You are on page 1of 7

STEAM TRAPS A steam trap is a device used to discharge condensate and non condensable gases with a negligible consumption

or loss of live steam. Most steam traps are nothing more than automatic valves. They open, close or modulate automatically. The three important functions of steam traps are: 1. Discharge condensate as soon as it is formed. 2. Have negligible steam consumption. 3. Have the capability of discharging air and other non-condensable gases. Types: Steam traps can be split into the following major types: 1. Mechanical traps. They have a float that rises and falls in relation to condensate level and this usually has a mechanical linkage attached that opens and closes the valve. Mechanical traps operate in direct relationship to condensate levels present in the body of the steam trap. Inverted bucket and float traps are examples of mechanical traps. 2. Temperature traps. They have a valve that is driven on / off the seat by either expansion / contraction caused by temperature differ from mechanical traps in that their design requires them to hold back some condensate waiting for it to cool sufficiently to allow the valve to open. In most circumstances this is not desirable as condensate needs to be removed as soon as it is formed. Thermostatic traps, Bi-Thermostatic traps and bimetallic traps are examples of temperature operated traps. 3. Thermodynamic (TD) traps. Thermodynamic traps work on the difference in dynamic response to velocity change in flow of compressible and incompressible fluids. As steam enters, static pressure above the disk forces the disk against the valve seat. The static pressure over a large area overcomes the high inlet pressure of the steam. As the steam starts to condense, the pressure against the disk lessens and the trap cycles. This essentially makes a TD trap a "time cycle" device: it will open even if there is only steam present, this can cause premature wear. If non condensable gas is trapped on top of the disc, it can cause the trap to be locked shut. MECHANICAL STEAM TRAPS: The function of mechanical steam traps is based upon the fact that low density steam will exist above higher density condensate when both fluids are in a common container.

Two common mechanical steam traps are: Inverted Bucket Trap Float Trap

INVERTED BUCKET STEAM TRAP Inverted Bucket Steam Traps:

Advantages: Rugged, can be used with super heated steam/high pressure systems, high dirt load capacity, water hammer resistant.

Disadvantages: Poor air handling, must maintain water seal, not freeze proof, high inventory requirements. FLOAT & THERMOSTATIC STEAM TRAPS

Float & Thermostatic Steam Traps: Advantages: Excellent air handling capacity can be used with super heated steam, removes condensate at saturation steam temperature and below.

Disadvantages: Not freeze proof, susceptible to water hammer, high inventory requirements. THERMOSTATIC STEAM TRAPS The function of thermostatic steam traps is based upon the fact that steam contains more heat energy than condensate, the heat of the steam can be used to control the operation of the steam trap. Two common thermostatic steam traps are: Bimetallic Steam Trap Bellows Steam Trap Bimetallic Steam Traps:

Bimetallic Steam Traps Advantages: Can be used with super heated steam, removes condensate at saturation steam temperature and below. Disadvantages:

Needs recalibration over time, Normally Fails-Closed. Bellows Steam Traps: Advantages: Excellent air handling capacity. Water hammer resistant. Can be designed to Fail-Closed or Fail-Open. Automatically adjusts to variances in pressure.

Disadvantages: Cannot be used on superheated applications or applications greater than 300 psig and 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Condensate must be sub-cooled before discharging.

THERMODYNAMIC STEAM TRAPS: The function of thermodynamic steam traps is based upon the fact that low density steam will exist above higher density condensate when both fluids are in a common container. Two common thermodynamic steam traps are: Disc Type Steam Trap

Orifice Type Steam Trap

Disc Type Steam Traps: Advantages: Rugged. Can be used on superheated and high pressure applications. Water hammer resistant. Normally Fails-Open. Freeze proof when mounted vertically. Disadvantages: Low Dirt Capacity. High back pressure (>50%) effects performance. Not recommended for pressures below 10 psig.

Disc Type Steam Traps

Orifice Type Steam Traps Not recommended for 99% of all typically seen applications. Try to avoid using. Replace when discovered. Waste vast amounts of energy. Very low tolerance to dirt. REFRACTORIES: