Harsh, frigid conditions are among the most challenging industrial environments for fluid-handling applications. At these temperatures, it is especially difficult to ensure proper, leak-tight operation of fluid-system components. Elastomeric sealing materials inside components can harden, crack and simply stop performing when temperatures drop too low. Therefore, at extremely low temperatures, valves, regulators and many other components may not fully seal, causing leaks. Additionally, the components may become difficult, if not impossible, to actuate.
Ensuring sound low-temperature performance can be especially difficult within dynamic fluid-system components like pressure-reducing regulators, which are commonly found in many gas-supply applications. When such applications take place in northern climates like those found in Alaska, Canada, Siberia, northern Europe and the Arctic Ocean where temperatures may dip to –40°F (–40°C) or colder, sensitive regulator components can become less responsive as temperatures drop. If engineers and operators do not specify the appropriate materials of construction for the regulator’s sealing elements, onsite technicians may need to constantly tend to the components, which can be tough to manage in frigid conditions.