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STEAM TRAPS 1

By M.M.Sorour

Mechanical Traps
Mechanical traps use the difference in density between condensate and live steam to produce a change in the position of a float or bucket. This movement causes a valve to open or close.

ball float

Mechanical Traps

float and lever

float and thermostatic traps.

open bucket

inverted bucket

1- Ball float traps


Ball float traps rely on the movement of a spherical ball to open and close the outlet opening in the trap body. When no condensate is present, the ball covers the outlet opening, thereby keeping air and steam from escaping. As condensate accumulates inside the trap, the ball floats and uncovers the outlet opening. This movement allows the condensate to flow continuously from the trap. Ball float traps cannot vent air automatically on start up.

1- Ball float traps

2- Free float traps (low pressure)


1- At start-up, the bimetal strip extends forward to prevent the float from seating on the orifice, allowing air and cold condensate to be discharged rapidly.

Free float traps (low pressure)


2- As condensate flows into the trap, the float rises due to buoyancy, allowing the condensate to pass through the valve orifice to the outlet of the trap. The temperature of hot condensate will cause the bimetal to retract, completing the air venting process and allowing the float to seat as the condensate load decreases. Condensate, however, will continue to be discharged as long as condensation occurs.

Free float traps (low pressure)


3- During normal operation. an increase in the condensation rate causes the condensate level in the trap to rise. The float therefore, rises and modulates on the up of the orifice, varying the degree of opening in accordance with the amount of condensate entering the trap. In this manner, condensate discharge is performed continuously while maintaining a water seal over the orifice to prevent steam loss.

Free float traps (low pressure)


4- Under no-load conditions the float seats on the orifice, supported by the two machined guides, to provide seal-tight shut-off. A water seal is maintained above the orifice at all times.

Free Float medium and high pressure


When trap is cool, the Xelement contracts and valve port (A) opens wide, continuously discharging initial air. As cold condensate enters the trap, the float rises to allow discharge of condensate from valve port (B) and both air and condensate from valve port (A).

Free Float medium and high pressure


Once all initial air and cold condensate have been discharged. hot condensate heats the X--element and closes valve port (A) before steam can escape. Condensate which simultaneously enters the trap continues to be discharged through valve port (B).

Free Float medium and high pressure


3- Air or retained condensate entering the trap drop the temperature and contract the Xelement. Valve port (A) Instantaneously opens to discharge both air and condensate. When higher temperature condensate follows. the Xelement expands and closes valve port.

Free Float medium and high pressure

4- When condensate flow to the trap ceases, the float closes valve port (B) which Is always sealed below the water level. The upper section fills with steam, closing valve port (A). The trap is then completely sealed. preventing any steam leakage.

Fig. 11.3.1 Float trap with air cock

2. Float and lever traps


Float and lever traps are similar in operation to ball float traps except the ball is connected to a lever. When the ball floats upward due to accumulation of condensate inside the trap body, the attached lever moves and causes a valve to open. This action allows condensate to continuously flow from the trap. If the condensate load decreases and steam reaches the trap, downward ball movement causes the valve to close, thereby keeping steam from escaping.

Float and lever traps

Fig. 11.3.1 Float trap with air cock

2. Float and lever traps


Float and lever traps cannot vent air automatically on start up. Unless some means is provided for releasing air from the system, condensate will be prevented from flowing into the trap air-bound. A manual Air cock is sometimes provided on the top of trap but such a device has the disadvantage of requiring manual operation each time that steam is turned on.

Float and lever traps


The valve must be small or the float will not have a sufficient buoyancy force to open it. The buoyancy relative to the valve area fixes the maximum pressure at which the trap can work, and the valve area and the pressure drop across the valve fixes the maximum discharge capacity.

Float and lever traps


If the area of the valve 1cm2 , pressure inside the trap 8kg/cm2. The float would have to exert a buoyancy force of 8 kg on the valve. Float lever has a leverage between float and pin of 8 so the buoyancy force required by the float is 1kg. 1 m3 of water weight 1000kg 0.001 m3 displacement will exert a buoyancy force of 1 kg ( a float of 15cm will give 0.0017m3)

The Lever Float Relay Traps

The Lever Float Relay Traps


This Trap is suitable for handling large amounts of condensate at high pressure. The float of only sufficient force to open a small valve which impulse steam pressure to open the main water valve.

