While many direct mount ball valves are steam rated, they are not recommended as an actuated valve package in a steam application. The reason for this is rather simple, though not always readily apparent. Delivering clean, dry steam from point A to point B while maintaining high pressure is tricky enough without having the seats or seals in your automated valves blowing out.
316 Stainless Steel for Valve Steam Applications
Rather than employ a direct mount valve, and run the risk of critical valve failure, it's a much wiser idea to keep the actuator as far away from the steam's origin as possible. This serves to help prevent migrating heat from overheating the valve's stem and other internal components. Regardless of how you set up your steam line, this is a universal truth that must be considered. Again, while many valves are steam rated, not all of them are truly up to the job. Rather than use a direct mount valve, it's better to use a 3pc 316 Stainless Steel ball valve rated for higher pressures of 250psi or greater. This particular valve typically will incorporate special steam seats and a thermal relief tapping to allow pressure equalization across the valve. Our extensive catalog addresses this issue by making the proper steam valve package for both pneumatic and electric actuators easy to find and understand. Our steam valve packages come readily supplied with mounting brackets designed to keep the valve away from the hottest steam. It should be noted, too, that installing the actuator at a 45° or 90°angle is preferable. This also serves to help reduce the impact of the steam. Protecting your distribution network presents peculiar problems when your media is steam. Simultaneously you must keep the steam at a fairly even temperature and pressure while protecting expensive valves and other sensitive equipment. This often calls for a reduction in pressure but also for a higher valve integrity--steam can be extremely corrosive, and steam under pressure can be dangerous.
Where to Buy the Proper Actuator Packages
Steam lines and valve steam applications are finicky. It's not an easy media to work with, and valve placement, as well as valve integrity, is critical. If you are in the market for either pneumatic or electric actuated ball valves for a steam line application, come to us first. We're ValveMan.com. We've been in the industrial valve business for over 50 years and offer an extensive line of valves and valve related products. We know about valve steam applications because we only deal in valves. That's all we sell. It's simply what we do, and we do it better than anyone else. If you enjoyed this article, you might also like, Why Choose A Bonomi Ball Valve?