The marketplace for polyethylene and polypropylene is highly competitive even amidst growing demand. Processors involved in polymerization of these chemicals increasingly need to find ways to improve process efficiency and run times providing competitive advantage in a market where profit and loss can be measured in cents on the ton.
Reliable valves and services for polyolefins and polymers processing
Overcoming high cycle rate and polymer residue
Valves used in certain types of polymerization processes, such are fluidized bed gas reactors, are typically cycled from 200,000 to 400,000 times annually, often at fairly quick rate of 2-3 seconds. With high cycle rate and speeds comes considerable stress and demand on both the valve and actuator.
Despite the high cycle rate and process stresses, it is essential for valves to operate accurately and reliably over long periods. The marketplace demands clean, high quality products. If valves do not function optimally, adverse effects on quality and plant performance will occur resulting in more problems downstream. Simply put, valves that don’t perform well over the long haul will reduce quality and cause shutdowns.
Medium containing resin, unreacted catalyst and possibly even chunks of polymer present yet another source of valve failure. The buildup of these elements, especially behind the ball cavity, will cause the valve to seize. In extreme cases, accumulation of teal catalyst has resulted in valve leakage and dangerous fires when the chemical was exposed to air.
Proven to go the distance
Neles™ has specially designed valves and actuators for use in these demanding applications. Proven to overcome the challenges of high-cycle rate, we recommend metal-seated ball valves with polymer-proof seat and high-cycle actuator designs for these demanding applications.
The polymer-proof metal seat will prevent polymers from penetrating behind the seat to mitigate valve seizure. Because the seat has continuous contact with the ball, it wipes away any build-up with every cycle. Lab and field-testing have proven the valve to provide greater process efficiency, reduce downtime and costs associated with maintenance.
Our intelligent on-off valve controller is designed for high cycling and process-critical on-off applications. The high capacity pneumatics featured in Neles actuators produce fast stroking times without the need for volume boosters or quick exhaust valves, thereby reducing hardware costs the number potential failure points within the system.
Our field-proven products provide accuracy and reliability beyond expectations, keeping your process up and running efficiently for longer than you thought possible. Extend the time between scheduled shutdowns – we can help you do that. Need accuracy after 400,000 cycles – we can do that. Improve safety conditions in your process – we can do that too.
Demand for top-quality polymers is rising throughout the world with Asia currently in the lead. A brisk growth in polyethylene and polypropylene over the next 10 years is expected mostly in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Central-South America. Though markets are demanding higher quality and cleaner polymers, polyolefin producers want to cut downtime to avoid production losses that represent significant costs.
Valves have a critical role in ensuring that the fluidized-bed type of gas-phase polymerization is stable, flexible and controlled. Any valve leakage poses both an environmental and safety issue due to risk of fire, toxicity, and the volatility of gaseous hydrocarbons.
Petrochemical have seen tremendous growth in last decades and many studies suggest that there will be increasing focus in petrochemicals in future as well. While the current Covid-19 pandemic impacted the demand in the industry, it also saw a surge in usage of polymers for example in medical and packaging industry. Demand for mask, personal protective equipment’s, etc. increased while demand in e-commerce and many people preferring packed foods increased demand in packaging industry.
For efficient and safe plastics production, a polymerization unit relies on numerous control and on-off valves. It’s vital to know you can count on those valves to do their job at all times. The selection of the right valve for each step requires careful consideration. And every detail matters when it comes to running a reliable, profitable plant.