3. Inverted bucket traps


This trap operates on the principal of an inverted water glass (the component referred to as the bucket).

3. Inverted bucket traps


It is very common type of mechanical steam traps.

Inverted bucket traps are somewhat more complicated than float and lever traps.

3. Inverted bucket traps


(i) the bucket hangs down, pulling the valve off its seat. Condensate flows under the bottom of the bucket filling the body and flowing away through the outlet.

3. Inverted bucket traps


(ii) the arrival of steam causes the bucket to become buoyant, it then rises and shuts the outlet.

3. Inverted bucket traps


(iii) the trap remains shut until the steam in the bucket has condensed or bubbled through the vent hole to the top of the trap body. It will then sink, pulling the main valve off its seat. Accumulated condensate is released and the cycle is repeated.

Inverted bucket traps

For horizontal installation

For Vertical Installation

Configuration of an inverted bucket steam trap (horizontal installation).

Mechanical Steam Traps


Inverted bucket
The inverted bucket trap relies on fluid density differences to actuate its valve. Therefore, it cannot distinguish between air and steam and must purge air (and some steam) through a small hole. Thus, the top of the bucket has a small hole to allow non-condensable gases to escape. The hole must be relatively small to avoid excessive steam loss.

Mechanical Steam Traps


Inverted bucket The air entrapped in the inverted bucket provides buoyancy keeping the inverted bucket in its raised position. Recognition of this deficiency with inverted bucket traps or other simple mechanical traps led to the development of float and thermostatic traps.

Mechanical Steam Traps Inverted bucket


On start-up, the initial surge of condensate, which precedes the flow of steam, will provide the liquid prime needed to make the Inverted Bucket trap work. That prime is what seals the bottom open portion of the bucket. Without it, steam would enter the bucket through the dip tube flow out the bottom of the inverted bucket and pass through the outlet.

MECHANICAL STEAM TRAPS Inverted Bucket Type


This trap is specified based on the differential pressure between the inlet and outlet pressures of the trap. With the length of the valve lever fixed the differential pressure is used to determine the weight of the bucket. The result allows the bucket to lift and reset the valve after dumping its condensate. The calculated weight of the bucket also allows the bucket to drop against the upstream pressure when it's full of condensate.

MECHANICAL STEAM TRAPS


4- Open bucket traps

Open bucket traps consist of an upright bucket that is attached to a valve. At start up, the bucket rests on the bottom of the trap body. In this position, the valve is wide open.

4- Open bucket traps


As condensate accumulates in the trap body on the outside of the bucket, the bucket floats upward, which causes the valve to close. When sufficient condensate accumulates outside the bucket, it spills over the top and fills the inside of the bucket. At this time, the bucket sinks, which causes the valve to open. Similar to inverted bucket traps, open bucket traps have intermittent discharge.

MECHANICAL STEAM TRAPS 4- Open bucket traps


Attached to the bottom of the bucket A is a spindle B which carries the valve C. The spindle and valve are inside a tube D which is open at the bottom. At the top end of the tube is the valve seat E. When condensate enters at F it fills the body of the trap outside the bucket. The bucket floats and the valve is pushed up on its seat. More condensate spills over into the bucket and so on

5- Float and thermostatic traps (F&T)

5- Float and thermostatic traps (F&T)


Float and thermostatic traps (F&T) traps are similar to float and lever traps except they include a thermostatic element that allows air to be discharged at start up. Thermostatic elements used in these traps are the same as those used in thermostatic traps.

5- Float and thermostatic traps (F&T)

The valve F is wide open when the trap is cold so that the air is readily discharged on start up. As soon as steam reaches the trap, the element E , expands and pushes the valve F into the seat G so that no steam is able to escape.

Float and thermostatic traps (F&T)

Float Traps versus Bucket Traps


In both the float and bucket traps two forces are used ; the buoyancy of the buoyant member and the weight of the buoyant member. In the float traps it is the buoyancy that opens the valve and the weight that closes it. In the bucket traps it is the weight that opens the valve and the buoyancy that closes it.