Graham Johnson, EMEA Product Manager for Parker Veriflo Ultra High Purity Fluoropolymer Valves, looks at the benefits of two point seal valves for semiconductor applications.
The corrosive nature of high concentration acids and bases, clear chemistries and slurries used in semiconductor applications mean that pneumatic valves specified for these applications need to be particularly robust.Increased lifespan
When a single seal is used, it can lead to a limited lifespan of the valve, due to rapid deterioration of the premier seal faces caused by constantly being exposed to chemicals and slurries.
It was against this background that Parker developed its 22 Series valves which feature two point seals. It is a labyrinth type seal with one seal inside the other seal.
It has been proven that having a back-up seal improves the integrity of the valve and therefore its lifespan. Rigorous in-house laboratory tests showed that the 2 point seal when slurry tested could withstand over 2.1 million cycles. It was also tested with hydrochloric and sulphuric acid and achieved over 2.1 million cycles. With clean chemicals or water, it was found to deliver over 3 million cycles. It also underwent rigorous temperature cycle tests.
Fig 1. Parker's Ultra High Purity Fluoropolymer Valve, 22 Series.Improved seal integrity
As a result of these tests, two point seals were found to deliver greater seal integrity over the entire cycle life of the valve in slurry applications. Parker currently has a patent pending for a dual point seal, as this is an industry first.
Fig 2. Patent-pending two point seal. Finite Element Analysis.Improved safety - unique lock-out tag-out (LOTO) design
With increased safety requirements within a semiconductor fab, lock-out tag-out (LOTO) requirements are needed for system work. This feature is not widely available in the industry for any size of valve. The 22 Series is as industry first in offering this feature as standard on its valves. The designs are unique in preventing the mis-application of the LOTO feature, by not allowing the valve to be locked in the open position.
Fig 3. Parker's unique LOTO feature, Ultra High Purity Fluoropolymer Valve, 22 Series.Full flow in a compact design
In semiconductor applications, it is also important that a valve is able to deliver full flow within a compact design, therefore achieving optimum flow-through and space efficiency. The 22 Series manual and pneumatic valves were designed to achieve a better flow characteristic throughout its design.
The semiconductor industry continues to seek valves which offer long cycle life in acids. Valves that are able to offer extended cycle life and design optimisation for slurry applications are an appealing choice for Chemical Mechanical Planarization (CMP) equipment because of their durability and performance.
Graham Johnson is Product Manager, Downstream Analytical, Parker Hannifin, Instrumentation Products Division Europe
Jim Breeze, product manager, Instrumentation Connectors and Process Valves for Parker Hannifin, looks at how a clever, inexpensive innovation can help prevent fitting leakage and failure.
In all industrial processes it is important to ensure that equipment is properly installed and maintained to avoid unplanned stoppages. Often, it is the simplest of oversites that can result in expensive downtime, although there are more serious consequences associated with failure such as blow outs, which have the potential to compromise the safety of the workforce.Non-bottomed tubing can result in leakage.
From our extensive experience in the field we know that non-bottomed tubing is a major factor that can result in leakage and potentially failure of a fitting. This can cause a real safety issue as there is the danger that the tubing can blow out, releasing high pressure hot or caustic process fluid into the immediate environment. It was because of this that we developed a gauge that would give engineers a visual indication of whether the tubing had been correctly installed.Preventing under and over-tightening of the nut.
Our gauge is simple to use – it is safe and reliable – but, more importantly, it ensures that installation is right first time, every time. It allows the end user to check that the correct turns of the nut are made and can also ensure that the tube is fully bottomed within the fitting. It does this through the use of a depth marker which makes a polished line on the tubing. Once the nut has been tightened 1 ¼ turns from finger tight, the line will be visible above the nut.
Fig. 1. Parker PT Inspection Gauge
The gauge not only allows the end user to check that the correct turns of the nut have been made, ensuring that it is not under or over-tightened, but also ensures that the tube is properly bottomed in the fitting. All the user needs to do is insert the gauge lip, shown as (A) under the nut and the tube mark (B) should be in line with the polished line. This proves that the tubing has remained fully bottomed through the installation process.Ensuring the safety of personnel.
Simple and effective, gauges such as this ensure the safety of personnel working in the immediate vicinity of the process, whilst avoiding unnecessary downtime and lost production through failure or leakage of the connection. Parker Gauges are definitely worth considering if you are looking for a tube fitting solution that offers greater safety and security, whilst extending Mean Time Before Failure (MTBF).
Fig. 2. Correct verification of tube bottoming
Jim Breeze is product manager, Instrumentation Connections and Process Valves, Instrumentation Products Division Europe.
Alex McDiarmid, Design Engineer at Parker, Instrumentation Products Division Europe in Sheffield, has recently been shortlisted for the British Engineering Excellence Awards ‘Design Engineer of the Year’.
Alex joined the business in 2014 and has a BEng Degree and Masters Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Sheffield. Engineering Manager in Sheffield Chris Brown, recognised his talents and put him forward for the award, after Alex’s success in designing a range of high pressure cryogenic valves for the marine fuel industry.
The challenge was made even greater as Alex had to ensure the range was completed to meet a tight deadline with the launch of the valves planned for a major international gas exhibition in Australia. Alex ensured that components across the range were standardised, cost effective and designed to be efficiently manufactured in Sheffield.
Here we find out a bit more about Alex, what it means to him to be shortlisted and why he is so proud of his profession.Take us back, what made you first want to become a design engineer?
"When I was young, I thought I wanted to be an architect but this was before I knew what an engineer did. In school, Design & Technology was by far my best subject. I found that the design process and practical skills came easy to me. I bought a car when I was 13 years’ old (Mk 1 Ford Fiesta) for £50 and enjoyed restoring it. I think this was the turning point when I realised I liked fixing and creating things.
I attended an engineering course when I was 14 years’ old at Sheffield University; this lasted a week and gave me much more of an insight into the world of engineering. After this I went full steam ahead and started stripping everything down I could lay my hands on: clocks, scooters, washing machines to name a few. I later went on to study for my degree in engineering at Sheffield University."What do you enjoy most about being a design engineer?
"As a Design Engineer, you look at things in a different way to the average person on the street... you’re interested in what is happening inside materials and machines, how they interact when the conditions change, like putting a force on them or applying heat. You also develop what I call ‘engineering intuition’ and I enjoy the challenge of putting my theories into action! I like creating things. Sometimes from scratch and sometimes from existing equipment - each has different challenges..."What did you think when you were put forward for this award?
"Chris, our Engineering Manager, has always pushed me to achieve in all aspects of my role, so I was really pleased when he put me forward for the award. He has always trusted my decisions with regards to design and reason and it is a big compliment to even be considered. I was over the moon when I found out I’d been shortlisted. I work as part of a team, though, and I really do think the whole of our engineering department deserves to be recognised."Do you still get involved in any engineering projects in your spare time too?
"I haven’t had much spare time lately... I have spent the last year renovating my house, and got married last month, so everything else has taken a back seat!
Riding my motorbike is my favourite thing to do on a sunny day and fixing it up, when I need to, so yes, my life revolves around engineering both in and out of work."
"Very much so, I feel it is a very honest, down-to-earth profession because, let’s face it, it affects everybody from opening the fridge door in the morning to driving in a car to work. Engineering has moved the world forward so much in the last 150 years. As a design engineer, you are bettering society and helping people in everyday life. Obviously it depends what product and industry you work in but engineers are responsible for everything we know and love in this world, from cars to instruments to space exploration..... the list is endless.
Mechanical engineering design is a very vast and broad part of engineering, which gives lots of variety. This is what I like and it means no two days are the same. Using technology every day to design different things is really exciting."Does technology play an important part these days in your role?
"Technology is part of everyday life as a design engineer. We use 3D modelling and CAD packages, Finite Element Analysis (FEA) for loads and stress simulations, Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) for simulating fluid behaviour, Mathematical software packages for doing complex calculations and that is just as a mechanical design engineer. You could look at electrical systems and processes, thermal stress, super conductors and nuclear... all engineers use more and more complex technology to create things. Engineering is a very exciting industry at the moment!"Do you think you have inspired anyone to get involved in engineering?
"I’ve worked with a number of schools on engineering challenges, like ‘Get up to Speed’, where it’s all about giving young people an insight into being an engineer. The team I supported most recently from Bradfield School in Sheffield achieved first place amongst all the schools in South Yorkshire region. I have also mentoring apprentices in our engineering department in Sheffield.
I always try and give young people an insight into engineering, so they can appreciate the wide range of opportunities there are. There is so much more information out there these days for young people than there was when I was young, which makes life easier for them to get into the industry. I enjoy passing on the insight and knowledge I have gained to the engineers of the future."Congratulations Alex and good luck for the British Engineering Excellence Awards finals on 6th October!
Choice of the correct material based on corrosion resistance, process fluid, temperature and cost is essential. This can be discussed with the Parker team, including a highly experienced Metallurgist, so the best solution is chosen. It is particularly critical when H2S is present within the process as this can exacerbate stress corrosion cracking.
Mixing of materials can exacerbate corrosion or reduce the longevity of the system. When this is the only available option then consideration must be given to their differing temperature and pressure ratings and how these will impact on the integrity of the system.
The material and positioning of tubing clamps should be well considered during a design to ensure that the clamps themselves are corrosion resistant, cause no abrasion to the tube and are positioned such that water is free draining.Step 7 – Fugitive Emissions
When project applications require the use of FE (Fugitive Emission) valves, the customer should ensure that the requirement for TAMAP 2 is written into the specification at an early stage.
H2S can cause embrittlement and therefore single piece valves, which avoid the use of welded connections, such as Parkers range of FE valves, will provide added security within the system.
Designs where fugitive emissions are critical need additional consideration with respect to the reduction of potential leak paths, again integral fitting technology removes both NPT connections, which are subject to stress corrosion cracking and embrittlement within the threads.Step 8 – Material Storage
The correct handling and storage of tube prior to installation is important. If the tube is stored externally or dragged around, it may harm the integrity of the product. The tube may pick up water and contamination/corrosion, scratches and even lose its roundness and become oval. Tube should be stored inside, off the floor, on racks to remove all these potential issues. The system should be dry air purged prior to connection to any sensitive equipment.Step 9 – Installation
Tube Cutting, Deburring and Control
The tube should be cut with a sharp bladed hacksaw and the material of the blade should be of a high quality. Cutting should be carried out in a sawing vice – it is recommended to use a specific tube cutter. The best advice is to remove any visible burrs inside and out using a tube deburring tool. Wipe clean when the cut is complete and make sure no swarf has entered the tube by cleaning with dry air. Parker can supply pre-cut tube lengths if required.
Tube benders should be procured from the fittings manufacturer to ensure high bending quality and accuracy. The tube bender should be of 316SS material because carbon steel tube benders are likely to leave a residue of material on harder tube compounds, which is likely be a starting point for corrosion.
A Gap Gauge should be used to check the correct installation of the tube into the fitting prior to final system testing.Step 10 – Training
It is recommended that site installers undertake at least basic training on the installation of tube and fittings from a company approved by the fittings supplier. Parker Sales Companies and many of its local distributors worldwide can provide the Small Bore Tubing Expert (SBEx) training. This is now the norm in the North Sea, although lots of other regions have not yet implemented this. However, all end customers are underlining the importance of safety first.
This training covers both the theoretical and hands-on procedure for the correct installation of fittings and all connection aspects, as well as correct tube bending procedures. This comes with an accredited passport confirming that the person concerned has undertaken the training and it is still valid. This training is valid for 2 years and can be delivered by Parker approved trainers.
Deborah Pollard is Specifications Manager, North Sea, Instrumentation Products Division Europe, Parker Hannifin
Here are some essential steps to help ensure your instrumentation tube and fittings system is as safe as possible.Step 1 – Consult the manufacturer
One of the main causes of multiple leaks in an instrumentation tube and fittings system is poor design and installation. It therefore makes sense to give careful consideration to this aspect of the system at the Front End Engineering Design (FEED) stage to reduce the risk of potential issues arising later in the project.
Seeking technical advice from the manufacturer at the early stages of a project also ensures that best practice is followed. This applies to all large industrial projects which require high pressures, chemicals and high standards of safety, including oil & gas, power generation, chemical and petrochemical, high purity and automotive.
This consultation with the manufacturer also ensures that the most efficient and cost effective design can be chosen for the project. Last minute design changes often lead to additional expense and delays. A thorough review of design and installation allows for a safer system, limiting potential leaks and situations hazardous to installers and operational personnel.
