Besseges (Valves, Tubes & Fittings) Ltd have reached a milestone as a TLV steam products distributor. We became an Authorised TLV steam products distributor in 1999, in the year where according to many we were heading for millennium disaster. As it turned out this became a poignant moment in the history of our business and its staff. It is the year we started our transformation from being a valve and pipeline supplier to be a specialist in process steam products. Training led to increased product knowledge and understanding which took us out of the works stores and into the factories.
Then over the coming years, experience allowed us greater involvement in process steam, working with contractors and end users. We are very proud of our track record in steam distribution having made changes on many sites that have improved production outcomes; and seen reductions in energy costs. Our remit as a supplier is as it should be, to satisfy customer requirements in the most economical and efficient way possible. We aren’t by any stretch of the imagination designers of steam systems; but we do have the know how and understanding to offer advice on many aspects of process steam.
TLV Steam Products Distributor Training
TLV have always been a great source of knowledge over the past twenty years and are forward thinking in steam system training. We have taken full advantage of this, having sent five members of staff to Waibstadt Germany to complete various courses. So far members of our team have completed the basic training course centred on the efficient use of process steam and condense recovery. Additional courses have included heat exchangers, a special distributors course and the advanced steam training covering many aspects of steam system design. We can wholeheartedly recommend the participation in steam courses at TLV, contact us for more information.
As a result of the amount of training and experience we have; we are able to offer our customers information on many aspects of steam distribution as a TLV steam products distributor. Working with many types of heat exchangers including steam to water, corrugators, cooking vessels, brewery vessels and many others. Our business is able to assist with the correct specification of steam traps, pressure reducing and control valves. We have provided businesses with very specific solutions including the prevention of steam locking. As steam lock release is a very specific issue, we will share our experiences in the next paragraph.
TLV Steam Products Distributor Steam Locking
For those people that are not aware of what steam locking is, a brief explanation will quickly solve this. Steam locking normally occurs in moving dryer or heating rolls which are used to pass heat onto textiles, paper or coating products. Many but not all rolls are hollow cylinders connected to steam by a rotary union. The rotary union also has the condense outlet connected through it via a sparge pipe. This is often a 15mm mitred piece of tube cut to a specific length, so the end is usually suspended in the condense.
The issue and central cause of steam locking is then fact that the condense contained in the roll is constantly moving and changing level. What occurs in these circumstances is the end of the sparge passed in and out of the condense. This allows steam to pass into the sparge, once the steam reached the steam trap.
The differential pressure within the steam trap is lost; causing the steam trap to remain closed until the steam condenses. At the point of the steam collapsing, returning to condense the differential is then reintroduced and condense is then released.
This event happens continuously throughout the process and the steam trap locks, working constantly between the two states. This then causes condense to be trapped in the roll (heat exchanger) reducing the working temperature and making the whole process less efficient. Drops in temperature across the roll can cause cooler spots affecting production outcomes and increasing the likelihood of rejected material. In the case of corrugators this can result in poor quality finished products, increasing customer dissatisfaction. The next paragraphs will cover the various solutions available to prevent steam locking; and why as a TLV steam products distributor we are becoming a leading player in steam locking solutions.
TLV Steam Products Distributor Steam Lock Release.
There are a number of leading steam manufacturers and Distributors that offer steam lock release solutions. As a TLV steam products distributor we most often but not always offer solutions using TLV products. On rare occasions we come across circumstances where other manufacturers steam traps are perfectly functional; and it would be remiss of us to change them unnecessarily. Recently we came across Spirax Sarco traps not fitted with their SLR unit and we Advised the customer to retro-fit to the existing steam traps the Spirax solution. We of course supplied the material needed to complete the installation and the steam trap temperature was increased by 15°C to 20°C.
Now for the explanation of how this was achieved; and the solution can be done as a valve fitted directly to the steam trap or by installing a bypass. The simplest method is to fit a needle valve known as a steam lock release directly to the steam trap, which must be a float style trap with an air eliminator. Other types of process steam traps do not have the ability to achieve this designed into them. What we do to release the steam that would lock out the steam trap is to create a very small leak.
This is done by fitting a needle valve to the steam trap which acts on the air eliminator. The needle valve applies pressure to the air eliminator capsule which opens it and allows the steam to pass through it. The leak itself is usually barely perceptible and releases the steam to the condense return. Uniquely here at Besseges (Valves, Tubes & Fittings) Ltd we do not often leave the customer to do the first set-up of the leak rate. The reason behind this is the fact that we make use of the TLV Pocket Trapman to record the leak rate and temperature. By just applying the solution without recording the temperature can mean that the optimum temperature available can be missed.
This same result can be achieved by installing a bypass to the steam trap and fitting a similar needle valve. This will record the same leak and can be set in pretty much the same way. The bypass should extend beyond the non-return valve to ensure that a back pressure is not created that prevents the steam trap from functioning. This is an alternative used by some businesses, but we believe the steam lock release incorporated into a steam trap is the way to go.
TLV Steam Products Distributor Conclusion
The reason we have highlighted steam locking as part of this Blog on TLV steam products is simple. What we have done by setting steam lock release with our customers, highlights one of the many learning curves we have followed; on this path of being a TLV steam products distributor. Our business has grown into the role of being a specialist supplier to steam contractors and end users. Recent works have cemented our place as one of the best in the region in this field. We have worked with a number of contractors and businesses to achieve new steam installations. Supplying everything required from steam traps to support bracketry for the pipework; we have ensured the distribution system is completed with best practice in mind.
Steam distribution and efficient heat transfer are an integral part of the story of our business. But we have many strings to our bow covering a wide range of valve and pipeline products. Although we are widely known even nationally as a TLV products distributor it is by no means the whole story. To see what forming a relationship with our business can do for your business, take a look at our Websites and speak to our excellent sales team. We aren’t just a distributor of process steam products, we are a great independent valve and pipeline supplier. What makes us stand out from our competitors is our knowledge and understanding when it comes to the needs of our customers.