We previously discussed the importance of effective sealing in getting the most out of your components, and helping them last longer. Recently, we had the chance to chat with Mike Shorts, Vice President & General Manager for Triangle Fluid Controls Limited, about many of the amazing advancements in sealing technology offered by TFC.
First, a little about the company: Triangle Fluid Controls (TFC) produces innovative fluid sealing products and services that provide reliability, cost savings, and process safety improvements in a wide range of demanding applications. We were especially interested in learning about their gasket and valve solutions, given that they are one of the few companies producing these products that do most of their manufacturing within North America. In fact, they are only one of a handful that fabricate gasketing products in Canada. TFC specializes in mid-grade to premium products, and their gaskets typically range from soft to metallic.
One of the greatest recent advancements in sealing products are the Durlon line of gaskets, which ease the selection process by offering fewer styles that can be applied for the same range and full service, unlike most competitive gaskets. This benefit also reduces the carrying costs associated with inventory, application errors by not choosing right material, repair costs, and the overall total cost of ownership.
Triangle Fluid Controls only does in-line chuck valves with one, basic design that is intended to meet specialized customer requirements, as opposed to simply meeting line size. These valves offer superior performance housed in different bodies to meet many industrial applications. In fact, the valves are so efficient, Mr. Shorts admitted that his problem is selling a second unit, because once the first is sold, there is seldom the need for a replacement. “Valves last depending on their application from low to high cycle, but our water valves can last 30+ years. TFC valves do not need to be maintained or inspected as much, and often look new when they are inspected. They can last 10 times long for only 2-3 times the original price.”
TFC gaskets prevent leaks and blowouts by design with exacting tolerances, and they undergo various forms of industry testing to produce zero leakage, which allows gaskets to last as long as the equipment that houses them. Valves also have tight tolerances and allow for metal to metal seating and tight closure in a soft seat, a benefit that provides zero leakage. Another advancement is the absence of backflow when closing the valve, allowing for a longer lifecycle in both the valve and pump.
When a TFC customer needed gaskets that could withstand high temperatures (1,292-1,697 degrees F / 700-925 degrees C), engineers went to work creating the Extreme Temperature Gasket (ETG) series. The gaskets are made from a mica-sheet and pure level grade of graphite that can withstand temperatures up to 1,832 F / 1000 degrees C. “It took two years to complete,” said Mr. Shorts. “It is currently being used with impressive success in a refinery in Western Canada and is being expanded in use.”
When asked what was on the horizon for TFC and sealing technology, he admitted, “We are always working on something that’s an improvement over existing technology.” He also expressed interest in a new type of spiral wound gasket with design considerations that allow it to seal better than traditional ones. “This is kind of the next collaborative sealing initiative among manufacturers and users. It should be interesting because the market is a very large one.”