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Hardide coating advances new ball valve technology

Hardide Coatings, a provider of advanced tungsten carbide-based coatings, has played a key role in the development of new ball valves manufactured by Heap & Partners, a UK-based manufacturer of fluid handling equipment.

The valve specialist has developed its own range of 'Phase' trunnion-mounted ball valves for the UK energy sector, and the Hardide-T coating was selected, particularly for the smaller diameter valves, for several reasons. The primary rationale being the inherent hardness of Hardide-T, at 1100 to 1600 Hv with a typical coating thickness of 50 microns.

Phase includes numerous variations of soft and metal seated side entry ball valves, used for the safe isolation of pipeline production and process equipment. This safety-critical application, often in erosive operating environments, meant the new valve required a durable protective coating.

The Phase range comes in both metal to metal and soft seated options which posed additional considerations. Metal to metal seated valves often suffer wear by erosion when there is particulate in the process fluid. Most ball valves are soft seated, but wear can also cause scratches and resultant leakage.

Heap & Partners has now utilised Hardide-T on many ball valve applications for both oil and gas and nuclear clients.

Hardide CEO Philip Kirkham says: 'Hardide-T is especially relevant for intricate ball and seat valves with its uniform application by low temperature CVD, and together with its cobalt-free composition meaning it can be safely used inside nuclear facilities.'

The valves are also supplied for high pressure applications, up to and above ASME 600 lbs. Ranging from 2" reduced bore to 12" full bore, the valves needed to operate at both low and high pressure. The product is aimed at niche applications in the UK energy sector, from upstream oil and gas to nuclear and power generation.