Exceeding gas-tight sealing strengths and eliminating ATEX zones
Geir Otto Amundsen on Case Studies · May 08, 2019
Gaskets seals are generally the consumables often selected at the last moment in a design project and carry few expectations. Although viewed as less significant, this consumable can have the most severe impact on human health, the environment, and a production facility’s revenue. The DeltaV-Seal™ is the first leak-proof and patented sealing technology approved by DNV GL, delivering revolutionary change by enabling the reduction of operating expenditures associated with the production, maintenance, and product loss.
The avoidable threat
All forms of industrial production of gases or liquids utilize pipes, flanges, and seals. Traditional sealing solutions are an indisputable weak point in any piping system due to their leak-prone nature and life span degradation. Despite the countless safeguards and precautionary measures that are implemented in process piping and production facilities, current sealing solutions still represent significant risks to health, safety, investments, and the environment.
From conception, the primary design purpose of the DeltaV-Seal has been to completely eliminate emissions from flanges in a piping network; in-turn enabling a client to greatly increase operating efficiencies and reduce overall costs. This also enables a significant reduction in environmental contamination that a processing facility or piping system may otherwise have on an environment.
Environmental dangers and sensitive environments identified as ATEX zones can now be addressed with a substantially more cost-effective approach, as the stable sealing strengths of the DeltaV-Seal enables clients to build facilities and piping networks through these zones without the threat of explosion, leakage, or contamination. The DeltaV-Seal is not simply another gasket or consumable associated with production expenditures. It is a game-changing tool and investment, which substantially reduces operating expenditures, increases safety standards, and gives clients greater flexibility in their daily operations by eliminating ATEX zones.
What are ATEX zones?
Hazardous Areas (Potentially Explosive Atmospheres) are defined in terms of zones and safe areas under relevant IEC (for IECEx) and EN (for ATEX) standards depending on the expected frequency and duration of an explosive atmosphere being present.
- Zone 0 / 20: Are zones with constant danger
Permanent presence of explosive gasses or combustive dust.
- Zone 1 / 21: Are zones with potential danger
Occasional presence of explosive gasses or combustible dust during normal duty.
- Zone 2 / 22: Are zones with minor danger
Presence of explosive gasses or combustible dust is not likely to occur or only for a shorter period of time.
– The DeltaV-Seal is constructed such that it maintains enhanced tightness during its lifetime due to its design, and ensures performance against leakage. By installing the DeltaV-Seal, the user of the equipment can perform a risk assessment to demonstrate the absence of any releases, and eliminate the ATEX zone.
Christoffer Næss, Design & Product Engineer, Pipeotech
For maximum versatility, durability, safety, and quality consistency the DeltaV-Seal is water cut and then finished via CNC machining for pinnacle precision. Superior quality is further demonstrated, as the gasket is also engineered to withstand both cryogenic and scorching temperatures.
DeltaV-Seal is always manufactured from the same metal alloy as the connecting flanges enabling both seal and flange to expand or contract in unison during temperature fluctuations. The gasket maintains the tightest seating while eliminating the possibility of galvanic corrosion from developing within the connection.
Tests conducted by DNV GL and AMTEC GmbH demonstrate sealing strengths that exceed oil and gas industry standards. The DeltaV-Seal has been certified as a Fire and Blowout Safe gasket sealing solution in accordance with API 6FB regulations. Through controlled extreme heat and pressure tests, lasting 30 minutes in length the gasket was exposed to temperatures in excess of 650C and 40 bar of pressure. Test results revealed that the DeltaV-Seal released only 1% of the permitted volume.
Germany’s 'TA Luft' is a national air quality regulation that sets standards for emissions, ambient exposures and control methods. In a powerful demonstration of DeltaV-Seal’s ability to not just comply, but far exceed regulatory demands, AMTEC GmbH conducted a TA Luft Helium test in accordance with VDI 2440 guidelines. Pipeotech’s revolutionary solution was certified as a 'high-grade sealing system', sealing an incredible 10,000 times tighter than industry requirements.
To be approved by DNV GL, the DeltaV-Seal had to undergo a unique durability test, not ever been completed by any other gasket. Extensive vibration and pressure pulsation tests were carried out as part of the rigorous test program to document its resistance towards pressure pulses and vibrations over time.
These additional testing revealed the gasket to resist mechanical stress and vibrations greater than 10 million repetitions. These results also enabled it to receive the first DNV GL certification for gasket sealing technology.
– Unlike Spiral Wound and Kammprofile gaskets, the non-resilient design of the DeltaV-Seal never requires any re-torquing after installation. The elimination of re-torquing enables the seal and flange to offer a longer, maintenance-free, life span.
Jarle Ribler, Chief Technical Officer, Pipeotech
How does it work?
When forces from the mating flanges are applied to the sealing rings, the sharp edges of the rings perfectly adapts to the imperfections of the mating flange surface, creating a perfect gas-tight seal.
The DeltaV-Seal does not degrade or change properties while in operation, eliminating residue from building up, as well as the need for flange cleaning. It effectively lasts as long as the piping network it joins together.
As clients continue to invest in the implementation of the DeltaV-Seal, adjustments are made to the design to accommodate new applications. Regardless of a client's requirements, the DeltaV-Seal continues to prove its value through superior sealing performance, structural integrity, versatility, and ease of operation.
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