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Basic Steam Trap

Operation

2008 Armstrong International, Inc.

What MUST a Steam Trap do?

A Steam Trap must remove


condensate, air, and CO2 out of
the system as quickly as it
collects.

Expect many enjoyable experiences!


David M. Armstrong

A Steam Trap Must Also:

Minimize
Minimize steam
steam lose
lose

Long
Long life
life and
and dependable
dependable
service
service

Corrosion
Corrosion resistance
resistance
Air
Air Venting
Venting
CO
CO22 Venting
Venting
Operation
Operation against
against
backpressure
backpressure
Freedom
Freedom from
from dirt
dirt problems
problems

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David M. Armstrong

What makes up a Steam Trap


A Steam Trap has an orifice
An orifice alone is not a
steam trap

Inlet
Connection

If flow changes, orifice is not


correct

Body

If pressure drop changes,


orifice is not correct
Outlet
Connection

The orifice must change size


as conditions change

Orifice

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David M. Armstrong

What makes up a Steam Trap


A Steam Trap should have a
valve
A valve may be fully opened
and fully closed or modulated
to vary the size of the orifice
as conditions change

Inlet
Connection

Body

Valve

Outlet
Connection

Orifice

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David M. Armstrong

What makes up a Steam Trap


A Steam Trap should have
an Operator
An operator senses when to
move the valve and supplies
the power to move the valve

Inlet
Connection

Operator

Body

Traps are different in the


types of valve and the types
of operator they use

Valve

Outlet
Connection

Orifice

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David M. Armstrong

Trap/Operator Types

Thermodynamic

Mechanical

Thermostatic

Steam (flash)
flow operates
valve

Use difference
in density
between steam
and condensate
to operate valve.
A float operates
the valve.

Sense
temperature
change of
condensate to
operate valve

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David M. Armstrong

Thermostatic Trap Types


Bellows balanced pressure
High capacity

Wafer/Diaphragm balanced
pressure
Low capacity

Bi-metallic
High and low capacity

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David M. Armstrong

Bellows Balanced Pressure


Steam
Condensate

Bellows
Liquid fill
Valve

Seat

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David M. Armstrong

Bellows Balance Pressure

Bellows Balance
Pressure
Modulation

Poor

Backpressure

Good

Dirt

Fair

Wear

Fair

Water Hammer

Poor

Freezing

Good

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David M. Armstrong

10

Simple Bi-Metal Element


High expansion metal

Low expansion metal

Cold

Hot

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David M. Armstrong

11

Simple Bi-Metal Operation


Valve inside trap
Pressure holds valve closed;
valve toggles
Back pressure can blow trap
open
Opening and closing
temperatures wide apart
Must sub-cool deeply to
prevent steam loss

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David M. Armstrong

12

Bi-Metal Disks
Valve in outlet
Pressure opposes closing.
Does not toggle.
Some thermodynamic
action; roughly follows
steam saturation curve.
Acts as check valve when
pressure is lost.
Good for use in superheated applications.

Expect many enjoyable experiences!


David M. Armstrong

13

Disk Trap Orifices in Series


A. Trap body
B. Disk bonnet
C. Disk

D H

P2

C
B
A

F G

P1

D. Inner seat ring

P3

E. Outer seat ring


F. Inlet port
G. Outlet port and groove

D
H
F
E

Disk Trap Start-up

Condensate pressure
pushes disk off seat
Full capacity flow
Two pressure drops

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David M. Armstrong

15

Disk Trap Flashing Steam


Condensate near steam
temperature flashes to
steam in inlet port
Pressure drops with flow
through restriction under
disk
Pressure difference (P2 (<<P2)) slams disk onto
seats

P2
<<P2

P1

P3

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David M. Armstrong

16

Disk Trap Closed


P2 P3 x disk area > P1 x inlet
port area + P3 x outlet port area
Closing force greater than
opening forces so disk stays on
seat
Condensing flash steam above
disk relieves pressure until
opening forces are greater; disk
snaps open
A bleed groove is used to help
with control of the pressure in
the control chamber.