Historically, designs often have long tubing runs with multiple fittings along the route, however current best practice is to utilise direct mounting and close coupled solutions wherever possible, thus saving on both equipment and installation costs.Step 2 – Standardisation
Standardisation also needs to be considered at an early stage in the project. This enables the engineering team to work more closely with the chosen supplier, thus multiple revisions of designs from generic to project specific are no longer required.
It avoids common mistakes, too, for instance standardisation on metric or imperial sizing avoids mixing materials, which could be potentially damaging to the product. The material choice should also be discussed with Parker’s Metallurgist so the best solution for the project is chosen, based on corrosion resistance, process fluid, temperature and cost.
Standardisation together with good design can improve the lifetime of the system and, where required, produce a safer, faster, easier maintenance procedure.
Industry has reached the conclusion that the use of NPT threads is an outdated method for interconnection of fittings to valves, manifolds and instruments, due to over or under tightening and stress corrosion cracking. Close Coupled Solutions have been found to be much more effective, as they remove potential leak paths.
Direct mounting of transmitters and gauges to Manifolds and Monoflanges, which also use integral A-LOK® twin ferrule fitting technology, removes the requirement for NPT threads in most applications.
Using an integrated double block and bleed valve solution, such as the HiPro Double Block and Bleed, and Monoflange, compacts multiple valves into a single integrated unit and using integral A-LOK® twin ferrule technology removes further potential leaks.Step 4 – Quality control, testing and certification
High levels of quality control are required within the industry to ensure a safe product. Consulting with the manufacturer before specifying the design, inspection and testing requirements, such as HCT traceability, PMI testing and 3.1 certification, will ensure the correct tests are incorporated into the supply chain and they are suitable and necessary for the application. Over or incorrect specification of the testing requirements can add unnecessary cost and delays to a project.Step 5 – Temperature and pressure rating
Consultation with the product manufacturer with respect to the tube and fittings required to meet with your design pressures and temperatures can save on time and cost. Ideally components within a tubing system should be of the same material and pressure rating. The tube MUST be the lowest rated component and determines the pressure rating of the system. Only use annealed high quality seamless tube – see Parker’s recommendation on our tubing chart.
Parker Grade tube will provide all the correct specifications and the company guarantees the complete system when a complete range of its products are used. For all applications, derating will be applied to the material based on the system temperature, in addition to the process temperature, ambient temperatures particularly on facilities in areas of extreme temperatures flux can be greatly affected. Not only should the pressure and temperature ratings be considered for tube and fittings, but also for the valves and manifolds.
Deborah Pollard is Specifications Manager, North Sea, Instrumentation Products Division Europe, Parker Hannifin
The zenith of rubber material technology is in perfluoroelastomer compounds, also known as FFKM. Sometimes considered the rubber version of PTFE, a perfluoroelastomer contains a fully fluorinated polymer back-bone and a proprietary cure system. These traits allow FFKM to achieve outstanding chemical resistance and excellent heat stability, perfect for Oil & Gas, Aerospace, Chemical Processing, and Heavy Duty Truck applications.
The nature of FFKM material also allows for extremely clean manufacturing, making many compounds highly suitable for use in the cleanest environments of semiconductor and pharmaceutical processing. Parker ULTRA compounds are perfluoroelastomer materials tailored for specific applications to make the best use of FFKM’s excellent traits. Some of the most unique and exceptional Parker ULTRA materials are discussed below.Best chemical resistance
Choosing the right seal for aggressive chemical media like steam and amines can be a difficult process. These chemistries can cause degradation in most elastomers, causing seal failure. Luckily, Parker ULTRA compounds FF580 and FF582 compounds offer best in class chemical resistance allowing for continuous operation in the toughest media. These are 75 and 90 durometer formulations which have excellent compatibility with a variety of media including best in class base and steam resistance along with many other aggressive media types. Both compounds have outstanding compression set resistance and a maximum operating temperature of 275°C.Best thermal stability
When the toughest system condition is high operating temperature and long life is desired, Parker ULTRA FF200 is recommended. Outstanding heat resistance and impressive compression set resistance allows the FF200 to seal continuously at temperatures of 320°C. As a standard FFKM, FF200 also offers good chemical resistance to organic and inorganic acids, ketones, and a variety of other media. The FF200 material is also on the qualified products list for AMS 7257 making it the ideal choice for many Aerospace engine applications.Best low temperature performance
Traditional FFKM materials have always offered great chemical and heat resistance but have typically lacked low temperature capabilities. The standard FFKM lower operating limit is -15°C. One of the most impressive Parker ULTRA compounds is the FF400, which offers unparalleled low temperature service compared to standard perfluoroelastomer materials. With the FF400 compound, temperatures as low as -40°C can be achieved, making this the ULTRA compound of choice when chemical resistance and high temperature service is needed in combination with low operating temperatures.Best plasma performance and high cleanliness
Semiconductor applications can be challenging systems for elastomers due to the high degree of cleanliness required in addition to the very aggressive chemistries necessary to process silicon wafers. These traits have historically been at odds; extremely clean materials tend to erode rapidly in aggressive plasma chemistries while plasma resistant elastomers tend to run the risk of higher process contamination due to metallic content. Parker has pushed the limits on compounding technology to develop ULTRA FF302, offering excellent etch resistance in oxygen and fluorine plasmas while maintaining extremely low metals content. The FF302 provides robust sealing against CF4, NF3, O2, and O3 plasmas and has a continuous operating temperature of 315°C. The low metallic ion content and best in class extractables ensure that the FF302 will not contaminate sensitive processes. For more information on the FF302 compound, please click here for the bulletin.Why Parker ULTRA?
Extreme environments require the most advanced sealing technology available. Whether it is high or low temperature, aggressive media, or a high degree of cleanliness, Parker ULTRA compounds offer a solution for each. Parker’s rubber chemists are continually working on new developments to help push the boundaries of what is capable in elastomeric technology. Another benefit to Parker ULTRA materials is their availability. Parts can be produced quickly to help meet production needs. Due to the unique nature of perfluoroelastomer materials, standard gland design is typically not well suited for extreme conditions. Parker Application Engineers can help with seal design to ensure good design practices are put in place. For particularly challenging applications and for more direction on choosing a sealing material, please contact a Parker Applications Engineer via online chat or email, or by calling 859-335-5101.
Tareq Abdelrazek, our Specification Manager for the Middle East & North Africa, discusses the issue of standardisation on large industrial projects.
Oil and gas procurement can be an extremely sophisticated process due the multitude of strict regulations, rigorous working conditions faced by all assets. Tenders for major projects can be extremely challenging, in order to ensure that the end client achieves the most efficient and cost effective solution. However, there is one major area that is often overlooked and that relates to standardisation.
In today’s market, project sizes are continually increasing. What we would consider a ‘mega’ project five years ago is now a medium size one. As a result, most oil and gas companies decide to split these jobs into different packages resulting in the involvement of several EPCs (Engineering Procurement and Construction) on a single project. Add to that the number of new suppliers that have emerge in the last ten years and you find yourself in a difficult environment to implement standardization.
For example, if a project does not specify ‘single source supplier’ for specialist areas, such as instrumentation compression fittings, then there is a danger these will be chosen from a combination of different manufacturers. If this is the case, then the end customer may find that their project is being put at risk.Why it’s good practice to state single source instrumentation supply in the specification?
Although instrumentation tube fittings represent a very small volume on a project, they have always been considered critical components of a safe system. The dangers resulting from a failing connection can be devastating in terms of human injuries, infrastructure damage or loss of production. These dangers are even greater today as the industry requires higher working pressures in more lethal environments such as sour services with increasing H2S content.
Guaranteed assets performance
There are many advantages to standardizing when it comes to essential components, such as instrumentation compression fittings. Firstly, it avoids the risk of mixing different manufacturers’ products and here, the different specifications, materials and flow rates, may affect performance of the asset even though they may be manufactured to the same industry standard. Many don’t realise that multi-sourcing on critical assets can potentially compromise the safety of the whole project.
Sourcing from a single supplier will mean that all the components within the system will have been tested to the required standard and because of this they will be able to supply documented evidence of this. If just one of these components are then sourced from another supplier, for example by a sub-contractor on site, it means that the test results are no longer valid. In this industry, where safety and performance are critical, there are definite benefits to partnering with a supplier that can supply a complete range of components, backed up by test data. Where, for example a system is required to be NORSOK certified it may be a mandatory requirement to source from a single, specialist company and compromising this could have serious consequences.
