Project 3.7: Investigation and model development of valve leak tightness

Project: Knowledge Exchange

Project Details


Pressure Relief Valves (PRV) tend to leak at high pressures. Customers demand a guarantee of leak tightness as a percentage of the set pressure. WEIR competitors can guarantee a higher leak tightness and therefore in certain circumstance we lose orders to our competitors. This work program is intended to understand why PRV's leak and how to reduce or mitigate against the leakage. Improving WEIR design will support the sale of more product. The main purpose of this research is to deliver prediction methods for sealing design with specific emphasis on Weir Group Sarasin-RSBD valve products.
The main objective of this problem is to be able to re-create this leakage issue using computational tools. This will be done using a combination of Finite Element Analysis (FEA) and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD). The complexities of this research lie with the deformation and surface effects of the "sealing faces" of the valves at a micron and macro scale including load cycling and creep behaviour analysis. This has to be analysed and reproduced at corresponding pressures and temperatures with compressible or incompressible fluid flow using combined FEA and CFD tools.

Key findings

IP Opportunities:
• New valve design(s) - possibly patentable,
• Techniques used to model the valve and theory.
Commercialisation Opportunities:
• Better designed valves which reduce leakage and increase set pressure capability,
• Investigate other valves within Weir Group.


Project Objectives:
- Re-create this leakage issue using computational tools i.e. FEA & CFD;
- Recreate the macro scale effects;
- Recreate the micro scale effects;
- Create a multi-scaling model of leakage issue;
- Validation and verification of computational models using experimental work;
- Identify, test and investigate improvements to the design of the valve.
Short titleProject 3.7
Effective start/end date24/06/1424/06/17


  • Pressure Relief Valve
  • leak tightness
  • leakage
  • multiscale analysis
  • fluid-structure interaction


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