusive value to those who do not crunch valve data every day..10. the universal flow coefficient for valves as defined by ANSI/ISA Standard S75. nominal. Second. Class V. Fortunately.01% of rated valve capacity.0.01. The equation is: where Cv = Flow coefficient Q = Flow quantity gallons per min. The definitions of the other leakage classes are not quite as liberal. at 60°F. a value such as “0. so Class I may be appropriate. When quantifying seat leakage. In these cases. the MAL for Classes II through IV can be expressed in terms of gpm as a function of test pressure as: •  Class II: •  Class III: •  Class IV: To illustrate how these equations play out in the real world.7 gpm •  Class IV: 0. there is a common test procedure that permits the use of water or air at a temperature of 50°F to 125°F and a pressure of 45 psig to 60 psig.01.02 face-to-face dimensions. the equation can be solved for flow (Q) as follows: The SG of water between 50°F and 125°F only varies from 1. The maximum allowable leakage for each class is expressed as a function of the rated valve capacity as follows: •  Class II: 0.com/Article/2880440/Control-. Class III is five times tighter than Class II and Class IV is 50 times tighter than Class II.1% of rated valve capacity •  Class IV: 0. Cv is defined as the number of gallons of water per min. specific criteria based on its application. Per ANSI/ISA Standard S75.01. Therefore. 2 of 10 30-04-2013 11:35 .9887 and thus can be rounded to 1. Classes II–IV. control-valve manufacturers rate valve capacities in terms of Cv . or a system in which the control valve is always accompanied by an adjacent remote-operated isolation valve. The Class II. consider a common 10-in. A typical Cv for this type of valve is 950.01. Possible examples include a valve that is always in the open position. the user has no expectation that leakage through the valve will negatively impact the process. The fact is. that will pass through a flow restriction with a differential pressure of 1 psi.67 gpm.Control-valve seat leakage | Hydrocarbon Processing | August 2011 http://www.. (gpm) SG = Specific gravity dP = Differential pressure psi.01% of rated valve capacity” is not of much use to someone who wants to know how many cups or buckets or gallons of leakage per minute is acceptable for a particular valve.. There are two observations to note at this stage. cage-guided.0007 to 0. First. Assuming that valve capacity (Cv ) is known.5% of rated valve capacity •  Class III: 0. the difference between these classes is not trivial.hydrocarbonprocessing. III and IV definitions share many common attributes and are easily discussed as a set. and a basic conversion to Cv can help put the “rated valve capacity” leakage criteria into a more tangible context.

4 ml/min.34 Class 2500-rated valves is in the neighborhood of 6. Fig.000 times less leakage than the same Class IV valve’s MAL of 0. III and IV do not vary with service pressure. The maximum allowable leakage is not given in equation form. however. a seemingly zero-leakage shop test does not always lead to zero leakage under service pressures and temperatures. comes with a higher price tag.hydrocarbonprocessing. for a 1-in. Rather than a test pressure of 45 psig to 60 psig.250 psig. since the test pressure is fixed. the maximum allowable leakage for Classes II. but is instead presented as a table of values per nominal valve size. Several aspects of the ANSI standard can be confusing and frustrating for users. that the Class V category still retains some allowance for leakage. Roughly speaking.15 ml/min. And. which is the use of a test pressure that matches 3 of 10 30-04-2013 11:35 . the MAL values are discrete. nominal valve. For starters. but this is not a practical solution. 1.000 times tighter than its Class IV cousin.. Class VI. Class V represents what is commonly referred to as an “effectively zero-leakage” control valve.) x (test pressure in psi).67 gpm. Valves that are 8-in. it negates one of the attractive attributes of the Class V criteria. Like Class V. As illustrated earlier. the 100°F maximum working pressure of ASME B16. Shortcomings.): (5 x 10–4 ) x (seat diameter in in. is very tight and certainly takes a step far beyond Class IV. While this adds convenience. Note that the 2006 revision of ANSI/FCI 70-2 permits the use of air at 50 psig for the Class V test. An unbalanced control valve plug. Class VI bears no relationship to the other classes.) x (10 in. for a 16-in. understandably.6 x 10–5 gpm. not to exceed the 100°F-rated pressure of the valve body. (6) For the purposes of comparison. The formula for MAL is: Class V (ml/min. Class V. nominal and smaller are also given an equivalent MAL in bubbles per minute. consider the 10-in. as will be discussed later. however. The frustration comes for a user faced with a situation in which a Class IV valve is not tight enough but Class V performance is far more than is required.. For example.com/Article/2880440/Control-. The solid plug leaves one potential leakage path at the seat. A different test procedure is used to calculate maximum allowable leakage for Class V. That is obviously a huge leap in performance—one that. a Class V valve can be up to 10. Class V requires the use of water at a pressure differential that is +/-5% of the service pressure differential. The values range from 0.Control-valve seat leakage | Hydrocarbon Processing | August 2011 http://www. this is 10. It may be tempting to work around this by always opting for a Class V valve. The specified test procedure requires the use of air or nitrogen gas at a temperature of 50°F to 125°F and at a pressure differential of 50 psi. The Class V MAL would be: Class V: (5 x 10–4 ml/min. It should be remembered.25 ml/min. The test pressure for these classes is fixed between 45 psig and 60 psig. valve in the previous example and assume that the service pressure equals the 50-psig test pressure. nominal valve to 28.) x (50 psi) = 0. while most control valves operate at pressures above that range. The ANSI standard offers no middle ground. = 6. And.

