Thursday, March 24, 2016

Control Valves for the Power Generation Industry: A Product and Applications Overview

TrimTeck control valve
TrimTeck Optimux Control Valve
TrimTeck, a US manufacturer of industrial control valves, put together this excellent presentation on where and how control valves are used in power generation.

Major area of discussion are: Introduction to Power Generation; Condensate System; Feedwater System; Main Steam System; Power References; Case Studies; and products recommended for each area.

For more information in Northern California, contact:

21060 Corsair Blvd
Hayward, CA 94545
Phone: (510) 274-1990
Fax: (510) 274-1999

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Radiation Monitoring Systems

Radiation detection systems detect the presence of very low-levels of gamma radioactive materials hidden within a vehicle or container. In industrial applications the system is invaluable in helping catch radioactive material in scrap material before it enters a facility and causes contamination, resulting in costly cleanup expenses. Use of the system in areas of interest for homeland security provides for the early detection of gamma radiation materials, which could be used as a threat to national security. 

System configuration can be optimized for the particular type of transportation system being monitored. The system sensitivity is such that not only does it detect the presence of a target source, it also pinpoints the location of the isotope within the vehicle or container. 

The document below describes RONAN Engineering's XSD-1000 Gamma Radiation Detection System as an example of a type of system used.

Radiation Monitoring Systems from Belilove Company-Engineers

For more information, contact:
21060 Corsair Blvd
Hayward, CA 94545
Phone: (510) 274-1990
Fax: (510) 274-1999

Monday, March 21, 2016

Capacitance Manometers for Use in Lyophilization (Freeze-drying) Processes


Lyophilization, also known as cryodesiccation, or more commonly “freeze-drying” is a dehydration process typically used to preserve a perishable material or make the material more convenient for transport. The freeze-drying process works by exposing a material that has been frozen to a vacuum environment. This lowers the vapor pressure of the frozen water contained in the material. Heat will be applied to the environment, driving the water out of the material through the process of sublimation.

In order to avoid the liquid phase of the frozen water, it is absolutely essential to lower the partial pressure of water, below the triple point pressure. The triple point is the point where 3 phases - liquid, solid, and vapor - coexist at a particular temperature and pressure. As the water vapor exits the sample, a chilled surface known as the ice condenser collects the vapor from the evolving product capturing it and preventing reabsorption or saturation of the chamber environment.


BioPharm manufacturing: Uses lyophilization to preserve products such as vaccines and other injectable drugs (parenterals). The removal of water from these materials allows for the preservation, shipping, and storage of smaller volumes of material. Tablets or wafers are also freeze dried often creating dosage forms which are more rapidly absorbed or more easily administered. Proteins, enzymes, microorganisms, and blood plasma are also examples of materials that are commonly lyophilized. In bioseparation processes, lyophilization is also used as a method to remove solvents that may be too costly or too difficult to remove by other means. FDA requires a higher temperature process manometer to be used in conjunction with a pirani gauge to understand when the “drying” is complete.

Food manufacturing: “Freeze-dried” foods help food manufacturers increase product shelf life and allows them to cater to the needs of consumers who are interested in convenience. The foods are typically easier to store and transport due to the removal of water and its associated weight. Foods last longer and can be used in environments outside the norm (e.g. wilderness, military situations, etc.) Common examples are coffee, fruits, and cereals.

Process Details

Once a material has been frozen, the environment in which the material lies is placed under partial vacuum, usually a few millibars. Heat is introduced forcing the frozen water to sublimate thereby exiting the material. That water vapor is often captured on a condensing coil and preventing it from re-entering the freeze dried material. It is important to note that the use of a heated capacitance manometer will prevent the unit from acting as a condenser of the water vapor.

In the final step of the process, the vacuum in the chamber is relieved by introducing an inert gas such as nitrogen. This gas regulation may be an area where Brooks Instrument variable area flow meters (rotameters) or MFCs could be supplied. “Downstream” packaging of freeze dried materials often involves “vacuum packaging” which attempts the complete removal of oxygen from the final packaged material. This is important because oxygen is the primary factor in product spoilage. Vacuum packaging may also present opportunities to sell CMX capacitance manometers.