Lower stock inventory
Another major benefit for the end user is that if fittings are selected on a project from a single manufacturer then there are lower stock inventory requirements. This helps the customer to reduce the risk of mixing different manufacturers components on site as well as keep stock levels down, making it more cost effective in the long term.
Thirdly, standardization means it delivers a more consistent quality throughout the project. The end customer is guaranteed the performance of these projects by the manufacturer, providing extra reassurance and peace of mind.
Economies of scale
Another very good reason to stick with single source supply for fittings is due to the benefits the customer can gain in terms of economies of scale. By supplying a larger volume of components, manufacturers like Parker Hannifin, can deliver a more cost effective solution.
Tailor made solutions
When a single supplier is specified it ensures that the instrumentation manufacturer can provide a completely tailor made solution. The supplier therefore takes greater ownership of a project, providing a completely dedicated service with much greater benefits to the end customer. A supplier with a global approach and network can then help the end user to implement its standardization specification throughout the entire project via any package vendor.
Consider, too, that there are many difficulties with sourcing from multiple suppliers because it can be very challenging for end customers to keep track of the components that are being installed on site, especially where there are several sites over large geographical areas.
Without customers carrying out rigorous, continuous checks throughout the process, there is no way of knowing that quality fittings are fully tested and guaranteed to work together, when they are sourced from multiple suppliers. It is very much in the hands of individual engineers, some of which may not have been audited, assessed and approved by the end customer, therefore putting the whole project at risk.Protecting the integrity of projects
There are a number of approaches that could be taken by the end customer to protect the integrity of their project.
Specifying single source supply
First and most importantly, as mentioned, the customer should specify single source supply in their specification. This does not mean, necessarily, mentioning a manufacturer by name, but just to be clear that whichever manufacturer is selected, they will be the sole supplier of the complete fitting solution.
Often there are 10 or more approved vendors on a supplier list for oil and gas projects. This can potentially mean that there could be 10 or more manufacturers on site, leading to issues with quality and control. Good practice suggests that having 3-4 manufacturers on an approved supplier list provides enough choice to ensure that competitive approach, but with less risk of intermixing of fittings.
The EPCs will usually issue a tender at the early stages of a project as part of a framework agreement. The onus is on the customer to ensure that this is implemented right down the chain, specifying single source supply and ensuring this is recognised and understood by all sub contractors. There should also be controls and methods of checking in place down the line to assess this. A transparent and collaborative system always works best as it means the manufacturer can work with the package vendor to deliver exactly what is specified. This usually leads to good collaborative working where all parties are clearly focused on delivering a robust and compliant solution.
Maximising safety and reducing risks
Single source supply does not only make commercial sense too. Safety is paramount in the oil and gas industry and there could be potentially huge risks from intermixing of components from different manufacturers, which could compromise the integrity of the project. Only by specifying single source supply of fittings at the start of the project, combined with robust checking procedures, will customers be able to ensure that the practice of intermixing is ruled out in the industry. The ultimate beneficiary will be the oil and gas operators who will be assured they have effective high performance products that maximise safety and reduce risks.
Tareq Abdelrazek is Specification Manager, Middle East & North Africa, Parker Hannifin, Instrumentation Products Division Europe
In the second part of this post, Brigitte Pennington, Product Leader at Parker Conflow looks at methods of reducing the effects of Respirable Crystalline Silica (RCS) and how to implement a successful dust reduction programme.Wet dust suppression.
One of the methods of reducing the effects of RCS is through wet dust suppression, which prevents fine dust particles becoming airborne by trapping it in water. Water sprays as part of dust suppression systems are one of the most effective ways of controlling RCS.
With dust suppression, the aim is to prevent dust escaping from its source, collect it and contain it - this is usually done through spraying mechanisms. Parker Conflow's dust suppression systems use water which is sprayed onto the source of the dust escaping and is usually done at the point of extraction or crushing. This ensures that the respirable sized particles are wetted and entrapped by the water droplets.Chemical and solenoid valve dust suppression.
Alternatives to water are chemical suppression and solenoid valve dust suppression. Chemical dust suppression can be expensive and the dosage of chemical must be accurate at all times to be effective. This can add significantly to the overall overhead of a quarry.
