Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Hinge Restrained Expansion Joints for Process Piping

cutaway hinge restrained expansion joint for piping
Cutaway view of hinge restrained expansion joint
Process piping of sufficient size or extent can require allowances be made for expansion of the piping material in the installed location. The design criteria will include factors that impact the expansion of the piping components, as well as the relationships between the piping and elements of their supporting structures. Expansion can produce substantial movement of pipe sections which must be accommodated by the supports and the piping itself.

One manufacturer, General Rubber Corp., provides a hinge restrained rubber expansion joint that is designed to allow angular rotation of a piping section within a single plane. The expansion joint isolates the movement of one pipe section from its adjacent connected section. The assembly is comprised of a pair of pin connected hinge plates attached to the expansion joint hardware. The company further describes the unit construction and function...

The hinge assembly must be designed for the internal pressure thrust forces of the system. They can be used in sets of two or three to absorb large lateral movements in a single plane. This optimally designed arrangement is an effective solution for absorbing large axial thermal movements from an adjacent pipe run. Its spool type body is constructed with full rubber flanges, a high-grade leak proof-tube, multiple layers of high-strength tire cord, high tensile steel reinforcement and a seamless cover. They are commonly used when the support structure or adjacent equipment have load limitations. The economic benefits of this arrangement include a smaller system footprint with far fewer anchors and guides.
The video included below provides an animated illustration of how the expansion joint functions. More information is available from product specialists, with whom you should share your process piping system challenges.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Hazardous Gas and Flame Detection

CO2 gas detector for industrial safety
Carbon dioxide level detector
Courtesy Sierra Monitor Corp.
MS Jacobs handles the Sierra Monitor line of gas and flame detection devices for use in commercial and industrial facilities. SMC manufactures complete solutions for gas and flame detection, from the sensors to the monitoring and control stations. The systems approach includes sensor modules, controllers, and software working together to provide detection, alarm, analytics, and delivery of all necessary information across communications networks.

SMC employs a variety of technologies to provide application matched performance in their gas and flame detectors. The company innovates and leverages their IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) expertise to bring operating efficiency and enhanced levels of protection to customer facilities. Systems are tailored to provide the level of protection appropriate for a facility or application, as well as a customized response.

The various sensor  modules are optimized for their intended application range, bringing accuracy and efficiency to hazardous gas and flame detection. Some of the benefits include:

  • Low power requirements
  • Rapid response
  • Various filtering means to discriminate between noise and real hazards
  • Multiple output options that include relays, analog, and digital communications
  • Long calibration intervals for reduced maintenance
  • Remote sensor configuration
  • Self diagnostics
  • Local display
  • More
Share your gas and flame monitoring challenges with application specialists, combining your process and facility knowledge with their product application expertise to develop a comprehensive and effective solution.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Niagara Meters: Overview of Flow Measurement Devices

external view cutaway view target flowmeter
Cutaway and exterior views of target flowmeter
Niagara Meters, based in Spartanburg, South Carolina, is a well recognized brand in the flow measurement field. For over a hundred and fifty years, their products have been used in a myriad of industries, including agriculture, petrochemical processing, and even aboard United States Navy ships. The company’s flow meter products target three basic functions: flow measurement of liquid, gas flowmeters, and flowmeters for steam. The three product application groups are anchored by Niagara’s operating technology thesis statement, “specializing in innovative, reliable products.”

The largest array of Niagara meters are those utilized for liquid flow measurement. For measuring liquid in an open channel, such as a weir or flume, Niagara offers an application specific ultrasonic open channel flowmeter, which comes equipped with one or more sensors, along with a level monitor. The device is flexibly configurable for different arrays, and calculates liquid level, open channel flow and differential level measurement.

cutaway view turbine flowmeter
Cutaway view of turbine flowmeter
Measuring potable water flow through a pipe branch or system can be accomplished easily with the reliable mechanical MTX/WPX model series. In this turbine technology flowmeter, water pressure and resulting flow drives the internal turbine rotor. Magnetic coupling of the rotor to a flow indicator makes this instrument simple, reliable, and rugged for totalizing, rate of flow, and batch control applications.

Flow measurement in applications involving liquids with viscosity similar to oil are candidates for Niagara’s positive displacement oscillating piston flowmeter. This positive displacement device employs a piston which rotates in a flow chamber inside the meter. Liquid flow forces the piston to rotate, with the rotations recorded by a totalizer or pulse transmitter. Mechanical and smart electronic versions are available in a number of variants to meet the range of register and interface requirements.

Another mechanical positive displacement technology from the company uses a nutating disc and gear train to measure flow and provide a totalized flow register. The nutating disc is precisely fitted into the flow chamber and wobbles in a predictable manner that can be counted and used to measure volumetric flow. As with the oscillating piston products, a wide array of variants, including a smart meter version, are available to accommodate any register requirement.

Niagara also offers a fully electronic magnetic flowmeter, or Magmeter. The 6600 Series Magmeter can only be applied with conductive fluids, and converts the voltage produced when the fluid flows through a magnetic field to a volumetric flow signal for a high accuracy solution with no moving parts.

The company offers one additional category of flowmeter technology; applicable to liquids, gas, or steam. The target meter has a solid disk (the target) located in the flow path. The dynamic force of fluid movement acting on the target is converted to an electrical output signal that is proportional to flow rate.

All of Niagara’s flow measurement devices are time proven through many applications. For assistance in selecting and configuring a flowmeter for a particular application, share your requirements and process measurement challenges with a product specialist. The combination of your process knowledge and their product application expertise will produce effective solutions.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Float and Thermostatic Steam Traps

Float and thermostatic steam trap
Float and Thermostatic Steam Trap
Courtesy Colton Industries
Steam traps are found on almost every steam system in commercial and industrial sites. The trap is a self-contained automatic valve that allows condensate to drain from a steam containing system, while retaining the steam within the system. Non-condensible gases can also be removed by a steam trap with a thermostatically controlled port.

Steam based heating relies on the delivery of the latent heat of the steam to a heat exchanger or piece of utilization equipment. Once the latent heat is delivered, condensate (basically hot water) forms. The condensate contains no latent heat and provides comparatively little value as a heat source. Utilization equipment and heat exchangers have their performance predicated upon a supply of steam, not hot water. A properly selected steam trap will remove condensate across a range of steam utilization rates, keeping the system operating at the rated capacity.

The steam trap routes the condensate out of the steam containing portion of the system, often on a return trip to the boiler. Cycling the condensate back through the system for re-boiling contributes greatly to steam system energy efficiency. Condensate removal is accomplished with a float. Non-condensible gases are vented through a thermostatically controlled port on the unit.

More details on steam traps are included below. Share your steam system challenges with a product specialist, combining your facility and process knowledge with their product application expertise to develop effective solutions.