In the PVF supply industry, the type of inventory companies carry can vary greatly depending on each supplier. At TPC Industrial we go above and beyond to carry exactly what our customers are looking for—ready to ship. We like to stay in constant communication with our clients as well as our vendors to make sure we have what you need.
Many times, people that are just discovering us, ask us what our offerings are. We figured it would make for a good recurring blog series, one that discusses some of the products we have to offer. Keep an eye out for future posts highlighting the wide variety of products we stock. This month, we’re focusing on some key components used frequently in the petroleum industry—camlock fittings, ball valves, and HDPE pipe.
Camlock Fittings: Simple, Practical, Versatile
Camlock fittings are used to join pipes and/or hoses for use in a variety of applications to transfer liquids back and forth. These especially important fittings are also referred to as cam and groove couplings due to their unique design. The value of camlock fittings is in their versatility, simplicity, and practicality.
Simple: These fittings are extremely simple in design and usage—they’re a tool-less operation making connects and disconnects quick and efficient.
Versatile: Camlocks are a commodity in almost every industry, most notably petroleum and chemicals. However, they play just as an important role in the other industries that rely on them as well.
Practical: With other fittings, threads are used to make the connection, and this has some serious disadvantages for many industries. In applications where the environment is very dirty camlocks benefit from their thread less design. There is no risk with them becoming gunked up and malfunctioning. Since they connect so quickly and effortlessly as well, they are perfect for applications where frequent hose changes are required. When you combine that with the low cost of camlocks, it makes sense why they are the most popular fitting in the PVF supply industry.
How Do Camlock Fittings Work?
Camlocks are a basic combination of a male groove adapter and a female coupler. There are levers on either side of the coupler that assist in making a sealed connection. You pull the levers on the coupler outward, insert the proper male adapter and then close both levers together to form the seal.
Closing the levers at the same time draws the groove adapter sufficiently every time to facilitate the safe, leakproof transfer of liquids. To disconnect, simply reverse the process after verifying the hose assembly is no longer pressurized.
Ball Valves: PVF Supply Top Seller
One of the most common items you’ll find within any PVF supply house is a ball valve. This device is most often used as a shutoff for many liquids and gasses as well. You’ll find them anywhere from residential application to large ball valves used on oil rigs. Their name is given to them because of the metal or plastic ball located inside the valve where fluids or gasses flow. The ball has a hole through the middle of it which is how the valve opens and closes.
How Do Ball Valves Work?
When you turn the wheel on the valve to open, the ball’s position is manipulated so that the hole runs parallel with the passageway. When you turn it to close, the ball’s hole is perpendicular to the passageway, creating a cutoff. The ball position range is a quarter-turn of the wheel. So, turning the wheel a quarter to the left or right way will open or close it. The wheel is positioned in such a way with the valve that it identifies whether it is open or closed.
There are many different iterations of ball valves, each offering different flow, and pressure restrictions. The most often used ball valves are Full Port Ball Valves. These are comprised of a ball that is oversized with a hole in the ball that is the same size as the pipe that the valve is connected to. This pairing offers insignificant friction loss and flow that is unrestricted.
Ball valves are exceptionally durable and the preferred choice for cutoff applications in multitudes of industries. They come in two connection types: female threaded or sweat— usually in ½” or ¾” sizes. However, those are just the most common sizes sold—we have sizes from ¼” up to 4 inches.
HDPE Pipe: The P Is For…
HDPE stands for High-Density Polyethylene—now that we have that out of the way, let’s talk about HDPE pipes. These pipes are hands-down the most popular pipes used in the world today. They are strong, durable, lightweight, and very flexible. Ask any welder and they will tell you it is perfect for easy and efficient installations in any industry. It’s available in both IPS and CTS sizes for use in a variety of applications.
Despite being made of plastic, HDPE is no slack when it comes to durability and performance. It can be manufactured anywhere from 930 – 970 kg/m3 in thickness. HDPE pipe also, as its name suggests, has a higher density which gives it it’s high strength. However, that’s not the only reason HDPE pipe is used so widely around the world.
One of the huge selling points of HDPE pipe is that you can extend the distance infinitely. Using methods such as butt welding, joining, electrofusion welding, and others you get a homogenous joint. That means the weld actually becomes stronger than the pipe on either side of it. With this type of fusion between two HDPE pipes, it means leakage is non-existent—it won’t happen. Unlike leakage problems with PVC or ductile iron piping, HDPE guarantees you no leaks.
HDPE pipe is downright tough, and due to the molecular structure of polyethylene, it’s also very resistant to corrosives. This contributes to its heavy usage in the world of chemical plants and oil refineries—those fluids can’t wear it down. Also, since HDPE pipes have such impact resistance and flexibility—they’re especially useful in earthquake zones. You can’t get that same durability with iron pipe and you sure can’t get the corrosive resistance. Bottom line—HDPE is the new standard in efficient and durable pipe.
PVF Supply That’s Environmentally Friendly
HDPE pipe is not only superior to traditional iron pipe but it’s also highly sustainable. It is the “greenest” solution for water delivery and waste management. Not to mention, it’s flexibility and lightweight attribute make it possible to adhere to low-impact installation standards.
Using HDPE pipe in distributing water results in much better use of energy and reduced electricity consumption. That reduces the carbon footprint as well as the jointless fusion tech that prevents toxin leakage into the ground. Even the manufacturing process of HDPE is easy on the environment as well. The resin used to create the pipe uses far less energy than iron and concrete pipe manufacturing.
HDPE pipe’s low weight and accessibility mean installation is much cheaper because it allows for more efficient methods. Also, once you install HDPE pipe—there’s little to no maintenance as it simply does not leak. That’s a lot of savings in repair and maintenance costs compared to iron and concrete pipe. In fact, if manufactured and installed properly, HDPE pipe will last an expected 100 years or more before needing major rehab.
Everyone Needs Quality PVF Supply
Now, while these three components are used heavily in the oil & gas sector, they are very versatile. They are used in dozens of industries and applications including:
- Chemical Plants
- Commercial Agriculture
- Amusement Park Infrastructure
- Water Treatment Plants
- General Manufacturing
That list doesn’t even scratch the surface, but it gives you an idea of just how important PVF supply components such as these are. What’s just as important, is having a quality PVF supplier keeping your projects stocked with the right inventory.
At TPC Industrial we go above and beyond to make sure we are delivering the right products when you need them. From our sales staff to our delivery drivers and logistics teams—everyone works to keep your project rolling smoothly. Contact us today and talk to one of our project consultants.