Thursday, December 1
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Valve Maintenance: Choosing the Right Valve Lubricant

Your equipment valves ensure that your entire machine keeps running like…a well-oiled machine (pun intended).

Controlling the flow of fluid or gas via tubes and pipes requires the use of valves. The oil that lubricates the valve’s mechanical elements is less important to some valve specialists than the gas or air that passes through it.

Valve maintenance is critical. The lubrication of all moving parts is essential. It’s essential if you want to avoid difficulties in the first place.

So, read on for our full breakdown of the types of valve lubricant on the market, and how you can pick the right one for your needs.

Valve Maintenance 101: Why Even Bother?

That may seem to be a strange method of posing the question. If you’re looking for an answer to this question, you’re at the correct place. However, if you take the time and effort to investigate and implement a regular maintenance regimen, you’ll be doing yourself and your valves a great deal of good.

In order to avoid getting disappointed by a valve due to lack of lubrication, you should always ensure that it is well oiled.

In order to avoid having to explain why your valve repair budget for the quarter is four times as much as it was last quarter, it is essential that you maintain proper maintenance. Preserving the health of your valves, in other words, ensures the health of your financial position.

Reduced wear and tear on interior moving components is a major advantage of properly lubricated valves. Lubrication of the mechanical joints that connect stems, bushings, and gears is essential.

In reality, without lubrication, certain metal-to-metal contact inside valves will not function. You must apply “Extreme pressure” grease to the surface of plug valves in order to establish a seal.

You can supplement the emergency sealing capacity of grease by lubrication in a number of valve types, including plug valves. Corrosion and oxidation cannot affect valves that you’ve properly oiled in advance.

The Importance of Lubricants for High Performance Valves

Controlling the flow of fluid or gas via tubes and pipes requires the use of valves. The oil that lubricates the valve’s mechanical elements is less important to some valve specialists than the gas or air that passes through it.

Valve maintenance is critical. The lubrication of all moving parts is essential. It’s essential if you want to avoid difficulties in the first place.

Here are a few pointers on valve lubricant usage and maintenance.

Clean the Surface Area

The dirt that accumulates around valves is a common problem. This dirt must be removed prior to lubricant application.
Depending on the position and kind of valve, you may require a wire brush or cloth.

Valves should be cleaned on a regular basis even if they are not being used for lubrication. At least once a year, a thorough cleaning should be carried out. Just do that and you’ll have a longer-lasting system in a matter of minutes.

Additionally, cleaning the valve and the region around it is a good idea before using any lubrication.

Thoroughly Inspect Your Equipment Before Application

Another basic step in valve maintenance is to check your valves from time to time.

Do not use the lubricant until the valve has been repaired or replaced if you find any leaks.

Lubricants for Valve Mechanisms

Valve maintenance would be incomplete without proper lubrication. Valve failure may lead to lower performance and possibly system failure. lubrication.

The primary function of valve lubricants is to minimize surface-to-surface friction in the valve’s moving components, whether synthetic or biological. Surfaces wear very quickly without lubrication.

Lubricants serve a variety of purposes, including the following aspects.

Some ball and gate valves benefit from their usage as a hydraulic surface coating. And, metal joints, such as gear interfaces or stem-to-bushing couplings, may benefit from the application of these lubricants.

Also, by shielding the surface from oxygen, lubricants prevent oxidation or corrosion. Lubricants may act as a sealant between valve seats and ball or disc bearings when injected.

You’ll want to rotate the valve as you apply the lubrication to ensure that the lubricant reaches the valve cavity. Choosing the correct lubricant is also important.

The characteristics of lubricants make them appropriate for just a limited number of valve types. A wide variety of lubricants exist, including ones that are resistant to CO2, heat, lithium, water, and more.

It’s possible that you’ll also need to insulate your valves to keep them from fluctuation damage in extreme temperatures. This is particularly critical if the valve is located outdoors in the open.

Valve Lubricant Options: Selecting the Right One

The National Lubricating Grease Institute (NLGI) established a linear scale for determining grease viscosity.

There are six levels of viscosity on the NLGI scale, which range from 000 (the least viscous) to 6. (thickest). Greases in the 1-2 viscosity range are often utilized in valve applications.

Prefixes like AP, MP, and EP are often used in descriptions of grease. The following abbreviations have significant connotations.

All-purpose grease is referred to as AP. Thermal and structural stability are enhanced by the use of these extra-thick lubricants. In addition, they are resistant to corrosion and rusting. It is common to utilize AP greases on automobiles and certain less-demanding valves.

The “multi-purpose” or MP grease is an NLGI number 2 grease widely used in the automotive, light industrial, and agricultural industries, as well as in the general household.

Finally, the EP. This form of grease, known as “extreme pressure,” is the most durable of the three. Friction and wear may occur when components covered in standard grease are brought into physical touch with one another due to high pressure or shock loading.

Heavy-duty protection for EP grease is provided by additions like graphite or molybdenum disulfide. To avoid metal-to-metal contact, EP greases also include particles, which adhere to the metal surface.

Both manual and powered valve gearboxes need a substantial amount of lubricant to maintain the gears meshing properly and to prevent corrosion in the gearbox. When it comes to these kinds of valve installations, EP NLGI #1 or #2 grease is often used.

You can also check out this guide for more info.

Keeping Your Valves Working: Simplified

Preventive maintenance, such as applying valve lubricants, is preferable to waiting for a malfunction to occur. This will help avoid catastrophic failures.

In this guide, we’ve explored valve maintenance through the lens of picking the right lubricants for the job. Next, you’ll want to check out our construction and business section for more tips on automating your maintenance protocol.