Valves and related fittings are required in practically all areas of life and must often meet high requirements. A current overview of the latest status in valve and fittings technology is to be provided by the trade fair for industrial valves and accessories, Valve World Expo, which will be held from 27 to 29 November 2012 for the second time in Düsseldorf.
A world full of valves and valve equipment
The English word “valve” is used as the umbrella term for valves, taps, sliders and flaps, which control, dose and regulate the flows and flow-rates of fluids, gases and solid materials in free-flowing form through pipelines as well as safely protecting them from the environment. In Germany the terms associated with this are “fittings” or “valves”. Corresponding to the respective application or purpose, these components are produced according to various design principles in the most diverse range of sizes and render their services among others in industrial plants, agriculture, private households, heating and sanitary technology and motor vehicles.
Household and everyday routine
In many areas it is regarded as standard procedure for households to be connected to a water supply and sewage system. When using the water tap, everyone immediately expects fresh water to pour into the wash basin and, in the process, to also control the force of the water flow - and possibly also its temperature as well as then turn it off again. Certain valves, seals and gaskets fitted into the water tap or mixer tap ensure these functions. Vice versa the significance of valves and gaskets does as a rule quickly become apparent - and mostly in an unpleasant way - when they no longer function correctly due to improper adjustment or as a result of wear and tear: the dripping sound of a leaky tap, a scalding or freezing shock during a shower when the pre-set mix-ratio between hot and cold does not remain constant and the gentle hissing sound a bicycle tyre makes when the pumped-in air escapes once again through the air valve, are examples which certainly everybody knows. The function of other technical systems also depends on a large array of valves and gaskets.
In this context many a radiator connected to the central heating system only becomes really warm when the air build-up inside is allowed to escape through a release valve. A garden hose on the other hand only makes sense when it can be connected to a tap and turned on and off using a rotary valve. In a motor vehicle valves are responsible among others for controlling fluid or gaseous fuel, fuel-air mixes, exhaust fumes produced by fuel combustion, lubricating fluids and cooling agents. And, after all, human beings themselves are a perfect example of how important valves and similar components are, because their diverse physical functions depend on the effectiveness and functionality of numerous, in some cases, very differently designed valves and flaps.
If valves and other fittings are already playing a key role in private life, then this is also the case on a much greater scale in the increasingly complex industrial and working world. Pipelines and hose pipes are necessary everywhere, in crude oil and natural gas production, practically all areas of industry, in medicine and water treatment as well as generally in engines, machinery and plant engineering as well as the conveyance of gas, fluids and free-flowing solids. Numerous valves and flaps are necessary in order to convey these substances mentioned in the desired way to the applications required, while others fulfil safety-relevant tasks, for example relief and safety valves. Valves, especially magnet versions, are used in industry in a diverse range of applications, for example in the operation of cylinders, grabbers, ejectors, shut-off and check valves. Other valves are used in aeration and de-aeration tasks or for the dosage and filling of media with varying degrees of fluidness.
High, diverse requirements
Valves and their associated fittings have to function safely and reliably and, in many cases, must do so under the strictest operating conditions. In this connection the physical and chemical properties of the media conveyed play an important role, as does their fluid behaviour, which can also include impact-stress and of course high pressure, extreme temperatures and/or aggressive and corrosive media, which can play a significant, active role within and outside the valves and fittings. Power stations for example contain areas where valves are exposed to pressures in excess of 400 bar as well as temperatures over 650ºC. The operating conditions, which valve designers must take into account, can also include the risk of electrostatic charges in connection with explosive materials conveyed.
The valve and valve fittings industry is a multiple-company structure with firms specialized in the production of valves and fittings for specific tasks and their suppliers, including the manufacturers of operating systems – such as engines, pneumatic and hydraulic cylinders or mechanical devices – and closing elements along with individual components, for example technical springs, seals and gaskets.
The valve and fittings manufacturers are faced with the task of developing constructive solutions for constantly growing requirements and asserting themselves in global competition. As the products of the valve and valve fittings industry are required in practically all areas of life, the activities in the fields of research & development are to a great extent interdisciplinary. In addition to materials technology, engineering science disciplines such as corrosion and surface technology, fluid mechanics, design theory, foundry and forgery technology, production technology, process technology and drive systems technology are included in the activities, but also, increasingly, nano-technologies and bio-medical faculties.
Valve World Expo 2012
Valve World Expo, the world’s leading fair for industrial valves and fittings, is the ideal location for informing yourself comprehensively about the range of products and services in this area and analyzing the most recent technical trends. It is mainly directed at trade visitors from the crude oil and natural gas industry, the energy supply and water management sectors, the chemical, pharmaceutical and foodstuff industry, the marine and offshore industry as well as specialists from the plant and engineering sector, engine construction, vehicle building and shipbuilding industry.
Valve World Expo is now one of a total of over 40 sector highlights at Messe Düsseldorf and is integrated there in the metal and metallurgical trade fair product family.
Valve World Expo 2012 Press Contacts: