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Comment PDF Environment, Health, Safety & Security

Seal Selection: Ensure Regulator Performance in Low-Temperature Applications

By Jon Kestner, Swagelok Co. |

In low-temperature conditions, the use of compatible sealing materials is essential for leak-tight operation and proper functionality of pressure-regulating devices Harsh, frigid conditions are among the most challenging industrial environments (Figure 1) for fluid-handling applications. At these temperatures, it is especially difficult to ensure proper, leak-tight operation of fluid-system components. Elastomeric sealing materials inside components can harden, crack and simply stop performing when temperatures drop too low. Therefore, at extremely low temperatures, valves, regulators and many other components may not fully seal, causing leaks. Additionally, the components may become difficult, if not impossible, to actuate. FIGURE 1. Industrial facilities in cold climates face a host of challenges when it comes to preventing fluid leaks[/caption] Ensuring sound low-temperature performance can be especially difficult within dynamic fluid-system components like pressure-reducing regulators (Figure 2), which are commonly found in many gas-supply applications. When such applications take place in northern climates like those found in Alaska, Canada, Siberia, northern Europe and the Arctic Ocean where temperatures may dip to –40°F…
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