Kinetrol Vane Actuator on FRAC Sand Hydraulic Classifier

FRAC sand control valve
Kinetrol actuator on
Hydraulic Classifier
underflow valve.
In very oversimplified terms, fracking is a process by which a fluid mixture consisting mostly of water and a proppant (typically sand) is pumped into a well under pressure to create fractures in the underlying rock. These fractures create more pathways for hydrocarbons (natural gas & oil) to flow to the well and results in higher production of oil or natural gas.

The term proppant is a mashup of the words "propping" and "agent" and is the material used to hold open cracks in the rock so that an available path to the well exists. The most common proppant used in the fracturing operation is sand.

A classification of very durable, high-purity quartz sand, with very round grains is referred to as "FRAC sand". The petroleum industry uses it widely due to its crush resistance. It is used in hydraulic fracking to allow the flow of oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids from rock.

A Hydraulic Classifier (also known as density separators) are machines that separate minerals of different specific gravities so a producer can classify them for use (in this case for FRAC sand production). They operate by allowing feed material to enter the top
FRAC sand valve location
FRAC sand underflow valve location
(courtesy of McLanahan)
of the unit, after which water is injected and creates an upward rising current. The result is a zone of suspended solids. Finer materials then flow over a weir at the top of the unit, while coarse solids collect in the lower area.  A PID controller maintains the water injection rate and the desired operating density by adjusting the underflow valve to maintain consistent output. The classifier automatically compensates for changes in feed rate.

A Kinetrol USA Midwest Distributor installed a Kinetrol actuator on a Hydraulic Classifier used at a FRAC-sand plant. Previously the customer used an electric actuator which cycled every 2-10 seconds. The electric actuator would burn up after 2 weeks. The Distributor sold them a Kinetrol pneumatic actuator which has worked now continuously for 2 years with no maintenance. The FRAC-sand plant has since purchased 10 more units.

Kinetrol Vane Actuators Replace High Maintenance Pneumatic Cylinders in Water Treatment Plant

Kinetrol Actuator
Kinetrol Rotary Vane Actuator

A Kinetrol USA Western Distributor was told by a water treatment plant operator that two 10" Pratt butterfly valves with cylinder actuators were not working reliably. The valves were okay, but the pneumatic cylinders were a maintenance nightmare. Not only did they introduce far too much hysteresis (slop) in the actuator-to-valve movement, but they also leaked air, and in the winter time had to have a heater placed next to them to keep the cylinders from sticking. The cylinder seals were so poor moisture would penetrate the cylinder and freeze, rendering the actuator unresponsive.

An experienced, application savvy Distributor came to the water treatment plant's rescue. After looking at the application the Sales Engineer specified new butterfly valves and Kinetrol Model 14 double acting actuators, manual gear overrides, AP positioners with I/P, ULS limit switches, angle retransmit, and point-of-use filters.  He knew the Kinetrol actuators would not only eliminate the constant maintenance, but also provide much tighter control.

After 1 year of continuous service, the actuators have performed flawlessly without any downtime. The maintenance crew at the water treatment plant are so pleased they plan on standardizing.

Kinetrol Actuators. Field Tested. Application Driven.

Kinetrol actuators on butterfly valves for water treatment plant
Kinetrol actuators on butterfly valves for water treatment plant.

20" High Performance Butterfly Valve Closed in Under 1/2 Second!

fast closing actuator
Fast closing Kinetrol actuator
This video demonstrates how quickly a large butterfly valve can be closed with a Kinetrol vane actuator spring return unit. In this case, it's a 20" stainless steel high performance butterfly valve (HPBV) being tested in the shop.

You'll note the valve takes about 11 seconds to open, but only 0.4 seconds to close, using the Kinetrol spring return unit.

Quick closing valves are used in emergency situations to stop the flow of fluids that may contribute to uncontrolled combustion, cause backstream contamination, or allow spillage of hazardous materials.

Kinetrol Pneumatic Actuators at Work

Kinetrol rotary vane actuators are the true workhorse of the valve and damper actuation industry. Known for surviving applications with the highest cycle rates, the nastiest environments, and the most remote areas, Kinetrol actuators continue to provide years of maintenance-free service.

This video is a slide presentation of Kinetrol actuators at work.