Q & A > Question Details
How can we establish the impact of high temperature water vapour on the compressor valve sealing element and its possible contribution to the melting of the element?
22/06/2009 A: keith bowers, B and B Consulting, kebowers47@gmail.com
Unless the partial pressure of the water is high enough to cause condensation in the cylinder and valves, it will not damage them. In fact, water vapor will function to REDUCE the peak temperature during the compression stroke.
Suction and discharge valves in hydrogen service on reciprocating compressors have been a frequent subject of articles in Hydrocarbon Processing and Oil and Gas Journal, among other publications. This is because they are always a prime candidate for service life improvement. Operational, maintenance and design factors involved in achieving long and reliable service life are many and beyond the scope of this forum.
Common negative factors are:
1) liquid carryover from suction knock-out drums;
2) Poorly designed pulsation dampener bottle systems;
3) excessive compression ratio leading to excessive discharge temperature;
4) poor quality rebuilding of the valves;
5) failure to keep rebuilt valves free from all debris and dirt before and during installation;
6) incorrect metallurgy in the valve materials;
7) Uneven bolt torquing during installation of rebuilt valves;
8) improper design/assembly of springs in the valves.