May 6, 2021

The first-ever valve with 3D printed valve body for field testing

Jukka Borgman
Jukka Borgman
Director, Technology Development

In our previous 3D printing video and article, we discussed the 3D printed valve trims Neles had been experimenting with. Today we talked with Jukka Borgman, Director of Technology Development, about the next step Neles has taken in the field of 3D printing – the very first 3D printed valve body moving to field testing.

What is so special about this valve, Jukka?

The new thing here is that we have 3D printed a valve body. Previously, we have printed internal parts of valves, such as trims; this time, we printed a pressure-retaining component, meaning a valve body.

What is the new thing here? Why did we want to print a valve body?

We have not printed valve bodies before because there are no material standards for 3D printed materials for valves. We wanted to gain experience with how 3D printed materials behave over time in real-life applications in the field.

Due to current absence of material standards, we created a substantial material testing program involving tensile and impact testing. We found that the 3D printed material is sufficient for pressure-retaining components; so we manufactured a valve with a 3D printed body.

How do you plan to get the 3D printed valve body field tested?

The initiator of this ‘technology pull’ project was a Neles customer.

Actually, this project was initiated by a customer who is also willing to do the field testing. The field test will generate very interesting and valuable information about how the 3D printed material will behave over time. We are really excited about this and cannot wait to see the results. Stay tuned for more news!

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