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Title:
VALVE SEAL WRAP
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/173231
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A valve assembly is disclosed herein having a valve member and a valve seat body. The valve member is reciprocatingly movable into and out of engagement with the valve seat body. The assembly further includes a seal insert positioned to be at the situs of engagement of the valve member with the valve seat body. The assembly further includes a wrap positioned to cover the seal insert and optionally, to cover a portion of the valve member to protect the seal insert from the flow of fluids and high impact.

Inventors:
SPENCER, Gideon Nathanael (7517 Lake Vista Way, Fort Worth, Texas, 76179, US)
MYERS, Jeff (900 Matisse Drive, Fort Worth, Texas, 76107, US)
Application Number:
US2019/020584
Publication Date:
September 12, 2019
Filing Date:
March 04, 2019
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
S.P.M. FLOW CONTROL, INC. (601 Weir Way, Fort Worth, Texas, 76108, US)
International Classes:
F16K15/06; F04B53/10; F16K1/36; F16K1/42; F16K1/46; F16K5/06
Foreign References:
US20140367602A12014-12-18
US20170298932A12017-10-19
US20090278069A12009-11-12
US8312805B12012-11-20
US20170089470A12017-03-30
US4518329A1985-05-21
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DUBNER, Michael W. et al. (Foley & Lardner LLP, 3000 K Street N.W.Suite 60, Washington District of Columbia, 20007, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
WHAT IS CLAIMED IS:

1. A valve assembly, comprising:

a valve member;

a valve seat body;

the valve member reciprocatably movable into and out of engagement with the valve seat body;

a seal insert positioned to be at the situs of engagement of the valve member with the valve seat body; and

a wrap covering at least a portion of the seal insert.

2. The valve assembly of clam 1, wherein the wrap is positioned to cover at least a portion of the valve member.

3. The valve assembly of claim 1, wherein the wrap is disposed around the entirety of the seal insert.

4. The valve assembly of claim 1, wherein the seal insert is disposed in a cavity of the valve member and wherein the wrap is positioned between an inner surface of the cavity and the seal insert.

5. The valve assembly of claim 1, wherein the seal insert is disposed on the valve member and wherein the wrap is positioned to cover the seal insert so as to prevent direct contact between the seal insert and the valve seat body.

6. The valve assembly of claim 1, wherein the seal insert is formed of at least one of a urethane or a thermoplastic material.

7. The valve assembly of claim 1, wherein the seal insert includes fiber or organic reinforcing material.

8. The valve assembly of claim 7, wherein the fiber or organic reinforcing material is randomly disposed or specially oriented within the seal.

9. The valve assembly of claim 7, wherein the fiber or organic reinforcing material is formed of carbon, fibers, glass fibers, coton fibers, and combinations thereof.

10. The valve assembly of claim 7, wherein the fiber is formed of flat woven fabrics or fiber webs that include fiber bundles.

11. The valve assembly of claim 7, wherein the reinforcing material is formed of a fiber, a film, a mat, a mesh, a rod, a sheet, and combinations thereof.

12. The valve assembly of claim 1, wherein the seal insert is a single piece or layer or a multiple piece or layer.

13. The valve assembly of claim 1, wherein the seal insert has a hardness of greater than 95A durometer and less than a hardness of the valve member and/or valve body.

14. The valve assembly of claim 1, wherein the seal insert has a hardness of greater than 60D durometer and less than a hardness of the valve member and/or valve body.

15. The valve assembly of claim 1, wherein the wrap is formed of an abrasion resistant material.

16. The valve assembly of claim 1, wherein the wrap is formed of a durable fiber material, a flexible, high-temperature material, a high molecular weight material, a strong material, and combinations thereof.

17. The valve assembly of claim 1, wherein the wrap is formed of at least one of a fiberglass, a polytetrafluorethylene (PTFE), a fluorinated ethylene propylene copolymer (FEP), a perfluoroalkoxy (PFA), a copolymer of ethylene and tetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), an ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMwPE), a high molecular weight polyethylene (HMwPE), a high molecular weight polypropylene (HMwPP), a high density polyethylene (HDPE), a high density polypropylene (HDPP), an organic fiber in the polyamide family, a polyamide, or a combination thereof.

