Neles delivers first valve with 3D printed valve body

Thursday, 06 May, 2021

Neles delivers first valve with 3D printed valve body

Finnish process valve manufacturer Neles has delivered its first valve with a 3D printed valve body for field testing. Except for the body, the valve is a standard T5-series ball valve made of stainless steel. It will be tested at Teollisuuden Voima’s power plant in Finland. The project is being done in cooperation with Teollisuuden Voima and Fortum.

Neles says it is at the forefront of using 3D printing in valve applications. The company started testing the suitability of 3D printing technologies for metal components years ago and supplied the first valves with non-pressure-retaining, 3D printed metal components in 2018.

“The valve body is a pressure-retaining component and thus its material properties need to be well known,” said Jukka Borgman, Director of Technology Development at Neles. “However, industry standards for 3D printed materials are under development. It has been necessary to test the valve body material extensively and, for example, the tensile strength and impact resistance to make sure it is safe and reliable in the process.”

The field tests will provide valuable information on the feasibility of using 3D printing to produce pressure-retaining parts with significantly quicker delivery times. 3D printing also enables more efficient use of materials and optimised flow paths in noise attenuation trims, delivering superior performance compared to conventionally produced trims.

“3D printing can help us to optimise valves for customer-specific needs in various applications and with all valve types. These tests will also provide valuable information for our product development teams, as they are constantly looking for new ways to improve reliability, performance and material efficiency,” Borgman added.

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