Common Valve Storage and Preservation Issues

Valve Graveyard

Welcome back to another tip bit Monday! As we know, often manufactures carefully designs, manufactures, tests, and coat their valves only to have them end up at site all rusted and damaged. We will explore some common issues which can cause damage and corrosion to the carefully manufactured products.

Stacking Problem

To reduce shipping cost, Valves are often shipped in bulk. A common method of valve packaging is stacking the valves with their flanges facing up, however, stacking valves in this manner can lead to many potential problems.

  • Valve flange Facings Deformation – facing may be damaged from blunt trauma and deformation from the weight of the valves untop;
  • Severe Rusting of Facing – The bottom flange face, if exposed to moisture, can retain water and lead to severe facing corrosion.
  • Bent Accessories and Handwheels – Many valves are equipped with handwheels and fittings larger than the valve, often damaged during stacking.
  • Valve Flange Deformation – Small stainless products may have flanges that are compliant, but weak. These flanges will deformed when stacked.
  • Compacted Flange Protector – Plastic flange protectors typically have tapered retaining tabs. These tabs can become compacted when stacked, causing them to be very difficult to extract. Best case scenario; extra time are spent removing it. Worst scenario; workers damages the valve facing with prying tools.
  • Corrosion Inhibitor Cross Contamination – Thinner oil based rust preventives commonly used for the internal cavity of the valve may drip down and attack raise face corrosion inhibitors
  • Improper Flange face Protection – Many times, third party will conduct testing of the valve and put grease on the raise faces as corrosion preservation, These preservation immediately gets pushed away from the facing when stacked; render the corrosion protection ineffective

Bonus tips: Refer to ASME B16.5 for guidance on allowable raise face “imperfections“. A fit for service mindset using that standard and the expecting sealing area of the gasket may result in usable damaged facing, Allowing flexibility in issue disposition.

Storage of valve with the flange facing horizontal

The ideal way to stack valves is to not put pressure on the facings and adequately protecting them from blunt trauma using flange protector and good bracing.

Corrosion Protection

Valve manufactures need to develop a robust system of protection to ensure the valve are protected from corrosion for the full trip to the final destination. Common issues are as follows.

  • Plastic Wrapped valves – Plastic wrap are commonly used to secure valves on pallets for domestic shipping. These kind of packaging may trap moisture within and cause severe corrosion to any non-protected surfaces.
  • Moisture Inside OEM Bags– Many manufacture would seal an entire crate of valves within large bags. If the air within these bags are moist, then during transportation, the colder climate will cause water to condense out of the air and cause unexpected corrosion of an otherwise “good” sealed bag.
  • Emulsified Grease – Sometime, heavy oil are used during production as in-process corrosion prevention. These oil end up being emulsified during hydrostatic testing of the valve and can result in delayed corrosion of the cavity. This is because the oil turn into a water+oil emulsion which slowly rust over time. The very item responsible for corrosion protection causing the rust!
  • Breaking OEM Seals – Valve often ship from manufactures fully sealed in an air tight environment to prevent rust during transport, these seals often are broken by workers to verify shipment during receiving process. these broken seals often are not repaired and would allow ingress of moisture into the storage container, fully saturating any desiccant that are placed within the container and render them useless.
  • Usage of Only Porous (“Wood”) Flange protector – If porous protector such as wood is used, it should not be in direct contact with the machined surfaces. If the porous material gets wet, it will hold the water next to material for an extended duration of time resulting in severe corrosion of facings. A common method to utilize wood protector is to use plastic or rubber covering between the wood protector and the flange facing.
  • Upright storage of geared valves outdoor – Gearbox are made so that there is a space between the stem-nut and the gearbox ID. This area is capable of holding large amount of moisture/water if not protected properly, leading to corrosion, and even inoperable valves.
  • Saturated desiccants – Most desiccants appears the same new and old. It’s important to utilize good storage practice, or desiccants with visual indicators to know if they are still effective.

Manufacture often use a combination of inhibitors in the cutting fluid, testing fluid, and drying process to ensure rust free valves at the end of production. Final preservation should always involve the usage of a controlled atmosphere with sealed space, desiccant, and even Vapor Phased Inhibitor. Failure to have proper preservation or breach of this system can result in costly corrosion to the product.

