Edmonton Valve & Fitting Blog

Weekly posts for northern and central Alberta engineers, plant operators, and buyers.

Swagelok's Tank Blanketing RHPS Series Regulators Keep the Peace

by Taryn Hardes, on Mon, Sep 10, 2012 @ 07:09 AM

‘Pad’ of inert gas is the thrifty way to protect a tank and its product

  swagelok rhps regulator

Download the Tank Blanketing
Catalogue here to receive more
information on this RHPS Series 


Plain ordinary air can cause a lot of problems if it gets into a storage tank. Ask anyone who makes beer. The same is true for pharmaceuticals, perfumes, electronics and other products that need to be kept away from oxygen, moisture and other contaminants in the air.

The obvious answer is to replace the air with a “blanket” or “pad” of inert gas such as nitrogen. But not everyone knows the right way to do it. It’s very popular to simply run a nitrogen line into the tank, and a relief valve out. The steady stream works, but it also wastes a lot of gas.

A smarter approach is to use a tank-blanketing regulator. It allows you to put a small amount of gas into the tank and keep it there. Less than 1 psi can do the trick. It also keeps that pressure steady if the volume and temperature change in the tank.

There are several options for letting out the excess gas. One is a simple conservation vent, basically a tube with a flap on the end, much like a household dryer vent. Depending on the contents, a relief valve might be better. A tank-blanketing back-pressure regulator is another option.

Together, these components not only help protect the contents of the tank, they help protect the tank itself by preventing corrosion and extending useful life. By maintaining a constant pressure inside the tank, they help prevent rupture or collapse.

Swagelok’s new RHPS line of regulators includes tank blanketing regulators made of low-carbon stainless steel and factory tested with nitrogen or air at either 232 psig or its maximum rated pressure.

Which one is right for your job? Swagelok will be glad to help you make a selection. It doesn’t rely so much on the size of the tank as it does on filling and evacuation. A quarter-inch line on a 10,000 gallon tank will change the volume much more slowly than a four-inch line on a 100-gallon tank. Get an accurate read on how long it takes to fill or empty a tank on the line, and don’t make a “guestimate.” It’s surprising how often one person will guess five minutes, while someone else will guess 15 minutes for the same tank.

To get grounded in what they do, download the catalogue on Swagelok’s Tank Blanketing pressure regulators »


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