A solenoid valve dust suppression system requires a power source and regular maintenance.Parker Conflow's water dust suppression range.
The Parker Conflow water dust suppression system is mechanical and requires no use of power and is therefore inexpensive to run.
The principle behind our dust suppression range is that the dust agglomerates with the water, causing it to fall under gravity. However, it is not just a question of providing a water spray. If the water droplets are too large then the airborne dust particles are just moved around in the resulting air currents and very little dust is removed from the air. Too much water also means a very soggy working environment. For the dust to be removed from the air, the water particles need to be of a similar size which means a collision between dust particle and water droplet is more likely.
Image 1. Spray control valve, code 100
The design of spray head is therefore of paramount importance in ensuring the right volume and size of water droplets is delivered. With dust suppression droplet size is less important.
Our engineers are continually working with quarries and equipment manufacturers to improve and develop new products to protect equipment and personnel from the harmful effects of airborne dust. Parker Conflow is in the process of working together with OEMs to provide a value added system to prevent and control dust. Environmental and Health and Safety legislation is becoming tighter and therefore these solutions are becoming more important. Not only does it make sense from an employee health point of view, but also commercially too – it means less equipment downtime, lower employee healthcare costs and better community relations. Dust suppression systems can be retrofitted to any existing installation and assuming there is an adequate supply of water, the system can be operational in a matter of a couple of hours.Where should the dust suppression system be placed?
The Parker Conflow Dust Suppression System can be installed where the primary and secondary crushers are located as well as alongside the conveyors. Rain systems can be placed around the stock piles and stackers for dust prevention.
Water suppression is often used to control dust from compressive crushers, which produce dust, providing that the moisture content of the product does not cause an issue at a later stage in the process.
Another area where dust issues can arise is on roadways within quarries, particularly during dry weather. Again this is an area where mechanical dust suppression can be used to reduce the issue of RCS.
For any dust reduction programme to be successful it requires:
Innovation in dust suppression systems means that quarry owners can reduce risks to workers and to a business and ensure they are fully compliant with Health and Safety regulations.All Parker Conflow's dust suppression systems are bespoke to the application.
The first step is to evaluate and fully understand the requirements of what the dust suppression system needs to achieve, then we provide customers with a full site audit evaluation.
The evaluation means that our engineering team can determine the design of the system with the optimum number of spray bars and appropriate size of nozzles, which determines the size of the droplets that we need to disperse into the dust. It can also be designed into the system if a pump and a tank is required due to insufficient water pressure, as well as being low maintenance and very efficient.
Effective dust suppression makes sense both from a production and a health and safety point of view. It is an issue that no quarry can afford to ignore and is essential to being a responsible operator, reducing risks and remaining compliant.
See Parker Conflow demonstrating dust suppression and filtration products, suitable for operating in harsh, dusty quarry environments, at Hillhead 2016, 28-30th June, stand W9.
Brigitte Pennington is Product Leader at Parker Conflow, Instrumentation Products Division Europe.
Safety is vital in quarries and cement plants and dust inhalation can be a major problem. Responsible quarries are taking notice of HSE guidance and implementing dust suppression systems to reduce risks associated with Respirable Crystalline Silica (RCS). The European guidance document - "Good Practice Guide on Workers’ Health Protection through the Good Handling and use of Crystalline Silica and products containing it", made a significant impact on raising awareness of the issue of RCS and its impact on workers. Does your workplace comply with the exposure limits for RCS? What does it take for a dust reduction programme to be successful?What is Respirable Crystalline Silica (RCS)?
RCS is found in varying proportions in stone, rocks, sands and clays. Exposure to RCS over time has been found to cause hardening of the lung tissue, leading to impairment of lung function. This is known as Silicosis, which is characterised by a severe shortness of breath causing sufferers to sometimes find it difficult even to walk short distances. The condition is so debilitating that it continues to worsen even after exposure has stopped - and it is irreversible. A link has also been proven between exposure to silica and the occurrence of lung cancer. Anyone with silicosis also has an increased risk of contracting a range of other diseases, including kidney inflammation, tuberculosis and arthritis.
Different types of stone contain varying levels of silica – ranging from sandstone, which is almost pure quartz at 70% to limestone and chalk at around 2%.What are the exposure limits for RCS?
