Jun 29, 2021

Still setting the standard for soft-seated butterfly valves

While the demands for industrial soft-seated butterfly valves continue to evolve, new features and innovations are needed. At the same time, the fundamental design of the Jamesbury™ Wafer-Sphere™ butterfly valve continues to prove itself in action in many of the most demanding applications. The patented and often imitated double-offset design originated by Neles continues to be the industry benchmark for performance excellence.

Ageless design and functionality

The Wafer-Sphere valve that is on the market today, is a result of decades of experience in the development, engineering, testing and manufacturing of butterfly valves that has taken place on two continents. While the current valve may already be the fourth generation of the Wafer-Sphere, the platform on which it is based remains largely the same. Ensuring a long-lasting tight seal and minimizing potential external leakage paths remain at the core of its design. The modular platform shared by Wafer-Sphere and Neldisc valves brings together the best of both worlds, allowing for greater flexibility in tailoring products to each customer’s exact specifications.

Old Jamesbury valve ad

A feature for every application

For the past twenty or so years, the platform on which the Wafer-Sphere valve is built has remained unchanged, while continuously adding new features and capabilities to the product to meet changing customer needs and ever-tightening standards and regulations. The standard design itself is designed to pass the most stringent requirements of modern industry, and features such as blowout-proof shafts, Fire-Tite™ versions and cryogenic valves have been added to the portfolio over the years. All Wafer-Sphere soft-seated butterfly valves have one thing in common; they have been designed to provide the best performance available on the market at a competitive total cost of ownership (TCO).

Reliability comes from quality

Even as new products with similar designs continue to flood the market, our loyal customers understand the added value that comes with the Wafer-Sphere valve. Utilizing only the highest quality materials, manufacturing technologies and proven designs and techniques, allows us to provide a valve that surpasses its competition in terms of reliability and long-lasting performance. With a valve that can provide more than a million cycles per year for up to 5 years in demanding applications for example, can mean avoiding several planned process shutdowns over the lifetime of the valve. The reduction in downtime and lost production has huge implications for the profitability of your process. So, even if valves only constitute a few percent of a plant’s capital costs, they are a part of the process that defines exactly how well the entire plant performs.

Proven under pressure

The Wafer-Sphere soft-seated butterfly valve really comes into its own in demanding, high-cycle, high-pressure applications. Features such as the pressure-energized seat design and our signature double-offset design ensure superior tightness and a lower torque requirement for optimized performance. This makes for a butterfly valve that delivers performance while at the same time reducing energy consumption. When used to replace traditional gate valves, it makes for a space-saving lightweight alternative that is easier to install, requires less energy due to its lower torque requirement and allows you to use a smaller actuator and less compressed air.

Sustainability built in

Sustainability and environmental performance are key drivers behind the development of modern industrial processes. The Wafer-Sphere soft-seated butterfly valve is stacked with features that simultaneously ensure sustainable performance and process efficiency. Our unique design minimizes fugitive emissions and improves energy efficiency across the valve’s entire service life. Both these factors make the valves more sustainable and more efficient in terms of profitable performance. Also, the extended lifecycle of the valves paired with their simple and lightweight construction means that over time we are reducing the amount of metal used for valve manufacturing.

Out of this world

The inherent simplicity of the Wafer-Sphere valve, which gives it its reliability and durability in demanding service, also makes it an ideal valve for a wide range of applications. These valves can be found in service for outer space as well as in some slightly more down to earth process. Whenever you see a rocket launching into space, there is a Wafer-Sphere butterfly valve involved. Also, if you have ever taken a ride at the world’s most popular theme parks or enjoyed a glass of world-famous whiskey, you have experienced the magic of Wafer-Sphere valve first-hand. It is a versatile soft-seated valve that exists to serve.  

Authors: David Bayreuther and Bruce Wetherbee

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