Saturday, April 29, 2017

Scotch Yoke Valve Actuators

Scotch Yoke Pneumatic Valve Actuator
Courtesy Flowserve - Automax
A Scotch yoke is a mechanical linkage arrangement that converts linear motion into rotational motion. A common usage of the mechanism found in modern industry is valve actuators for quarter turn valves with high torque requirements. These applications would emerge most frequently in chemical and oil and gas industrial installations.

Quarter turn valves, such and ball, plug, or butterfly valves, only require a 90 degree rotation from their fully closed to fully open positions. In this case, the Scotch yoke is not used to produce continuous rotating motion, as it may in some engine applications. For the valve actuation case, the Scotch yoke functions much like a hand on a lever. The pneumatic variants use air pressure to drive the slider in one direction until a preset stop position is reached. Usually, a spring provides a counterforce that will drive the valve to a desired fail-safe stop position in the absence of air pressure. Other combinations of driving force and fail-safe operation are available to suit differing application needs.
Diagrammatic representation of Scotch yoke valve actuator
Illustration excerpted from Automax RG Standard Pneumatic Valve Actuator IOM 
with text added
The drive assembly consists essentially of a slider, a pin, and the yoke. The slider is moved laterally by whatever power sources are appropriate for the unit (pneumatic, hydraulic, spring, hand wheel, etc.). The pin is affixed to the slider and extends through a slot in the yoke. One end of the yoke is mounted to the valve shaft. As the slider is driven through is range of motion, the pin moves with the slider and forces movement of the yoke. This movement of the yoke translates into rotational force on the valve shaft and the repositioning of the valve trim.

Selecting and configuring the right actuator and valve for any application benefits from consultation and cooperation among the process engineers and valve automation specialists. Share your process valve and automation challenges with experienced professionals, combining your own process knowledge and experience with their product application expertise to produce an effective solution.