18. The valve assembly of claim 1, wherein the wrap includes fiber or organic reinforcing material.

19. The valve assembly of claim 18, wherein the fiber or organic reinforcing material is randomly disposed or specially oriented within the wrap.

20. The valve assembly of claim 18, wherein the fiber or organic reinforcing material is formed of carbon, fibers, glass fibers, cotton fibers, and combinations thereof.

21. The valve assembly of claim 18, wherein the fiber is formed of flat woven fabrics or fiber webs that include fiber bundles.

22. The valve assembly of claim 18, wherein the reinforcing material is formed of a fiber, a film, a mat, a mesh, a rod, a sheet, and combinations thereof.

23. The valve assembly of claim 1, wherein the wrap is a single piece or layer or a multiple piece or layer.

24. The valve assembly of claim 1, wherein the wrap is secured in place using a metal fitting, a plastic fitting, an adhesive, and combinations thereof.

25. The valve assembly of claim 1, wherein the wrap is secured in place using a fitting.

26. The valve assembly of claim 1, wherein the wrap is secured in place using an adhesive.

27. The valve assembly of claim 26, wherein the adhesive is formed of an epoxy adhesive, a polyamide adhesive, a polyurethane adhesive, and combinations thereof.

28. A valve assembly, comprising:

a valve seat body;

a valve member, the valve member reciprocatably movable into and out of engagement with the valve seat body;

a seal insert disposed within a cavity of the valve member and positioned to be at the situs of engagement of the valve member with the valve seat body; and

a wrap covering a surface of the seal insert and forming a barrier between the surface of the seal insert and the valve seat body.

29. The valve assembly of claim 28, wherein the wrap is positioned to cover at least a portion of the valve member.

30. The valve assembly of claim 28, wherein the wrap is disposed around the entirety of the seal insert.

31. A method of manufacturing a valve member for use with a valve assembly, the valve assembly comprising a valve seat body, the valve member reciprocatably movable into and out of engagement with the valve seat body, the method comprising:

forming a cavity in the valve member;

installing a seal insert within the cavity;

covering a surface of the seal insert with a wrap to form a barrier between the surface of the seal insert and the valve seat body.

32. The method of claim 31, wherein installing the seal insert within the cavity comprises:

securing the wrap to the valve member to enclose the cavity in the valve member; and injecting the seal insert material through a passageway formed in the valve member and into the enclosed cavity to fill the enclosed cavity.

33. The method of claim 31, further comprising covering the at least a portion of the valve member with the cover.

34. The method of claim 31, further comprising covering at least a portion of the seal insert with the cover between the cavity sidewall and the seal insert.

35. A valve member for use with a valve assembly, the valve member reciprocatingly movable into and out of engagement with the valve seat body, the valve member comprising:

an upper valve body portion having an annular engagement surface for contacting the valve seat body;

an annular cavity disposed in the engagement surface;

a seal insert disposed within the annular cavity, the seal insert forming a portion of the engagement surface; and

a wrap covering at least a portion of the seal insert.

36. The valve member of claim 35, wherein the wrap is positioned to cover at least a portion of the engagement surface.

37. The valve member of claim 35, wherein the wrap is disposed around the entirety of the seal insert.

38. The valve member of claim 35, wherein the wrap is positioned between the valve member and the seal insert to separate the seal insert from an inner surface of the cavity.

Description:
VALVE SEAL WRAP

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application claims the benefit of and priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 62/638,779 entitled “Valve Seal Wrap”, filed March 5, 2018, and is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

TECHNICAL FIELD

[0002] This disclosure relates in general to valves for reciprocating pumps, and more particularly, to valve assemblies incorporating seal inserts, and even more particularly, to valve assemblies incorporating seal inserts having a protective wrap.

