Assuring valve components are authentic with Positive Material Identification

Recent years have seen a proliferation of inferior low quality, low cost imitation components flooding onto markets as diverse as the automotive and food industries.

More often than not it has been the more successful products that have been targeted in each market as producers of the cheap alternatives have sought to take advantage of established reputations.

These alternative products may well have the same appearance as the real thing but sadly offer performance way below that which is acceptable. In safety critical applications such as valves, it is vital that the material or product specified is the one received and used, in order to eliminate the dangers of equipment failure which could in turn cause production loss, environmental contamination and potential hazard to life.

After one of its high-specification materials fell victim to imitations including the use of a registered band name, sealing and materials engineering specialist James Walker has perfected and launched a method of positive material identification (PMI) for its range of Devlon® thermoplastics to help protect its products from future such attacks. The products involved in the PMI development include Devlon® V-API which is commonly specified for valve seat use in critical valve assemblies.

The PMI Technology in this case is a microscopic additive incorporated within the Devlon material that can be identified from the smallest sample of material – including fine swarf shavings. The additive can even be detected in parts that may have been melted or burnt during use.

The properties of Devlon are not in any way altered or compromised by PMI Technology, though its inclusion now means that genuine Devlon can be identified quickly and easily.

In addition to having a material sample analysed at the James Walker thermoplastics manufacturing centre, customers are also able to request a site visit from James Walker personnel for tests using portable PMI analysers – ideal in cases where immediate results are imperative or the material may already have been installed in an assembly.

The concept of Devlon V-API with PMI Technology received an enthusiastic welcome when it was launched by the company at the recent Valve World Europe event as it offers a simple, fool-proof check and the peace of mind for manufacturers and end users that they are using genuine Devlon materials – particularly significant in an industry where increased occurrences of counterfeiting and copying are an unfortunate and unwelcome reality.

James Walker
Tel: 01270 536000

Published in Valve User Magazine Issue 32

Summer 2020 // Issue 53
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