Most pump operators and piping system managers are most concerned about leaks and maintaining the desired flow rate. However, two other major issues are valve noise and damage from choked flow or cavitation. Our team at Cortech Engineering has put together a couple of tips you can incorporate into your operation that will help prevent valve noise and flow damage.
Valve Noise Issues
Valve noise problems have several potential sources. Some common culprits include electric motor bearings, fans, rotors and gears. Another source could be the valves themselves. You may hear a high-frequency noise that is produced from the fluid traveling through the valve at high velocity. A rapid and severe drop in pressure causes bubbles to form in the fluid. As the bubbles collapse they often create loud noises. Other valve noises such as squealing, buzzing or chattering may happen if the valve is not seated properly.
The simplest way to cure valve noise problems is to make sure the valve is properly selected and fitted for its use. You want the right material, type, and size valve for your specific application. It’s very important that the valve is installed and adjusted correctly for proper performance, because any damage, cracks, or weakness in the seal could create a potential problem.
Cavitation and Choked Flow
Cavitation refers to the formation of vapor bubbles when a seal fails, often with major drops in pressure. The area in the valve with the smallest flow passage is the most likely location for cavitation to take place. As these cavitated vapor bubbles collapse and implode, they impact the internal surfaces of the valve. As the flow point chokes up, this can exacerbate the problem even further and cause more damage to the entire pump and piping system.
Again, the fix is to make sure the right type and size valve is being used to handle expected flow rates and pressures to avoid cavitation or choked flow. The valve should be maintained regularly and adjusted as needed. If the valve is damaged in any way or not providing a complete seal, then it should be replaced. Best valve performance is achieved through careful research, precise measurements and thorough testing. Otherwise, flow choke, noise and cavitation problems may continue to happen, leading to costly downtime.
Your Valve Experts
For help with valve selection, installation, and maintenance, count on the pump engineering experts at Cortech. We can provide the guidance and support you need to prevent cavitation, minimize damage from the choked flow and eliminate noise issues with your pump or piping system. Contact Cortech today for more information.