BACKGROUND OF THE DISCLOSURE

[0003] Large pumps are commonly used for mining and oilfield applications, such as, for example, hydraulic fracturing. During hydraulic fracturing, fracturing fluid (i.e.. cement, mud, frac sand and other material) is pumped at high pressures into a wellbore to cause the producing formation to fracture. One commonly used pump in hydraulic fracturing is a high pressure reciprocating pump, like the SPM® Destiny™ TWS 2500 frac pump, manufactured by S.P.M. Flow Control, Inc. of Fort Worth, Texas. Accordingly, the fracturing fluid is caused to flow into and out of a pump fluid chamber as a consequence of the reciprocation of a piston-like plunger respectively moving away from and toward the fluid chamber. As the plunger moves away from the fluid chamber, the pressure inside the chamber decreases, creating a differential pressure across an inlet valve, drawing the fracturing fluid through the inlet valve into the chamber. When the plunger changes direction and begins to move towards the fluid chamber, the pressure inside the chamber substantially increases until the differential pressure across an outlet valve causes the outlet valve to open, enabling the highly pressurized fracturing fluid to discharge through the outlet valve into the wellbore.

[0004] Because of the high operating pressures (oftentimes up to 15,000 psi) and the abrasive solid particles associated with the fracturing fluid, the mating surfaces on valves and valve seats tend to wear at a rapid rate, and thus, the valves and valve seats are replaced frequently. This is principally due to the extremely high fluid pressures creating excessive axial loads on the mating surfaces, which become worn and pitted due to particulate from the fracturing fluid being trapped there between. Seal inserts, such as, for example, urethane seal inserts, are oftentimes mounted onto one or more of the mating surfaces to decrease damage to the mating surfaces. However, such seal inserts are also susceptible to damage and failure due to the particulate from the fracturing fluid. Thus, there is a need for a valve assembly in which, inter alia, the seal inserts are less susceptible to the wear and tear and ultimate failure to thereby increase the life of the overall valve assembly.

SUMMARY

[0005] In an embodiment, there is provided a valve assembly including a valve member and a valve seat body. The valve member is reciprocatably movable toward and away from mating engagement with the valve seat body. The assembly further includes a seal insert positioned to be at the situs of engagement of the valve member with the valve seat body. A protective covering or wrap is disposed over and/or around the seal insert to decrease the damage to the insert and, thus, increase the operating life of the valve assembly. The protective covering or wrap is positioned to cover and/or cushion at least a portion of the seal insert.

[0006] In an embodiment, a valve assembly comprises a valve member, a valve seat body, the valve member reciprocatably movable into and out of engagement with the valve seat body, a seal insert positioned to be at the situs of engagement of the valve member with the valve seat body, and a wrap covering at least a portion of the seal insert.

[0007] According to some embodiments, the wrap is positioned to cover at least a portion of the seal insert and, optionally, at least a portion of the valve member.

[0008] According to some embodiments, the wrap is disposed around an entirety of the seal insert.

[0009] According to some embodiments, the wrap is positioned to cover the seal insert so as to prevent direct contact between the seal insert and the valve seat body.

[0010] According to some embodiments, the wrap is positioned to cover the seal insert.

[0011] According to some embodiments, the wrap is positioned to cushion the seal insert. [0012] According to some embodiments, the seal insert is disposed on the valve member.

[0013] According to some embodiments, the seal insert is formed of a thermoplastic material or urethane.

[0014] According to some embodiments, the seal insert is formed of a thermoplastic material.

[0015] According to some embodiments, the seal insert is formed of urethane.

[0016] According to other embodiments, the seal insert includes fiber or organic reinforcing material. The fiber or organic reinforcing material is randomly disposed or specially oriented within the seal. The fiber or organic reinforcing material is formed of carbon, fibers, glass fibers, cotton fibers, and combinations thereof.

[0017] According to yet other embodiments, the fiber is formed of flat woven fabrics or fiber webs that include fiber bundles.

[0018] According to yet other embodiments, the reinforcing material is formed of a fiber, a film, a mat, a mesh, a rod, a sheet, and combinations thereof.

