Global survival technology solutions provider Survitec has introduced a new energy containment safety device designed to reduce the risks associated with catastrophic value actuator failures.

Compatible with all valve actuator types, the Survitec Gauntlet is a protective sleeve constructed from lightweight “bullet-proof” para-aramid armoring, which is 10 times as strong as steel, and designed to contain the unpredictable forces of failure.

Source: SurvitecSource: Survitec

Technically qualified by the classification society Lloyd’s Register, the Survitec Gauntlet offers immediate containment protection, enhancing safety measures and minimizing potential hazards. The team added that due to its minimal weight, the Survitec Gauntlet places no additional stress on the actuator, and protects the workings of the actuator from further corrosion and component degradation.

A spokesperson at Survitec explained: “The valve return spring sits in a pre-loaded or loaded condition and is powerful enough to close down the valve even during full operation. However, far too many of these actuators have been left to degrade. We are now seeing hundreds in an unsafe or unknown condition – which may be intensified by pneumatic and/or hydraulic control pressures and, therefore, a huge issue and possible danger to equipment and personnel.

“What is known is that many actuators have suffered significant corrosion of the unit's internal workings, not only the exterior weather shield, which is visible. The problem can be compounded when these actuators are tagged as non-operational or “decommissioned”, no longer serviced but in place, but still containing a pre-load force in the spring, which can be equivalent to several tonnes depending on the size of the actuator.

“There have been a lot of occasions where the spring has eroded to the point of failure, then failed catastrophically, or the retaining bolt and end cap have failed and been ejected. So much so that the U.K. Health and Safety Executive has advised all operators to enforce action in this area. The force and impact of an actuator failure can be violent and often potentially fatal, impacting people, critical plants and even pipelines.”

The Survitec Gauntlet can be applied to any facility that operates actuator valves and where risks need to be mitigated.

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