(Common Ceramic For Control Valves)
For severe service applications, control valve manufactures often specify various Ceramics for their trim components (ball, plug or disk). Ceramics have excellent wear resistance, however due to their extreme hardness, these materials can be fragile. Therefore, Ceramics are prone to cracking upon impact from solids (e.g. rocks in the process). Cracking can lead to a shattered trim and valve failure.
Additionally, the valve’s complex trim geometry and varying material thickness make it susceptible to cracking under thermal shock and thermal gradient. Therefore, it is possible to experience Ceramic failure without impact from solids in the fluid. These events typically occur suddenly and without warning, often resulting with broken pieces of Ceramic flowing downstream.