Breached Seal System

Proper Support

The final storage issue that often arise is lack of proper valve support. These are fairly simple, but often committed, errors which have potential to causes damage to the valve.

  • Stem support on Large Bare Stem Valve (Gate) – Often times, gearbox would be removed from large gate valves during transit, or they would be ordered as bare-stem to be actuated elsewhere. These valves are always shipped in a horizontal position. As the stem packing were not built to support the weight of the stem, they can be crushed during shipment. In the best case scenario, the stem sealing characteristic of the valve is comprised, in the worst case scenario, the valve will suffer stem damage leading to visual leak.
  • Disc support on Check Valve – check valves, especially swing checks, needs to be shipped in a manner so that the disc will not slam repeatedly during transport, or damage can be done to the disc/seat, causing leakage.
  • Actuator Support – Heavy actuators are not designed to withstand rough environment of transportation hanging in mid air. Large and heavy actuated valve packages should be properly supported to avoid side loading damage to the actuator and valve.
  • Soft seat valve position – Some manufactures require their valve to be shipped fully open, or fully closed, depending on the design of the valve. Shipping soft seated ball valve in a half open position can jeopardize the performance of the valve.

What other tips do y’all have for valve storage and preservation? feel free to share in the comment below. I will add any good tips to the article.

The NACE Compliant Valve
It is important to know what it means when NACE is requested …
Standards Update: API 609 Butterfly Valve 3rd Ballot
API 609: Butterfly Valves: Double-flanged, Lug- and Wafer-type Edition 9 Update Status: …

The NACE Compliant Valve

Been doing this for 40 years, If it’s stainless it meets NACE

Industry old timer

Customer often request NACE compliant valves without the understanding of what it means. a NACE valve needs to meet two standards published through the National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE): NACE MR0175/ISO 15156 and NACE MR0103/ISO 17945. This two specifications guide people on the identification of both when and what material is needed. With multiple revisions since the original revision, we have came a long way since the saying “If it’s stainless it meets NACE”. We should try to expand beyond the basic of valve material.

NACE compliant Valve components


NACE MR0175/ISO 15156
  • User ultimately responsible in specification, relatively standardized interpretation
  • Upstream (Exploration, Oil and Gas Production)
  • Sour Environmental Definition Tighter
    • H2S-containing production fluid
    • Sulfide Stress Cracking
    • Stress Corrosion Cracking
    • Hydrogen-induced Cracking
    • Stepwise Cracking
    • Stress-oriented hydrogen-induced cracking
    • Soft zone cracking
    • Galvanically induced hydrogen stress cracking
  • Material Requirement
    • Very specific requirements and well documented
  • Complimented by
    • NACE TM0177
    • NACE TM0284
NACE MR0103/ISO 17945: 2015
  • User ultimately responsible in specification, relatively flexible interpretation: Section 5
  • Downstream (Refining and Gas Processing)
  • Sour Environmental Definition (Broader): Section 6.6
    • Sulfide Stress Cracking
    • Other mechanisms out of scope
  • Material Requirements
    • Hardness Requirement: Section 8
    • Allow addition of new material/process: Section 9, 11
    • Emphasis on Welding
    • Ferrous Material: Section 13
    • Nonferrous Material: Section 14
    • Fabrication Requirements: Section 15
    • Bolting: Section 16
    • Plating/Coating/Diffusion: Section 17
    • Special Components: Section 18
    • Valves: Section 19
    • Compressor and Pumps: Section 20
  • Compliment by
    • NACE SP0472
    • NACE TM0177

Why NACE Compliant?

The oil and gas industry have experienced “unscheduled releases” in the field due to various material failures. Engineers and scientist have determined the mechanisms leading to some of these failures and developed guidance surrounding these experience in the selection and manufacturing of products which can be resistant against these failure mechanisms.

H2S Corrosion / Wet H2S Cracking

“Sour” Service is typically understood to be situations where material is exposed to a relative high percentage of H2S. In these environments, materials can be attacked by the hydrogen available in the media leading to failure and cracking of these material. The hydrogen atoms preferentially seep into the area around hard material and microstructures, such as around welded material which have not been stress relieved.