the equation becomes: Class IV-S1 MAL (gpm) = or 100 times less leakage than Class IV. Recall Eq. for the purpose of this discussion. which. the flow is directly proportional to the pressure differential.1 times the 100°F rating. does offer an intermediate step between Class IV and Class V. although it uses the term Seat Closure Test.) x (seat diameter) x (dP). IEC Standard 60534-4. the standard should not be used to predict leakage at conditions other than the test conditions.308. Over the life of a control-valve trim.hydrocarbonprocessing. For Classes II through IV. leakage—is a function of the inverse of the square root of differential pressure (dP). known as Class IV-S1.0067 gpm. 2–3 produce diverging results. by its own definition. with MAL defined as: Class IV-S1 MAL = (5 x 10–6) x rated valve capacity.. stop. its use has been creeping into control-valve specifications.0013 gpm) = 2.000 psi test pressure is: (Class IV) / (Class V) = (3 gpm) / (0. It is important to begin by acknowledging that this standard. the service pressure. but even it can leave the informed user wanting. The Manufacturers Standardization Society of the Valve and Fittings Industry publishes MSS SP-61.com/Article/2880440/Control-. does not apply to control valves. Class V MAL does at least use a representative (dP) value. 3): Leakage = (5 x 10–4 ml/min. Nonetheless. the driving equation behind the Cv definition: This is the fundamental equation that the valve industry uses to engineer. the ratio at a 1. it may be prudent for the end user to consider the value of the process fluid when making a decision on leakage class. Then consider the equation for MAL for Class V (Eq. 2 curve reflects the fundamental relationship between flow and differential pressure. The maximum allowable leakage is specified as: 4 of 10 30-04-2013 11:35 . This leaves the user with little or no prediction of field performance. sell and deliver flow capacity. The parallel standard. 2. the additional cost of an upgraded trim can pay for itself in a short period of time. Returning to the 10-in. Due to the disconnect between the driving equations for MAL and classical physics of flow through a restriction. Because the difference between Classes IV and V is so large. This discussion of ANSI/FCI 70-2 provides some insight into the attributes to consider when looking at another commonly referenced leakage standard—MSS SP-61.000:1 example shown previously only applies to the test pressure of 50 psi. example valve at 50 psig test pressure: Class IV-S1 MAL = 0. It uses the Class IV test pressure. Thus. Solving for gpm. example valve. It is no wonder that ANSI/FCI 70-2 states that “the standard cannot be used as a basis for predicting leakage at conditions other than those specified. then even the more sophisticated Class V definition has to be taken in narrow context. if applied to an ASME B16. in the previous 10-in. but instead to valves used in “full open” and “full closed” service. when leakage means lost revenue or lost energy. Also note that the 10. comparison of the two equations at alternate pressures yields alternate ratios.. For instance. and check valves. Pressure Testing of Steel Valves. It states that flow (Q)—or. Needless to say. it is intended for use with isolation.1 times the cold working pressure. The test pressure is specified as 1. Among other topics. The standard defines only one class of leakage.34 control valve. it addresses valve leakage. Eqs. If it can be assumed that the Eq.Control-valve seat leakage | Hydrocarbon Processing | August 2011 http://www. it is important to address its capabilities and appropriate use. Section 5 of MSS SP-61 defines test procedures as well as acceptance criteria of seat closure tests. neither ANSI/FCI nor IEC supports the use of test pressures that approach service pressures. means 1. More specifically. MSS SP-61.” In other words. Here. although either liquid or gas can be used as the test fluid.