[0019] In still another embodiment, the seal insert is a single piece or layer or a multiple piece or layer.

[0020] In still another embodiment, the seal insert has a hardness of greater than 95A durometer and less than a hardness of the valve member and/or valve body.

[0021] In still another embodiment, the seal insert has a hardness of greater than 60D durometer and less than a hardness of the valve member and/or valve body.

[0022] According to some embodiments, the wrap is formed of an abrasion resistant material.

[0023] According to some embodiments, the wrap is formed of a durable fiber material, a flexible, high-temperature material, a high molecular weight material, a strong material, and combinations thereof.

[0024] According to other embodiments, the wrap is formed of at least one of a fiberglass, a polytetrafluorethylene (PTFE), a fluorinated ethylene propylene copolymer (FEP), a perfluoroalkoxy (PFA), a copolymer of ethylene and tetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), an ultra- high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMwPE), a high molecular weight polyethylene (HMwPE), a high molecular weight polypropylene (HMwPP), a high density polyethylene (HDPE), a high density polypropylene (HDPP), an organic fiber in the polyamide family, a polyamide, or a combination thereof.

[0025] According to yet other embodiments, the wrap includes fiber or organic reinforcing material. The fiber or organic reinforcing material is randomly disposed or specially oriented within the wrap. The fiber or organic reinforcing material is formed of carbon, fibers, glass fibers, cotton fibers, and combinations thereof.

[0026] According to yet other embodiments, the fiber is formed of flat woven fabrics or fiber webs that include fiber bundles.

[0027] According to yet other embodiments, the reinforcing material is formed of a fiber, a film, a mat, a mesh, a rod, a sheet, and combinations thereof.

[0028] In still another embodiment, the wrap is a single piece or layer or a multiple piece or layer.

[0029] According to some embodiments, the wrap is secured in place using a metal fitting, a plastic fitting, an adhesive, and combinations thereof.

[0030] According to other embodiments, the wrap is secured in place using a metal fitting, a plastic fitting, and combinations thereof.

[0031] According to yet other embodiments, the wrap is secured in place using an adhesive.

[0032] In still another embodiment, the adhesive is formed of an epoxy adhesive, a polyamide adhesive, a polyurethane adhesive, and combinations thereof.

[0033] In an embodiment, valve assembly comprises a valve seat body, a valve member, the valve member reciprocatably movable into and out of engagement with the valve seat body, a seal insert disposed within a cavity of the valve member and positioned to be at the situs of engagement of the valve member with the valve seat body, and a wrap covering a surface of the seal insert and forming a barrier between the surface of the seal insert and the valve seat body.

[0034] According to some embodiments, the wrap is positioned to cover at least a portion of the valve member.

[0035] According to some embodiments, the wrap is disposed around the entirety of the seal insert.

[0036] In an embodiment, a valve member for use with a valve assembly comprises an upper valve body portion having an annular engagement surface for contacting the valve seat body, an annular cavity disposed in the engagement surface, a seal insert disposed within the annular cavity, the seal insert forming a portion of the engagement surface, and a wrap covering at least a portion of the seal insert. The valve member is reciprocatingly movable into and out of engagement with the valve seat body.

[0037] According to some embodiments, the wrap is positioned to cover at least a portion of the engagement surface.

[0038] According to some embodiments, the wrap is disposed around the entirety of the seal insert.

[0039] According to some embodiments, the wrap is positioned between the valve member and the seal insert to separate the seal insert from an inner surface of the cavity.

[0040] In an embodiment, a method of manufacturing a valve member for use with a valve assembly comprises forming a cavity in the valve member, installing a seal insert within the cavity, and covering a surface of the seal insert with a wrap to form a barrier between the surface of the seal insert and the valve seat body. The valve assembly comprises a valve seat body. Further, the valve member is reciprocatably movable into and out of engagement with the valve seat body.