Sulfide Stress Cracking (SSC)

The Below factors of the EXPOSED material contributes to SSC.

  • Chemical Composition
  • Strength (Hardness): the harder, the more likely. Primary parameter
  • Heat Treatment: Affects grain structure, stress, strength, and hardness
  • Microstructure
  • Internal residual tensile stress

The below is Process and Environmental Factors which contributes to SSC

  • Total tensile stress applied to the material
  • Hydrogen flux in the exposed material: Details explanation within NACE documents
  • Temperature: Higher more susceptible to hydrogen infusion (While wet), cracks at Ambient
  • Exposure Time

Other Mechanisms

Other primary mechanism of hydrogen based failure of material are Hydrogen Blistering, Hydrogen-Infused Cracking (HIC), and stress-oriented hydrogen-induced cracking (SOHIIC). those will be discussed in a different article.

Complying to NACE MR0103: 2015

Using Table 1 within the standard, it presents a “Road Map” which guides the reader on what sections are applicable to the material group in question in the following categories

  • Heat Treatment Condition
  • Additional Material Requirements
  • Additional Fabrication Requirements
Table 1, Carbon Steel Road Map


Let’s take a very common Example of ASTM A216-WCB Carbon steel gate valve in Trim 8. The valve typically will have 3 main components exposed to the media. ASTM A216-WCB, ASTM A182-F6a, ASTM A105N, and Bolting Material, Typically ASTM A193 B7

  • Shell: ASTM A216-WCB (P-No. 1, Group 2) and ASTM A105N (P-No. 1, Group 2)
    • The valve will have to be in one of the 6 allowable heat treatment condition
    • Base metal hardness controls not required
    • Welding shall be controlled (Including Repair) 15.3, NACE SP0472
      • Overlay Welding 15.2, 15.4, NACE SP0472
      • Spray Cladding (Wedge Guides), base material not to exceed lower transformation temperature during spraying NACE SP0472
    • If piping bend is used, such as bypass piping, needs to be heated bend and hardness control the bended area to 225 HBW
  • Stem: ASTM A182-F6a (P-No. 6, Group 1 or 3)
    • Heat treatment specified. Austenitize and double tempered. (3 step process)
    • Hardness limited to 22 HRC
  • Fastener: ASTM A193 B7 | ASTM A194 2H
    • If “Exposed” to environment, ASTM A193 B7M and ASTM A194 2HM to be used
  • If spring is used, typically Inconel X-750 Spring is selected, max Hardness 50 HRC

NACE SP0472 15th Edition, August 17, 2020

It should be noted that NACE SP0472 was published in 2020 and is a necessary standard for manufacture to know how to stay in compliance to NACE. A further article will review this standard in detail.

Common Valve Storage and Preservation Issues
Proper valve storage, preparation and handling is key to preventing damage and …
Standards Update: API 609 Butterfly Valve 3rd Ballot
API 609: Butterfly Valves: Double-flanged, Lug- and Wafer-type Edition 9 Update Status: …
Standards Update: API 600 Gate Valve 2nd Ballot
The new revision of API 600, expected for publish late 2021 or …
2020 API Fall Meeting Update
Meeting Going Virtual Edit: Updated Oct 12, 2020 Meeting not free for …

Standards Update: API 609 Butterfly Valve 3rd Ballot

API 609: Butterfly Valves: Double-flanged, Lug- and Wafer-type

Edition 9 Update Status: 3rd Ballot issued out for API SCOPV member for review and voting. October 8, 2020.

The new revision of API 609, expected for publish in 2021, is issued out for ballot among voting member. As a third ballot, it is close to finalization and should be on schedule for release for 2021. Currently, API 641 low emission qualification and associated marking remains optional and the standard stays relatively unchanged from previous edition.

