Heap & Partners designs, manufactures, and supplies leading process and instrumentation valves and ancillary equipment from its three bases in the UK.
Focussed on flow control products and providing application engineering support, Heap & Partners works with organisations such as Crane (Saunders) and Pentair (Hindle) for their UK markets. The company is also a distributor of Parker Hannifin instrumentation products, and an Approved Distribution Centre (ADC) for Fisher valves, regulators and instrumentation.
Expanding its specialist valve services, Heaps & Partners now also manufactures its own range of Phase trunnion mounted ball valves for the UK energy sector, and Hardide Coatings has played a key role in advancing this new technology.
Phase includes numerous variations of soft and metal seated side entry ball valves, used for the safe isolation of pipeline production and process equipment. This safety critical application, and often erosive operating environments, meant the new valve required a durable protective coating.
The valves are also supplied for high pressure applications, up to and above ASME 600 lbs. Ranging from 2” reduce bore to 12” full bore, the valves needed to operate at both low and high pressure. This bespoke product is aimed at niche applications in the UK energy sector, from upstream oil and gas to nuclear and power generation.
Heap & Partners selected Hardide-T for use in the Phase range, particularly in the smaller diameter valves, for several reasons. The primary rationale being the inherent hardness of Hardide-T, at 1100 to 1600 Hv with a typical coating thickness of 50 microns. Its benefits for more intricate ball and seat valves were its uniform application by low temperature CVD which eliminates the disadvantages of line of sight HVOF carbide coatings, and that no post-coat machining is required.
As cobalt cannot be used inside nuclear facilities, the cobalt-free composition of the HardideT coating and binder made it an attractive solution.
The Phase range comes in both metal to metal and soft seated options which posed additional considerations. Metal to metal seated valves often suffer wear by erosion when there is particulate in the process fluid. Most ball valves are soft seated, but wear can also cause scratches and resultant leakage.
Peter Burnett, Business Development Manager at Heap & Partners, said: “The Hardide coating achieved excellent results, meeting all the required leakage rates and delivering consistent results on various substrates. Hardide Coatings worked with us to develop an optimum process and carry out vacuum testing procedures prior to the development of our new valves.
“The process was quick and Hardide Coating’s UK-based manufacturing facility provided logistical advantages and timely delivery so we could maintain our production schedule. We also chose to partner with Hardide Coatings as we previously worked with the team on a project in the nuclear sector to tackle a corrosion issue and carry out re-engineering of valves, so we knew they could deliver positive results.”
Heap & Partners has now utilised Hardide-T on many ball valve applications for both oil and gas and nuclear clients. There have been no wear issues since employing the coating and it has provided protection from erosion. In some cases the Hardide coating has also enhanced the corrosion resistance of the base material.