[0041] According to some embodiments, the installing the seal insert within the cavity step comprises securing the wrap to the valve member to enclose the cavity in the valve member; and injecting the seal insert material through a passageway formed in the valve member and into the enclosed cavity to fill the enclosed cavity. [0042] According to some embodiments, the method further comprises covering the at least a portion of the valve member with the cover.

[0043] According to some embodiments, the method further comprises covering at least a portion of the seal insert with the cover between the cavity sidewall and the seal insert.

[0044] Other aspects, features, and advantages will become apparent from the following detailed description when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, which are a part of this disclosure and which illustrate, by way of example, principles of the inventions hereof.

DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

[0045] The accompanying drawings facilitate an understanding of the various embodiments.

[0046] FIG. 1 is a side sectional view of a valve assembly having a seal insert in which a wrap disposed over the seal insert is employed to advantage.

[0047] FIG. 2A is an enlarged view of a portion of the valve assembly of FIG. 1 in the open position illustrating the wrap positioned to cover the seal insert and a portion of the valve member.

[0048] FIG. 2B is an enlarged view of a portion of the valve assembly of FIGS. 1 and 2A positioned in a closed position.

[0049] FIG. 2C is an enlarged view of a valve assembly in which an injection gate/passageway is employed to advantage.

[0050] FIG. 2D is a top view of the valve assembly of FIG. 2C.

[0051] FIG. 2E is an enlarged view of a portion of a valve assembly in the open position illustrating a wrap positioned to cover a portion of the valve member and to cushion a portion of the seal insert.

[0052] FIG. 2F is an enlarged view of a portion of the valve assembly of FIG. 2E positioned in the closed position. [0053] FIG. 2G is an enlarged view of a portion of a valve assembly in the open position illustrating a wrap positioned to cover a portion of the seal insert and a portion of the valve member, and to cushion a portion of the seal insert.

[0054] FIG. 2H is an enlarged view of a portion of the valve assembly of FIG. 2G positioned in the closed position.

[0055] FIG. 3 is a simplified diagrammatic illustration of a portion of a reciprocating pump assembly incorporating the valve assemblies described herein as the inlet and outlet valves of the pump fluid chamber.

DFTATT FD DESCRIPTION

[0056] Referring now to FIG. 1, a valve assembly 11 includes a reciprocatably movable valve member 12 adapted for movement into and out of engagement (as illustrated by arrow 23) with a valve seat body 13. As illustrated in FIG. 1, the valve assembly 11 incorporates at least one seal insert 33 with a wrap 33e positioned to cover or otherwise protect the insert 33 from damage due to repetitive high impact of the valve against the seat and high flow rates of fluid (i.e., slurry, with highly abrasive materials, and corrosive fluids, like acids) running over the surface of the seal insert 33 during operation.

[0057] According to some embodiments, the valve seat body 13, typically formed of metal such as cast steel, is preferably a tubular shaped member 15 defining an inner wall portion 18 symmetrically and axially disposed around a central axis 22. The valve seat body 13 has an inclined/conical seating surface 17 at its upper end that extends from an inner wall portion 18 to an outer wall portion 19. In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 1, the conical contour of seating surface 17 is disposed at an angle 20, which is relative to a plane that is perpendicular to the central axis 22, and which in the embodiment shown also corresponds to the angle of the engagement surface 32 on the valve member 12. When the valve assembly 11 is used with a reciprocating pump, some embodiments optionally include an annular seal 21 extending around the exterior of the seat body 13 to enable it to seal when mounting within a flow passage of the pump.

[0058] The valve member 12, also formed of metal such as cast steel, is reciprocatably movable between an open position (i.e., the valve member 12 is spaced apart from the valve seat body 13 as illustrated in FIGS. 2A, 2E and 2G), and a closed position (i.e., the valve member 12 mates with and otherwise engages the valve seat body 13 as illustrated in FIGS. 2B, 2F and 2H) in response to differential pressure within the pump. In FIG. 1, the valve member 12 includes three legs 25 having outer ends 27 slideably engaging the inner sidewall 18 of the tubular shaped member 15. The legs 25 are secured to or otherwise integral with a central stem 29, which extends upwardly along the central axis 22 to an upper valve body portion 31. In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 1, an upper valve body portion 31 flares radially outward from the stem 29 and has a downwardly and outwardly -facing annular seal/engagement surface 32 at its outer diameter.

