More Questions and Answers
Q: Are there certain features I should look for when selecting a two-way diverter valve for a gravity application?
The standard flapper-style diverter is the most common diverter in the industry for use in gravity applications. It utilizes an interior angled blade that diverts the material flow from one source to either of two destinations.
In selecting a flapper diverter, there are three major areas of concern:
The blade. Is the blade's leading edge in the material flow stream? If so, the blade will prematurely wear as material flows over it. Consider a diverter that's designed to hide or protect the leading edge from material abrasion.
Does the blade offer a perimeter blade seal? If so, it may easily tear away as wear occurs. Consider a diverter that offers a seal that's larger than the blade itself, preferably one that's sandwiched between two metal plates and easily replaceable.
The housing. Is the interior of the valve accessible without taking the diverter out of place? In many cases, the diverter must be removed from service to inspect or perform maintenance. Sometimes this can be quite a task because the diverter may not be easily accessible. A crane may be required or chute legs may need to be supported while the diverter is being removed. Consider a diverter that's accessible from the valve's exterior without having to remove it from service for inspection, cleaning, or maintenance.
Area beneath the blade shaft. Is the area beneath the blade shaft sealed? Many diverter manufacturers leave this area open, and it becomes a passageway for allowing material to migrate to the off-leg, creating cross-contamination. The area may fill up with fine material, eventually creating blade actuation issues. In the food industry, this becomes an area where trapped material may spoil, be a source for bacteria, or cause infestation. Consider a diverter where this area is sealed from material.
Many other factors should be considered when making a final selection: valve size, configuration, temperature, environment, material abrasiveness, material contact, and size.
You might also want to consider other types of specialized diverters such as bucket, curved-blade, double-flapper (for three-way applications), pivoting-chute, and vee-style.
It's always important to work with a reputable manufacturer who will offer the correct diverter with the proper features for any specific requirements. Doing so will significantly extend life-cycle equipment costs.
Vortex Valves specializes in slide gates, diverters, iris valves, and loadout equipment for dry bulk materials.