Home » What is the life span of a check valve?
Check valves are present in a great many plumbing systems because countless applications need fluid to flow in only one direction. Being able to rely on a check valve that is resistant, reliable and able to guarantee a long life cycle is therefore fundamental. But what do we mean by the life span of a check valve? And how can it be determined?
When speaking about the life span of a check valve, it is evident that we are reasoning in terms of movement cycles.
The valve starts working according to the pressure of the material being transported, no matter whether water, air or an industrial liquid. The flow control disc — the mobile part of the valve — uses the difference in pressure between the inlet and the outlet to allow or block the passage of the material.
When the downstream pressure exceeds the upstream pressure, the flow control disc opens to let the material flow in the direction indicated on the valve body; in the opposite situation, the flow control disc remains in its seat and the valve stays closed.
Movement frequency depends on the application, and it is this aspect which determines the valve life span.
As a result, in cases of heavy-duty use, it is a good idea to use valves that have been studied ad hoc with special technical expedients that guarantee maintenance of the operation parameters even in the presence of continual movement. An important thing to consider, though, is that the quality of the different valve components is already an optimal guarantee of product duration.
The use of a material such as steel, for example, with its resistance to corrosion, is certainly an additional value. This is also true for the seal rings, whose type should be selected according to the chemical characteristics of the liquid being transported, the temperatures and the working pressure.
There are duration or “operation cycle” tests that help determine the number of times the valve can open or close while still guaranteeing optimal operation.
We mechanically tested all our Idrja check valves, repeatedly opening and closing them: the results obtained demonstrated that our product can be opened and closed (activations) about 200,000 times, a number that undoubtedly represents an estimated life span of more than 10 – 15 years of operation in conditions of normal use.
There are applications, however, where check valves are required to open and close more, so Mondeo developed the AC version of the Small and Idrja valves, which can resist up to 500,000 activations.