Oil and gas processing requires precise systems that allow seamless flow to avoid damage and leakages. Valves are an essential component that restricts, control, or limit fluid movement within pipelines or the refinery.
Valves come in different sizes and designs depending on the location and function, including the API 6D slab gate valve, which allows or limits the flow of oil or gas. Valves require proper care and maintenance from their departure from the factory to their arrival at the customer to retain their high quality and endurance.
Here are a few handy tips when maintaining valves like the API 6D slab gate valve.
• Keep the valves closed to protect the seating surface from damage during shipping and handling. Secure the valve in a palette or crate to avoid damage or prevent any further harm.
• Use the right hoisting equipment when raising or lowering the API 6D slab gate valve. Avoid striking the valve during transit and lay it on a clean, flat surface. Use lifting lugs to lift the valve or a well-sized sling through the valve yoke.
• Protect the paint, nameplate, and flange sealing surface. These are the valve’s unique indicators, and it will be difficult to trace this information if it is obliterated from the surface.
• Store valves in a clean, safe environment protected from rain and dust. The room should have low humidity and high aeration to allow free airflow for good ventilation. Moreover, do not place the valve in direct contact with the floor and use a raised block to protect the equipment from moisture damage.
• Do not stack valves on each other to avoid compromising their performance and causing injury.
• Clean and inspect any valve that has been in storage for an extended period before installation. Look out for debris and damage, as well as general deterioration.
Even with the best care within the facility, a poorly-handled and stored gate valve’s performance may still be affected. Therefore, it is important to care for valves on transit just as much as when they are barrels deep in unrefined oil.