Close this search box.

Replacing Legacy Control Valves with the Dilating Disk™

27 May 2020  |
Process plant engineers conduct a sizing analysis to determine whether a selected control valve has the appropriate flow capacity and operating characteristics to provide the intended process control. Typically, end user control valve sizing is done in accordance with international standards, and the steps outlined by ISA, ANSI, and IEC.

During the sizing process, plant engineers must avoid choosing an undersized valve, since this would result in process inefficiencies and lowered production. An oversized valve also comes with disadvantages, including poor process control, the need for larger actuators, and unnecessary additional weight and cost.


The Dilating Disk™ is an ideal solution for control valve applications and is especially well suited to perform the same functions as globe valves. However, the Dilating Disk™ represents a step change in valve design. As such, any new and unique technology can face many barriers to adoption, such as anticipated switching costs and a lack of end user familiarity with performance characteristics and potential applications.

The challenge for Clarke Valve™, therefore, is to ensure that the different sizes and pressure classes of the Dilating Disk™ correspond to commonly available globe valve sizes, and that the CV coefficient, pressure drop, and other performance characteristics are also appropriately matched. Cycle testing also needs to be performed, to ensure reliability.

Figure 1: The Dilating Disk™ unique central aperture control surfaces in the 50% open position.


To begin with, the unique geometry of the Dilating Disk™ means that it can deliver a CV equivalent to a much larger globe valve. The centralized flow stream produced by the aperture of the Dilating Disk™ allows for superior process control, while also providing for full port operation with zero pressure drop.

Figure 2: The Dilating Disk™ provides greater volumetric flow, rangeability, and maximum Cv coefficient than larger legacy valve designs, such as the butterfly, globe, and eccentric plug. At the same time, the Dilating Disk™ weighs less than all three comparable valves. Clarke Valve engineers follow a strict methodology for sizing valves, ensuring that the Dilating Disk™ meets or exceeds all of the functional requirements for any legacy valve that it might be replacing. For new build projects, the Dilating Disk™ enables EPCs and end users to design flow control systems that take advantage of the Shutter Valve’s size and weight advantages.

During our process of research and development, we reviewed publicly available performance data for many globe valves, and cross referenced this information with our own testing results. For example, even though the CV71 Dilating Disk™ has a 1-inch port, it can effectively replace 2-inch, 3-inch, and 4-inch legacy globe valves in many applications.

Figure 3: Two 6” ANSI Pressure Class 150 valves, side by side. On the left is the 6″ globe valve that was removed and replaced, and on the right is a 6″ Dilating Disk™ in a raw oil application at an Eni refinery in Italy. Despite the significant reduction in size, weight and cost, the Dilating Disk™ delivers equivalent flow rate (Cv) to the globe valve and matches the same face-to-face dimensions.

Across our entire product line, the Dilating Disk™ delivers equal or greater CV and other desirable performance characteristics to effectively replace much larger globe valves, at each size and pressure class.

Beyond the unique performance characteristics of the Dilating Disk™, the fact is that most globe valves are oversized for their respective applications, due to the inefficient geometric configuration that the globe valve employs to throttle the flow of control fluids. For example, a 12-inch globe valve may only have a 4-inch port. So, to achieve the desired flow rate and pressures for a given process, a very large, heavy, and expensive globe valve is required, when a 4-inch port (CV1345) 12-inch Dilating Disk™ can handle the same job at 1/5th to 1/2 the size, weight, and cost. The actuator needs are likewise, much smaller for a Dilating Disk™ than an equivalent globe valve, as the aperture of the Dilating Disk™ opens perpendicular to the flow of any controlled fluids, and therefore requires substantially less operating torque.

While the comparative assessment of the Dilating Disk™ against various globe valve sizes is a helpful benchmark, we nonetheless carry out a comprehensive sizing analysis for any potential valve installations, both new and retrofit. We will consider the CV rating required and the corresponding percentage that the valve is open to allow the flow and pressure drop that the process needs. Clarke Valve will also run a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis to ensure that the Dilating Disk™ does not create any detrimental fluid effects for the end user’s process.

Figure 4: The unique geometry that enables the Dilating Disk™ to meet or exceed the performance of much larger and heavier valves also produces favorable flow characteristics for any process fluids. In this side-by-side CFD model, the tortuous path of a globe valve (left) generates considerable turbulence and changes in velocity, while the Shutter Valve (right) creates a centralized flow stream with minimal turbulence or other adverse fluid effects.


The Dilating Disk™ can provide greater value than most globe valves, by delivering the same valve characteristics (flow rate, pressure drop, etc.) from a smaller, lighter weight, and less expensive valve and actuator package. This provides a major impact and incentive for an industry that spends $7B annually on control valves. The reduced size and weight of the Dilating Disk™ and its actuator also makes it easier to install and service, conferring proven labor efficiencies and lower total cost of ownership on any facility that deploys the Dilating Disk™ for process control.

Share this article

This article is published by

Founded in 2011, Clarke Valve provides high quality, API 641 and ISO 15848-1 certified industrial control valves to organizations worldwide. Using aerospace design principles, Clarke developed the Dilating Disk™ Valve, formerly known as the Shutter...

Related Articles