Ball valves for oxygen

O2 valves made of suitable materials and special manufacturing process guarantee safe operation

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Ball valves for oxygen

Under ambient conditions oxygen is a colorless, odorless gas. It is not flammable, but promotes combustion. The air contains 21 vol% oxygen. Already small amounts of higher oxygen rates increase the burn rate significantly. This can lead to fire ignition of materials. With increased oxygen concentrations, there is an increased risk of fire and explosion!

Especially during opening and closing operations of valves high speeds can occur. At high oxygen concentrations, this can lead to the ignition of plant parts if impurities of any kind are present in the valve together with unsuitable materials or lubricants.

Oxygen valve made of brass. Brass is particularly suitable for systems with high pressures.
For high pressures and high temperatures in the plant, Monel and Inconel are used.

The three essential points in the production of oxygen valves

In order to prevent ignitions within the plant, three essential points must be observed in the manufacture of oxygen fittings.

1. Selection of oxygen-suitable metallic materials

The media-contacted parts must be made of metallic materials suitable for oxygen. When selecting suitable materials, we follow the IGC oxygen standard of the European EIGA. This standard indicates, that carbon and stainless steels may no longer be used at higher pressures due to the risk of inflammation, but only special so-called “exempt materials”. Therefore, we produce these ball valves either completely or optionally only the wetted areas from materials such as brass or monel and Inconel. Depending on the area of application and requirements, innovative designs are used.

2. Selection of suitable sealing materials

The sealing materials must be carefully selected when manufacturing oxygen valves. The sealing materials used at Hartmann have all been approved by testing institutes such as the German Federal Institute for Materials Research (BAM) in regard to oxygen burn-out safety for the related pressure and temperature range.

3. Ensuring oil and grease free production

Already natural grease like from our hands may be sufficient to cause ignition of materials in oxygen environment. Therefore, we have strict rules for the production of the valves, which are fixed in our oxygen work instruction, such as ultrasonic cleaning and the assembly and testing of the fittings in a separate oxygen room. In addition, only special lubricants suitable for oxygen are used in very small amounts during assembly, and the leak test that follows is carried out exclusively with gas. After successful testing, the oxygen ball valves will be packed in welded foil and separately marked to indicate that they are free of oil and grease.

All parts are subjected to ultrasonic cleaning before assembly.
The assembly and testing of the fittings takes place in a separate oxygen room.
Only special oxygen-suitable lubricants are used in very small amounts during assembly.
All tests are conducted with gas only.
After successful testing, the oxygen ball valves are sealed in foil, a label on the packaging indicates that they are free of oil and grease.

Hartmann Ball Valves for oxygen

We develop and manufacture two-way and multi-way ball valves for oxygen applications. By choosing the right design and following important regulations when manufacturing our oxygen valves, we can contribute to safe operation when shutting off oxygen plants, even at high temperatures and pressures.

Our oxygen ball valves are used when standard valves reach their limits. Hartmann’s oxygen valves therefore fulfill the following criteria:

  • Use of materials suitable for oxygen
  • Suitability for higher pressure ranges up to 420 bar and more
  • Suitability for high temperature ranges up to 550°C

Reference Oxygen

Innovative modification at YARA Deutschland

One reference for high temperature oxygen service is our delivery to our customer Yara in Germany, where our valves are working at +400°C gastight as shut-off valves.

Show reference

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