The critical one: Gas cylinder valves


A seamless gas cylinder usually has a lifetime extending several decades. If only that were also true for the ‘bit at the top’; an integral component of a gas cylinder package is its valving mechanism.

Even though it has been around for over 130 years, the reliability of a valve is still under constant scrutiny, since rarely does a valve last more than the periodic inspection test interval assigned to a cylinder. Until recently the primary reason for this poor performance has been the lack of attention paid to this valuable widget within the Gases Industry.

In recent years however, due to pressure from the Gases Industry and its customers, much effort has been devoted to increase the safety aspects and to develop specialist valves for demanding applications such as automotive fuel tanks, the electronics industry and medical applications. Bringing down costs will never be off the Valve Industry’s radar.

Where we were yesterday
In the late 19th Century, gas cylinder valves were very unsophisticated in their construction, consisting of a few parts (none of which were moving), often using waxed leather or felt for its gland seals, and had metal-to-metal seats.

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