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Oasis Engineering is a 25 year veteran manufacturer specialising in very-high-pressure stainless steel valves for the compressed natural gas CNG industry.
The challenge was to design and build a check valve family suited to CNG service.
Natural gas is very heat absorbent and flow constrictions can "ice-up" dangerously if poorly designed flow control devices are used in the pipeline. The problem is especially important when the gas is being dispensed into cars as ice-ups can cause other flow control devices (solenoid valves, ball valves) to fail, preventing proper shut off of gas.
Oasis designed a prototype hydraulic check valve, but the question was how would it perform with natural gas and what modifications would make the valve perform better and minimise flow resistance?
Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) performed by Matrix confirmed the basic design was suitable for CNG. Analysis identified areas of worst flow disruption, and a modified poppet design was suggested and subjected to further CFD analysis.
The real advantage to Oasis was that CFD lets you see inside the flow -visualizing which parts of the valve induce turbulence, flow separation and recirculation. Oasis could then make better informed modifications to geometry to improve the design. Additionally, the design and verify process was greatly simplified. ... They could send a digital file to Matrix who could then return the simulation results!
Without this technology, Oasis Engineering would have had to resort to physical testing which can be unreliable as well as it being difficult to obtain access to a suitable test rig.
Prototypes were made, field tested then put into commercial production and have been shipped to end customers.
The key value to Oasis was Matrix providing timely results of CV values for the valves so that the end customer could make an informed decision about the suitability of the Oasis valve for their application. Additionally, Oasis Engineers gained insight into how the design of their valves could be improved.
To learn more about CFD, click here.