Fail-safe under fire


A new fireproof control valve could help prevent dangerous leaks caused by fires in industrial plants. Most control valves are designed with a fail-safe mechanism, in which a spring can force a valve actuator shut in the event of a system failure. But in a fire, the spring can crystallise and the fail-safe mechanism pack up. So Samson AG of Frankfurt has developed a heat sensitive cartridge that fits in the spring and consists of two cylinders of slightly different diameters, placed so one can slide inside the other. The gap between them is filled with a material that swells on heating,
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