Damper Valves and How They Work
Damper valves are a vital part of any air circulation system. Superior to simple fan control systems of old, damper valves allow for accurate directional flow control. Damper valves can also control the amount of material that is allowed to pass through a system and can work to isolate equipment from gas or air flow.
Damper valves can be made from different types of steel — most commonly carbonized, galvanized, or stainless. They can also be constructed from plastic and/or aluminum. There is also a wide variety of shapes and sizes of damper valves available to suit different applications across a broad range of industries. From the model that keeps smoggy outside air from entering the cabin of a passenger car to the heavy duty industrial version used to prevent chemical plant explosions, damper valves serve the vital purpose of keeping air systems clean, safe, and functioning properly. Two types of damper valves commonly used in the oil, gas, and chemical industries are blade style dampers and butterfly style dampers.
Blade dampers, or louvered dampers, rely on slats or “blades” to dictate the direction of air or gas travel. The slats are stacked horizontally and can be adjusted to restrict airflow to a certain area. This way, air can be directed out of a facility while simultaneously preventing outside air from entering. There are many industrial applications for blade dampers and they are commonly used in manufacturing a wide variety of materials including steel, cement, chemicals, iron, pharmaceuticals, and food products.
Butterfly dampers are usually lighter and cheaper than blade style dampers and have only one slat (sometimes called a “wafer””) as opposed to the multi-slat configuration of the louvered style valve. They control the flow of air or gas using a pipe system. A circular metal piece rotates on a vertical axis, opening and closing to start or stop the flow. This kind of valve is often used in safety applications such as fire prevention and environmental compliance systems. Such butterfly dampers can be outfitted with sensors that will automatically close and stop incoming air flow if smoke or poisonous gas is detected. Fire prevention damper valves detect rising heat levels and subsequently close off to minimize the spreading of fire and smoke.
The Importance of Properly Functioning Dampers
Damper valve malfunction can result in major expenses, loss of production, and even catastrophic failure — such as in the case of a damper used to prevent combustion of potentially explosive compounds. Badly performing damper valves can affect several aspects of plant environment and operational safety. Factors that can affect the functionality of a damper valve include improper installation or servicing as well as corrosion, erosion, or material deposits on the blades.
While there are many different types and sizes of damper valves available to purchase, sometimes a custom damper valve is needed to suit a particular operation. The experienced professionals at Streamline Industries can fabricate a damper valve that is engineered to fit the specific attributes of your operations. They can also perform expert damper valve repair and install actuators for your damper valves.