Understanding How Stainless Steel Valves Prevent Leaks

The main goal of sealing mechanisms is to stop leaks. In stainless steel valves, the methods used to achieve this are deeply rooted in studying potential leak situations. The major contributors to leaks are gaps between sealed pairs and pressure differences across these pairs. The examination of sealing methods in stainless steel valves covers four essential aspects: sealing liquids, sealing gases, the rules for leak paths, and the complex dynamics of sealed pairs in these valves.
 
1. Liquid Sealing in Stainless Steel Valves
 
Effective liquid sealing depends on the thickness and surface tension of the liquid. When the capillary of a stainless steel valve leaks and fills with gas, surface tension may push the liquid away, causing a contact angle of less than 90°. This leads to liquid getting into the capillary, resulting in leaks. The type of liquid used affects the outcomes, with different results seen with water, air, or other substances. Using the Poisson equation helps prevent leaks by reducing capillary size and increasing viscosity.
 
2. Gas Sealing in Stainless Steel Valves
 
The efficiency of gas sealing is linked to gas molecule characteristics and viscosity. According to the Poisson equation, gas leaks are less likely with shorter capillaries and higher gas viscosity, but more likely with larger capillaries and a stronger driving force. Interestingly, effective sealing in stainless steel valves often requires water, as gases struggle to seal effectively. Even with a smaller capillary size from deformation, completely stopping gas flow remains challenging.
 
3. Sealing Principles of Leak Channels
 
Sealing stainless steel valves involves carefully considering irregularities on the corrugated surface and the spacing between wave peaks in leak channels. When the elastic strain of most metals is low, achieving effective sealing requires more compression force on the metal, surpassing its natural elasticity. Designing sealed pairs must consider differences in hardness to induce controlled plastic deformation under pressure, achieving the desired sealing effect.
 
In summary, the sealing principles of stainless steel valves involve the complex dynamics of liquids and gases, the detailed structures of leak channels, and the significant impact of pressure on sealing results. Considering all these aspects is crucial when designing stainless steel valves to ensure they operate effectively and avoid leaks.
 

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