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David M. Armstrong

17

Disk and Seat Wear


Disk slammed hard onto seats
and rolls as it seats
Flat valve and
seats require
near perfect
flatness to
seal

Edge of disk wears rapidly


Edge of outer seat ring wears
rapidly

Two seats
to seal

Uneven contact of disk


on seat causes wear

High velocity flow of condensate


flash steam and dirt between
disk and inner seat ring
Inner seat ring wears rapidly
Disk surface erodes rapidly

Disk Wear

Seat Wear

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David M. Armstrong

18

Thermodynamic Traps

Bellows Balance
Pressure

Thermodynamic
Traps

Modulation

Poor

Fair

Backpressure

Good

Poor

Dirt

Fair

Poor

Wear

Fair

Poor

Water Hammer

Poor

Good

Freezing

Good

Good

Expect many enjoyable experiences!


David M. Armstrong

19

Mechanical Types
Inverted Bucket

Float & Thermostatic


Air Vent Valve

Linkage

Fixed
Pivot
Valve

Ball

Seat

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20

Simple Float Trap


Air Vent Valve

Fixed Pivot

Linkage

Valve

Ball

Seat

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David M. Armstrong

21

Float and Thermostatic

Start-Up

Modulating

Condensate enters

Condensate flow
decreases

Ball rises opening valve


to full capacity
Bellows cold; vent open
to air and/or condensate
flow

Air Venting

Ball moves downward;


valve open less
Valve modulates to balance
outlet flow = inlet flow
Steam enters; steam air
mixture closes vent;
temperature below
saturation

Air increases;
temperature drops; vent
opens
Steam lost with air
removal
Dirt falls to bottom; may
stop ball from dropping
holding valve open; may
plug valve

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David M. Armstrong

22

F&T Traps

Bellows Balance
Pressure

Thermodynamic
Traps

F&T Traps

Modulation

Poor

Fair

Good

Backpressure

Good

Poor

Good

Dirt

Fair

Poor

Poor

Wear

Fair

Poor

Good

Water Hammer

Poor

Good

Poor

Freezing

Good

Good

Poor

Expect many enjoyable experiences!


David M. Armstrong

23

Inverted Bucket
A. Bucket
B. Valve on linkage
Sized for maximum flow at
maximum pressure
difference
C. Air Vent
D. Body
Material based on
pressure and cost
E. Inlet

B
A

Bottom inlet Top outlet


Other configurations available

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David M. Armstrong

24

IB At Start-Up

Condensate fills body


Condensate surrounds all internals;
pressure same on all surfaces of all
internals; no water hammer damage
Valve wide open for maximum flow
rate; quick drain
Air pushed out ahead of condensate
through wide open valve; quick vent
Small dirt particles suspended in flow
and flushed through valve
Large dirt particles are too heavy to
be carried to valve by low velocity
flow around bucket lip, so they stay at
bottom
No strainer needed in most
applications

Condensate
Valve wide open

Low
velocity
flow

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David M. Armstrong

25

IB Closed

Start-up condensate
accumulation gone

Steam enters depressing water


level in bucket

When bucket approximately 2/3


full of steam, bucket becomes
buoyant

Bucket floats valve to seat

Pressure difference pushes valve


softly into seat

Valve seats tightly

Air passes through vent to collect


at top of trap

Valve tightly closed

Condensate
level

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David M. Armstrong

26

IB Filling

Valve closed; condensate continues


to enter trap; no condensate back-up

Intermittent discharge but continuous


drain

Water condenses and displaces


steam; water level rises

Air continually rises through vent to


top of trap

If air accumulation becomes


excessive, air will depress water level
and open valve

Valve tightly closed

Steam
Condensate

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David M. Armstrong

27

IB Opening

Water level continues to rise

Bucket 2/3 full of water loses


buoyancy; bucket falls pulling valve
wide open

Air flushed out

Full capacity flow carries small dirt


particles to wide open valve to flush
each cycle

Pressure changes affect capacity only

Steam in trap continuously;


condensate and air discharged at
steam temperature

Valve wide open

Small dirt
flushed

Cycle rate adjusts immediately with


flow changes

Expect many enjoyable experiences!


David M. Armstrong

28

IB Thermic Vent
Bi-metal thermic vent
Open at start-up for
quick vent of air under
bucket
Closed at steam
temperature; normal
vent enough for
operating air venting
load

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David M. Armstrong

29

Inverted Bucket

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David M. Armstrong

30

Armstrong Promise
We provide intelligent system solutions that improve
utility performance, lower energy consumption, and
reduce environmental emissions . . . while providing
an enjoyable experience!

Expect many enjoyable experiences!


David M. Armstrong

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Expect many enjoyable experiences!


David M. Armstrong

32

2008 Armstrong International, Inc.

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