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Conventional steam valve problems overcome with new all-stainless steel hygienic unit

17 November 2011

Burkert has analysed the problems and weaknesses of conventional general purpose steam control valves, and has used the resulting data to design a valve that offers market leading process capabilities. Specifically designed for cleaner and more hygienic applications, the all-stainless steel ELEMENT steam control valve is both aesthetic in appearance and resistant to corrosion, as well as being highly robust and lighter in weight than conventional steam valves.

The problems with conventional steam valves are well known: intolerance at high temperature, contaminated steam causing aggressive corrosion, dirt accumulation on the valve externals, and rust both on the outside, and in the valve itself, leading to premature failures.

The new ELEMENT steam control valve overcomes these problems with a proprietary stainless steel construction that is clean line, so there are no interstices for dirt to accumulate - and no paint to peel. In addition, the valve is aesthetic in appearance, corrosion and chemical resistant, robust, and operates with total reliability in wash-down areas, due to its high (IP67) IP rating.

The internals of the ELEMENT steam valve also exhibit Burkert’s new design thinking. First, with a new piston actuator that is both smaller and lighter than traditional diaphragm types. Second, via internal air channels that minimise ‘product accumulation’, leading to greater valve reliability.

In terms of valve actuation, also, a unique air system stops internal corrosion and biological growth within the actuator; while the actuator itself is highly efficient, using less air than traditional I-P positioners. In addition, the actuator is designed with contact-less and internal stroke detection, which offers the twin advantages of never becoming clogged or wearing out.
The new steam control valve is the latest addition to Burkert’s modular range of clean line ELEMENT products. These products make up the ELEMENT system, which sets a higher benchmark in process measurement and control. The ELEMENT system provides a complete systems approach, linking clean line valves, sensors, positioners and valve actuators in a simple architecture to solve total control loop processes. With unlimited modularity, ELEMENT saves processing time by offering total control solutions for media from slurries to steam, and from de-ionised water to hydrochloric acid.

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