Edmonton Valve & Fitting Blog

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

New Technical Briefing: Industrial Valves Guru Shares 7-Step Method for Selecting a Valve

by Katie Reid, on Thu, Dec 10, 2020 @ 13:12 PM

If you don't relish valve selection, you're not alone. Here's a proven method for selecting the right valve for each application, every time.


Each design engineer, operator, or procurement expert we work with approaches valve selection a little differently. Some start by researching materials compatibility. Others start eliminating based on how difficult installation or maintenance will be; others check flow coefficient ratings, or Cv, of valves before moving on to other criteria. And so on.

None of these approaches is wrong. Still, taking a methodical approach is essential to ending up with the right valve for the job every time.

Tech Briefing_STAMPED_mockupA_med-1

A couple of weeks ago, industrial valves guru Joe Bush presented "STAMPED Method for Valve Selection," a technical briefing where he shared a thorough, organized approach to valve selection. We recorded and posted it here:

Technical Briefings

Just below the recorded briefing you'll find resources that Edmonton Valve provided to attendees after the session.

Bush is a Senior Product Manager at Swagelok Company in Solon, Ohio. He is responsible for setting the long-term vision and strategy for the general industrial valve product line, including: ball, needle, check and relief valves as well as quick connects, and sample cylinders. In his 24 years at Swagelok, he has a wide range of experience including technical service leadership for the high purity service group, Senior Pricing Analyst, and Market Manager for Oil & Gas.

In his presentation Bush covers valve types, shows the S.T.A.M.P.E.D. method for valve selection, and answers questions from those who joined live.

STAMPED Method_Visual-1

The S.T.A.M.P.E.D. acronym refers to the importance of considering:

  1. Size (consider flow capacity and/or orifice size )
  2. Temperature (not only media temperature but also temperature of the environment affect temperature range needed)
  3. Application (consider the need for on-off isolation, flow control, directional control, pressure relief, and pressure regulation)
  4. Media (consider the properties of the gas or liquid it will handle)
  5. Pressure (consider working pressure, maximum system pressure, and whether pressure will be steady or pulsing)
  6. End connections (consider the range of Swagelok end connections; pipe threads are most common but there are flange, weld, and other options)
  7. Delivery (consider when and how many valves you need)

High temperature can soften seals, Bush points out; while low temperature can shrink seals and increase torque or cause leakage. Swagelok catalogues provide details on low/high temperature options.

Desired valve function depends on your application. Is the valve for shut-off, flow control, addressing overpressure, or something else? How will it be actuated? Customer specifications or government regulations may influence the answer. Remember too that many factors (seats, temps, frequency, cleanliness of fluid, throttling) determine cycle life.

Bush also reviews how media plays an important role, and touches on the kind of detail you can find in Swagelok’s Material Selection Guide.

Although not typically associated with construction of a valve, the end connection selection is critical to maintaining a leak-tight system, Bush says. When selecting a valve, the method by which it is installed into your fluid system will determine the type of end connection. The best choice depends in part on your priorities - like ease of installation, ensuring zero-clearance, or maximizing safety (eg weld end connections).

Technical Briefings

Swagelok valves - the big picture

As mentioned above, it's important to get valve selection right because:

The true cost of a valve is not its purchase price. The true cost is the purchase price plus the cost of owning and maintaining or replacing that valve over time.— Michael Adkins, Matching Valve Type to Function, valve-world.net
Fill the form to get all the essential literature now

Swagelok offers ball valves, diaphragm-sealed valves, bellows-sealed valves, needle shutoff and regulating valves, manifolds, check valves, metering valves, quarter-turn plugs, bleed and purge valves, excess flow valves, relief valves, sample stream select (actuated) valves, atomic layer deposition (ALD) valves, medium and high pressure valves, and valve locks.

There is a lot of information, but we made it so you can get the whole collection of Swagelok valves literature in one step →

Talk with our Field Advisory Services team

If you have questions, please reach out to our Field Advisory team with our on-call services to lend assistance:

Field Advisory Services page


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