Titanium, Zirconium and Tantalum Valves

Titanium, Zirconium and Tantalum alloys offer an excellent resistance to corrosion in agressive environments such as mineral and organic acids, alkalides, salts and other gaseous mediums. This corrosion resistance is due to the affinity these materials have for oxygen and to the protective layer which is formed, that protects the metal from agressive mediums. This protective coating forms immediately on contact with air.

However, this useful characteristic means that the working out, casting and welding of these materials must be done with much care. The main difficulty is to avoid contamination by hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen and carbon. Any pollutant exceeding 100ppm will increase the material’s brittleness and decrease its toughness. It is therefore necessary to have complete process control at every stage of transformation of these materials when they are being used to manufacture industrial equipment.

GUICHON VALVES already has a large experience in this area, having been equipped with a vacuum chamber for over 40 years. This allows titanium grades 2,5 and 7 and zirconium grades 702, 704 and 705 to be welded whilst strictly respecting the quality requirements such as hardness, colouring and non-porosity of welded joints. The purity and the flow rate of the prospective gas as well as all other parameters such as welding amperage and speed, cooling rate, cleanliness of the work station, etc. must be respected when undertaking such welding and heat treatment operations in a controlled environment :Titanium-Zirconium-Tantalum-Valves
• supply orders of semi-finished products are made according to ASTM specifications,
• manufacturing and inspection processes are qualified according to ASME code,
• welders and controllers are respectively qualified according to ASME code and independant control authorities.

Besides, since titanium and zirconium alloys are sensitive to wear and are liable to seize up, surface treatments are required to harden the valve body seats and discs, though with diminishing the corrosion resistance of the coated area. Treatments adapted to the operating conditions allow to guarantee the fluid-tightness of valves.

A full range

The whole set of measures taken, linked with the flexibility of the fabricated technology, allow Guichon Valves to supply gate, globe, piston, ball and check valves made of Titanium grades 2,5, and 7, Zirconium grades 702,704 and 705 and Tantalum alloys of diameters going fom DN 1/2″ to DN 10″ and class 150 to 600 Lbs according to diameters.

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Industrial uses of Titanium, Zirconium and Tantalum :

On being discovered at the end of the eighteenth century, the elements “Titanium”, “Zirconium” and “Tantalum” were developed and applied to industrial use in the form of alloys in the twentieth century. In 1905 in Japan, condenser tubes were constructed from titanium alloy, zirconium alloys were developed by the United States Navy when this material was chosen for use in the reactor of the first nuclear-powered submarine, the “Nautilus”, in 1946.

Nowdays Titanium and Zirconium alloys are recommended for high value added applications in energy and chemicals process industry, marine applications . These alloys offer an excellent resistance to corrosion in agressive environments such as mineral and organic acids, alkalides, salts and other gaseous mediums.

Few examples of Titanium applications :
› In chemicals industry, the production and processing plants are designed to resist harsh corrosive atmospheres: this is particularly favourable to the use of titanium. Each year, this industry uses some 15 to 17 thousand tonnes of this metal, one third of which is used in the production of consumer goods: plastics, pharmaceuticals, detergents, pesticides, herbicides and deodorants.

Natural gas (including LNG) , the foreseeable increase in natural gas consumption will be accompanied by an increase in the requirements of the liquid natural gas supply chain. As LNG is stored and transported at low temperatures (-163 °C), the good cryogenic behaviour of titanium is put to use in the design of LNG tankers and processing plants: the titanium requirements for this sector total some one thousand tonnes per year

Nuclear : Titanium is in competition with stainless steel and copper-nickel for the manufacture of the “steam” part of secondary circuit condensers. Titanium is more expensive to purchase than competing materials but offers better value for money in terms of the cost of installation maintenance. The titanium requirements in the nuclear sector are linked both to the launch of new programmes and to the use of titanium in the upkeep and renovation of existing power plants. The annual consumption in this sector is around 6,000 tonnes/year.