For thirty years, one of our customers in the nuclear industry had been utilizing a plastic training valve for a rare Parallel Double Disc Reverse Acting Gate Valve. Over time, the plastic became increasingly brittle and they were no longer able to use it for training. Dupill Group was approached with the task of reverse-engineering and fabricating a more robust replacement for this rare valve.
The customer requested the valve be manufactured from aluminum. The reverse-engineering process utilized Dupill Group’s portable CMM, calipers, micrometers, and other measuring and test equipment. Dupill Group integrated stainless steel valve seats and disks for wear resistance and for simulating seat repairs, which were previously beyond the capability of the plastic valve.
Training valves are a very important tool within the nuclear industry. They allow technicians to train on the valves they will be repairing in a safe environment before entering the Radiation Controlled Area (RCA). This is a good ALARA practice and will lower the amount of time spent in the RCA.
Once the new training valve was fabricated, it became clear just how well the valve was reverse-engineered. While the opportunity to add packing and gaskets did not present itself, it was believed that the training valve could have functioned as a working valve. The replicated training valve was the perfect hands-on training tool to provide the necessary practical experience for the technicians prior to the actual repair in the RCA.