Gas Compression Magazine

August 2016

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Page 29 of 51

T he intensity of opening and closing impact forces has a di- rect effect on reciprocating compressor valve life. Reduc- ing the force of those impacts can deliver substantially greater service life and more run time for the machine and associated processes. The challenge is to achieve it without sacrificing oth- er important factors, such as valve efficiency. To reduce the effects of high impacts on internal compo- nents, valve manufacturers have continually fine-tuned a vari- ety of impact-reducing parts, including cushion plates, damping plates, spring plates, and coil springs. However, the first signifi- cant advance in many years came early in 2015 as field test results were compiled for a new design called the Ring Damped Achieving the Full PotentiAl oF comPressor vAlve DAmPing Ring DampeD valves boost DuRability anD efficiency By Skip FoReman | August 2016 28 valve. Compressor operators in midstream applications were reporting previously unattainable increases in valve life, along with energy savings of 10% or more. The Ring Damped valve was developed for high-speed, short- stroke, reciprocating machines typically found in the transporta- tion, production, and storage of natural gas, as well as certain pro- cesses in refining, chemical, compressed natural gas (CNG), and petrochemical industries. For these applications, plate valves are by far the most commonly used design. However, operators have historically cited valve failures as the most frequent cause of forced outages for reciprocating compressors. To reverse that trend, re- searchers at Cook Compression, a global compressor products

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