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Specifying Severe-Service Valves for Urea Applications

By Don Bowers, Conval and Jennifer Jones, Armour Valve Ltd. |

To withstand the harsh conditions and potential safety risks encountered in urea agricultural applications and other severe-service processes, special consideration must be given to valve construction, performance and installation Severe-service valves (SSVs) are specially designed and manufactured for critical applications in which the potential consequences of valve failure include serious and costly risk to life, plant operation and property. SSVs are typically exposed to relatively high pressures and temperatures, as well as corrosive or lethal media. FIGURE 1. Urea manufacturing requires that all equipment, including valves, be able to handle severe conditions and exposure to harsh media[/caption] A significant chemical industry application for SSVs is the production of urea (Figure 1). Globally, over 90% of the urea produced is used as an economical form of nitrogen fertilizer for agriculture (Figure 2). With the world’s estimated population of eight billion people and growing, global demand for food, and therefore fertilizer, is strong and resistant to economic cycles. According to Expert Market Research (EMR), the global market for urea in 2020 was 187.8 million metric tons. By 2026, that number is expected to grow 12.61%,…
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