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Technical Articles

4 Reasons Not To Use Butterfly Valve When Handling Dry Material

Published
May 5, 2015
Technical Articles

4 Reasons Not To Use Butterfly Valve When Handling Dry Material

Published
May 5, 2015
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1. Not Designed for Dry Material

Butterfly valves are not designed to handle dry bulk solids. They were designed for gas and liquid applications. The abrasiveness of dry bulk solids erodes away on butterfly valves to the point where they no longer properly seal and need to be replaced.

2. Disk Impedes Material Flow Stream

The butterfly valve design places the valve’s disc right in the middle of the material flow stream in pneumatic conveying and gravity applications. This can create a significant flow restriction and many engineers design the entire conveying system with larger piping to accommodate this blockage in the valve.

Butterfly disk is in material flow stream

3. Difficulty Displacing Dry Materials

The soft seals of a butterfly valve can promote another problem. The soft seals allow the disc or blade to produce a bubble-tight seal when located in the closed position. Due to the characteristics of dry solids, the material cannot be displaced like a gas or liquid. Overtime, the constant opening and closing will cause the seals erode and tear. Eventually, this will prevent the butterfly valve from creating a tight seal.

Material packs between seal and wall

Valve leaks due to the eroded seal

4. Soft Seals are Exposed to Material

The seals on a butterfly valve is also susceptible to blast abrasion from the material flow stream. This is not an issue when handling gas and liquids. But with dry bulk solids, this causes additional wear points and eventual leakage of material and/or conveying pressure through the valve, even when the valve is in the closed position. In a powder handling application, particles tend to migrate through the stem of the butterfly valve causing the valve to seize.

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