How to Avoid Stainless Steel Diaphragm FailuresOctober 25, 2016 by admin
Are you tired of dealing with stainless steel diaphragm failures, repairs and replacements in your gas regulators? Why not make a change to a material that is chemically inert, sensitive yet durable and guaranteed for the life of the regulator? Teflon based Jorlon diaphragms found in the LowFlow line of regulators could very well be the last diaphragm you’ll ever buy.
In order to prove the exceptional longevity of the Jorlon diaphragm, our Engineering Lab Manager set up a one million cycle test to show the life that can be expected from the J-Series regulator line utilizing the Jorlon diaphragm. A standard JR regulator was set up to run on unfiltered shop air. The air was regulated into the JR at 250 psi from an air booster in the lab, and the regulator was set at 150 psi. The test setup terminated with a Jordan Mark 76 Sliding Gate control valve, which was solenoid operated to open and close from the cycle timer box. The cycle rate was one full cycle every 3 seconds, and the test was run to 1,070,981 cycles!
During the first day, the regulator was re-set to the desired setpoint (150 psi) twice as the parts wore in. Other than those two changes, no adjustments were made for the duration of the test. The valve ended up regulating to 155 psi and locking up at about 160 psi. The regulator was checked at regular intervals for diaphragm leakage using a soap solution. Diaphragm leakage was never detected. The valve was disassembled at the conclusion of the cycle test and inspected. The pictures below detail the main components.
As you can see, the diaphragm assembly was well formed and had no signs of thinning or any other issues. The seat still shut off bubble tight and was in good condition. Both the range spring and the return spring were intact and operated well. No wear was found on any part. The thin rust colored film on the upper diaphragm plate resulted from a constant spray of soap solution used to check for diaphragm leakage. The regulator performed as expected during the cycle test. In fact, it is highly likely it would have continued to work for millions of additional cycles. The LowFlow Jorlon diaphragm is an outstanding feature and provides a great benefit, unparalleled and guaranteed service life!
If you need help locating a LowFlow Valve representative near you, please use the “Find a Rep” tool found on the LowFlow Valve website.
Mike Theobald, LowFlow Valve Product Manager