Importance Of Valve Lubricants
Valves are important in controlling the passage of fluid or gas through tubing or pipes. However, some valve professionals are more concerned with the gas or air than the oil that lubricates the mechanical parts of the valve.
Valves need proper maintenance. Every moving part has to be well lubricated. It’s necessary for preventing problems that might occur in the first place.
Here are some tips on maintenance and the use of valve lubricants.
Clean the Area
Valves usually accumulate a lot of dirt around them. Before you apply the lubricant, you need to get rid of this dirt.
You may need either a wire brush or a towel depending on the location and type of the valve.
Valve cleaning is a good practice and should be carried out regularly, even if it’s not for the purpose of applying a lubricant. A thorough cleaning should be done at least once a year. That’s the easiest and the quickest way to extend the life of the entire system.
It’s also a good practice that, before you apply any lubricant, the valve and its surrounding areas should be cleaned.
Inspect Your Equipment Before Applying Valve Lubricants
Checking your valves once in a while is another simple step in valve maintenance. Check for leaks and, if present, do not apply the lubricant until you repair or replace the valve.
Role of Valve Lubricants
Lubrication or greasing is a very important part of valve maintenance. Failing to lubricate a valve may lead to decreased performance and even to the total breakdown of the whole system.
Valve lubricants can either be synthetic or organic and their main role is to reduce surface-to-surface friction in the moving parts of the valve. Without a lubricant, the surfaces will wear out very fast.
The roles of lubricants include:
- They can be used as hydraulically surface coating to allow some ball and gate valves to operate smoothly.
- They can be used on metallic joints such as those found in gear interfaces or stem to the bushing to ensure they operate optimally.
- Lubricants prevent oxidation or corrosion by protecting the surface from atmospheric oxygen.
- When injected, lubricants can serve as a sealant between ball or disc and valve seats.
While applying the lubricant, rotate the valve so that the lubricant can get into the valve cavity. You also need to choose the right lubricant for a particular valve.
Lubricants have various attributes that make them suitable for only specific valve types. There are CO2 resistant, high-temperature, lithium-based, petroleum-based, water-resistant, and many other types of lubricants.
Apart from lubrication, you may also need to protect your valves from the ambient temperature changes by adding protective insulation. This is especially important if the valve is outside in an open place.
Applying Valve Lubricants Is a Preventive Maintenance Procedure
Rather than waiting for your system to breakdown, you should make the application of valve lubricants part of your preventive maintenance practice. This will prevent failures, some of which can be catastrophic.
There isn’t a single preventive procedure that can suit all systems. It’s upon you to come up with the best procedure depending on the nature of your systems and the types of valves used.
Be sure to contact us if you have any questions regarding the application of valves or are looking to make a purchase.