Brooks Instrument Solutions - CMX – XacTorr Capacitance Manometer
Brooks XacTorr Capacitance Manometer
Brooks XacTorr Capacitance
  • Vacuum measurement instrument
  • Full scale ranges: 100mT to 1,000Torr
  • Gas independent technology, digital and not impacted by the water vapor
  • Digital zeroing at the unit or remotely – ability to predict remaining zero life
  • 64 Point calibration: ±0.15% of reading (0.25% <1Torr range)
  • Optimum configurations for all process
    • i. 160C 1 Torr is the typical configuration for freeze drying
  • Contamination resistant sensor: Longer life, lower cost of ownership. 3x larger internal sensor volume versus competitive
  • Industry standard 9-pin or 15-pin analog or DeviceNet interfaces
  • Available with common tri-clamp and industry standard fittings
  • Unique independent diagnostic and service port
For more information contact:

BCE (Belilove Company Engineers) 
P.O. Box 55936
21060 Corsair Blvd
Hayward, CA 94545
Phone: (510) 274-1990
Fax: (510) 274-1999

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Industrial Flame Arrester Application Questionnaire

Flame Arrester
Flame Arrester
(Groth Corporation)
A flame arrester operates by removing heat from the flame as it attempts to travel through narrow passages with heat-conductive walls. The arrester will stop a high velocity flame by absorbing heat away from the flame head, which lowers the burning gas/air mixture below its auto-ignition temperature, and creating an atmosphere where the flame cannot be sustained. The channels or passages in the flame arrester are designed to very efficiently conduct heat outward, but still allow the gasses to flow.

Many in-line flame arrester applications are used in systems that collect gases emitted by liquids and solids called vapor control systems. The gases are typically flammable. If an ignition occurs, a flame inside or outside of the system could occur with potentially catastrophic outcomes.

A vapor destruction system is a type of vapor control system that includes enclosed flare systems, elevated flare systems, burner and catalytic incineration systems, and waste gas boilers.

Vapor recovery systems are another type of vapor control system that uses in-line flame arrestors. These systems include compression systems, vapor balancing, refrigeration, adsorption, and absorption.

Flame arresters are used in many industries including chemical, refining, petrochemical, pulp and paper, oil exploration and production, pharmaceutical, sewage treatment, landfills, power generation, and bulk liquids transportation.

The document below is a handy flame arrester application questionnaire. Please always consult with a properly qualified applications specialist prior to specifying, purchasing, or applying flame arresting devices.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Safety Showers and Eyewash Stations Mitigate Factory Injuries

Safety Showers
Safety shower in action
(courtesy of Hughes Safety)
It only takes one accidental splash of a corrosive substance, or even a common chemical like bleach, to cause serious or even permanent damage to a worker's eyes or skin. This is why emergency washing stations (also know as safety showers and/or eyewash stations) are required to supplement the use of Personal Protective Equipment in workplaces where contact with corrosive, toxic, or strongly irritating chemicals is possible.

A safety shower/eyewash is a device required when there is a reasonable probability of a hazardous or injurious eye, face and/or body exposure. Facilities are required to have emergency showers and eyewash stations designed to wash chemicals off a person in the event of a chemical spill and to provide on-the-spot decontamination.

Safety showers and eyewash stations are designed to flush away hazardous chemicals from a user’s eyes, face or body. Because they are accessed in emergencies, they must be easy to operate and provide ample flow of water to decontaminate the effected area.  Additionally, the area around a safety shower/eyewash station should be kept clear of obstructions and very easy to access. The location must provide the user the ability to get under the shower head or to the eyewash quickly and without difficulty.

The video below provides information on the available kinds of safety showers and eyewash stations available today.

For more information, contact:

21060 Corsair Blvd
Hayward, CA 94545
Phone: (510) 274-1990
Fax: (510) 274-1999