As well as being compliant with the EU guidance, quarries also need to operate within the specific requirements of the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations 2002.
In the UK, the workplace exposure limit (WEL) for RCS is 0.1 mg/m3 – which is expressed as an eight hour time weighted average (TWA). The Workplace Exposure Limit (WEL) applies only to the respirable fraction of the silica dust. This means the portion of dust that reaches the deepest parts of the lungs – which is said to be around 10-20% of the total inhalable dust. In industries such as limestone, where silica content is low, exposure levels to RCS may well be below the WEL. However, the quarry still needs to ensure that the amount of inhalable dust does not exceed 10 mg/m3 over an eight hour period and exposure to respirable dust should not exceed 4 mg/m3.
Anyone operating or managing a quarry is required, under guidance from the Health and Safety Executive to reduce the exposure of staff, contractors and those living close to a plant with silica dust generated by their operations.
Exposure to RCS is governed by the following factors:
Risk assessments should be carried out for each job or range of tasks. This includes:
Regulation 7 of COSHH requires that employers have a duty of care to prevent exposure of employees to RCS, or to ensure this is adequately controlled.The smaller the dust particle size, the more hazardous.
Dust particle size is measured in microns and is typically of a size between 50-70 microns.There are, of course, dust particles larger than this (which tend to settle in the immediate vicinity of whatever is generating the dust), and dust particles smaller than this. It has been shown that dust particles of 20 microns or less can remain airborne for a very long time and can find their way onto and into machinery, into lungs, and also into areas outside of the mine itself.
Dust particles less than 10 microns in size are invisible to the naked eye and can remain suspended in the air indefinitely. Generally, the smaller the particle size, the more hazardous it is to health and equipment. Also the smaller the particle size the harder it is to remove from the atmosphere.
See Parker Conflow demonstrating dust suppression and filtration products, suitable for operating in harsh, dusty quarry environments, at Hillhead 2016, 28-30th June, stand W9.
Energy companies are seeking to recover oil and gas from ever deeper offshore locations and the cost of retrieving subsea equipment for routine maintenance, repair or overhaul is escalating even further.
In response, some OEMs are starting to fit wire locks to instrumentation tube fittings for deep sea applications, primarily to ensure that the fitting is secure and has not been tampered with or undergone any mechanical change since installation.
Unfortunately, wire locking is not without its disadvantages. It involves the use of pre-drilled parts and is only suitable for some types of fittings. The wire that is used is normally stainless steel, which is sharp and difficult to manipulate without using a special tool.
The biggest downside of wire locking is its cost. Correct installation demands skill and is time consuming. On a typical subsea christmas tree containing large amounts of instrumentation tube compression fittings, this can easily account for tens of hours of extra assembly time.Unique ‘fit-and-forget’ solution
There is now a highly cost-effective alternative to wire locking for two-ferrule instrumentation tube fittings.
The clamp is about five times stronger than a wire lock, can be fitted in minutes and is equally suitable for new and retrofit applications. It is also ideal for replacing existing wire locks during standard MRO operations – the wire merely needs to be removed first.
Parker’s WireFree locking clamp is fabricated almost entirely from 6Mo stainless steel for superb corrosion resistance, with an open construction that minimizes crevices.Quick and easy installation
Supplied pre-assembled as a single part, WireFree is particularly simple to install. It comprises one or more flexible clamp arms with pre-attached rigid support plates, depending on configuration. The support plates incorporate self-retaining M4 socket head cap screws and Spiralock self-locking thread technology.
For example, to lock both compression nuts on a standard 90˚ elbow fitting, the installer simply places the clamp arms around the nuts and tightens a single securing screw to the recommended torque.
No modification, realignment or disassembly of the fitting is involved and the entire installation process typically takes less than two minutes.Main features:
Parker believes that its new WireFree locking clamps offer an ideal solution for OEMs seeking a more reliable and cost-effective alternative to wire locking instrumentation tube compression fittings on deep sea equipment. They are also likely to prove popular for topside equipment prone to vibration, such as compressors and hydraulic power units.
Jim Breeze is Products Manager, Instrumentation Connections and Process Valves, Parker Hannifin, Instrumentation Products Division Europe.