Task Force Makeup

  • Task Force Lead
    • Gobind Khiani – Enbridge Pipelines
  • Task Force Member
    • Stan Allen – Bray
    • David Bayreuther – Metsuo
    • Jim Barker – DeZurik
    • Tim Cink – P99
    • Kenneth Matthews – Emerson (Keystones)
    • Mani Pilla – CNC Flow Control
    • Tessy Thomas –
    • Jay Thompson – 700 Valve Supply
    • Charles Steffes – Forum Energy

Standards Update: API 600 Gate Valve 2nd Ballot

API 600: Steel Gate Valves – Flanged and Butt welding Ends, Bolted Bonnets

Edition 14 Update Status: Second ballot issued out for member review: October 5, 2020.

The new revision of API 600, expected for publish late 2021 or 2022, will incorporate group 3 material from ASME and have optional clauses for purchaser to issue special stem packing in lieu of the one used during API 624, while retaining requirement for valve to be qualified (type tested) to API 624. This will allow the manufacturers to provide many custom solutions for special application while still marking the valve “API 600”

Task Force Makeup

  • Task Force Lead
    • James Hebert – Chevron
  • Task Force Member
    • Carlos Davila – CRANE
    • Claire Dwyer – Fluor
    • Gil Perez – Velan
    • Greg Johnson – United Valve
    • Paul Heald – Bonney Forge
    • Rick Morris – Flint Hills Resources
    • Tom Waldman – Kitz
    • Michael Alford – Marathon Petroleum
    • Jose Avalos – Neway
  • Guests
    • Luke Chou – ValveHax

2020 API Fall Meeting Update

Meeting Going Virtual

Edit: Updated Oct 12, 2020 Meeting not free for non-committee member

The Bi-annual API Refining and Equipment Standards Meeting have was cancelled in the spring of 2020. However, an update have been formalized as of August 28, 2020. The 2020 API fall meeting will be in all virtual format. The “meeting” will be held over a 2 weeks period on the week of November 9, 2020 and November 16, 2020.

If you are previous registered, the extra cost can be refunded with a cutoff date of November 6, 2020. Early Registration is due by November 2, 2020.

As of today, there are no “sign up” nor “payment” posted, it may be that there will be no cost required to participate in these meetings. The meeting will be free for current commitee members and up to 250 USD for non members. If the format goes well, it may very well change how future participants attend API standard meeting for those company who have travel restriction or budget constrictions. Looking forward to hearing everyone at the 2020 api fall meeting!

2020 API Meeting Questions?

Refining Standards Committees: David Miller, 202-682-8159 or; Christopher Hughes, 202-682-8151 or 
Refining Standards Committee Information: Kierra Beliveau, 202-682-8565,
Refining Subcommittee and the API/AFPM Operating Practices Symposium: Andrew Broadbent, 202-682-8519 or
Logistical Information: Arnetta Smith, 202-682-8149 or
Registration: Brittany Ellis, 202-682-8195 or Michael Viola, 202-682-8194 both at

Standards Update: API 623 Globe Valve 2nd Edition

API 623: Steel Globe Valves – Flanged and Butt welding Ends, Bolted Bonnets

Publication Status: Passed final technical re-circulation ballot and going into editing.

As of July 21, 2020, the second edition of API 623 standard for globe valve have passed the final balloting and has moved unto API editing. The standard update is expected to be published in 2020 or early 2021. It should be noted that monogrammed manufacturers only have a 6 month grace period after the standard publishes to come into compliance. The updated standard seek to align the standard with API 600 and incorporates group 3 nickle based alloy materials as well as mandating body guiding for globe valves across the board.

Task Force Makeup

  • Task Force Lead
    • Stephen McJones – BP
  • Task Force Members
    • Loic Deneuville – Total
    • Larry Skoda – Chevron
    • Bill Patrick – Dow Chemical
    • Lee Fang – FBV Valve
    • Engin Gulgun – International Standard Valve, Inc.
    • Willard Painter – Powell Valves
    • Kay Peters – Edward L. Haile and Associates, Inc.
    • Alberto Rossi – Orion Valve
    • Terry Blacker – Becht Engineering (Former ExxonMobil)
    • Carlo Moretta – Valvosider SRL
    • Mike Donoghue – Powell Valves
    • Jim Pease – YDF
    • Ron Merrick – Flour (Retired)
  • Guests
    • James Hebert – Chevron
    • Luke Chou – ValveHax