[0059] The engagement surface 32 of the valve member 12 is biased into engagement with the seating surface 17 of the valve seat body 13 in the closed position, and biased out of engagement from the seating surface 17 in the open position. For example, a boss 40 extends from the upper end of the upper valve body 31 and is coaxial with the central axis 22. A biasing member such as a coiled spring 75 is disposed between the boss 40 and a portion of the manifold housing of the pump (not illustrated). In operation, differential pressure acting on the valve body portion 31 causes the valve member 12 to move in the direction of upward (direction shown by arrow 9) to separate the engagement surface 32 from the seating surface 17. This movement compresses coiled spring 75 and enables fluid flow through the tubular shaped member 15 and between engagement surface 32 and seating surface 17. At the end of the pump stroke, the stored energy in coiled spring 75 overcomes the differential pressure and exerts a closing force on the valve member 12 to move the valve member 12 in a downward direction (direction shown by arrow 10) to the closed position (FIGS. 2B, 2F and 2H), thereby preventing fluid flow between the engagement surface 32 and the seating surface 17.

[0060] Referring specifically to Figures 2A and 2B, the seal insert 33 is formed of a first surface 33a, a second surface 33b, and a pair of side surfaces 33c and 33d.

[0061] Preferably, the engagement surface 32 includes an annular cavity 34 having an inner surface for securing the seal insert 33 therein, although the engagement surface 32 is optionally formed without an annular cavity 34 such that the seal is directly couplable to the engagement surface 32 via an adhesive or otherwise. The annular cavity 34 is generally disposed at the outer portions of the engagement surface 32; however, the annular cavity 34 may be otherwise positionable (i.e., centrally disposed on surface 32 or at any other position). Furthermore, in addition to being positioned anywhere on the surface 32, the cavity 34 can be of any width, depth and/or shape to secure seal insert 33 (and potentially the wrap 33e) therein. In the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 1, 2A-2B, and 2E-2H, the annular cavity 34 optionally includes a chamfer 35 to enable the seal insert 33 (and potentially the wrap 33e) to deform at least partially within the space defined by the chamfer 35. Deformation of the seal insert 33 (and potentially the wrap 33e) within the space defined by the chamfer 35 enables metal to metal contact between the surfaces 17 and 32 without causing damage to the seal insert 33 and/or the wrap 33e.

[0062] In the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 2A and 2B, the wrap 33e covers and otherwise protects the exposed surface of the seal insert 33 and at least a portion of the valve member 12 from abrasion. See also FIGS. 2E-2H. In other embodiments, the wrap 33e is sized only to protect the exposed surface of the seal insert 33. In yet other embodiments, the wrap 33e is sized to protect the exposed surface of the seal insert 33 and the entirety of the surface 32 of the valve member 12. See e.g., FIGS. 2G-2H. It should be understood that in addition to or in lieu of providing a seal insert 33 on the surface 32 of the valve member 12, a seal member 33 may be positioned on the seating surface 17 of the valve seat 13. According to some embodiments, the wrap 33e be machined, molded and/or wrapped to cover the seal insert 33 and as applicable, the portion of the valve member 12. It should be understood that the wrap 33e may be a single piece or layer or a multi-piece or layer and can be formed of a sheet to overlay or formed having a pocket in which the seal insert is disposed therein prior to attachment to the valve member 12.

[0063] According to some embodiments, in addition to covering the seal insert 33 and optionally, the surface 32 of the valve member 12, the wrap 33e may be disposed inside the cavity 34 between the inner surface of the cavity 34 and the seal insert 33 in order to cushion or otherwise support the seal 33. See e.g., FIGS. 2E-2H. The wrap 33e maybe machined, molded and/or wrapped to cover the portion of the valve member 12 and to cushion or support the seal 33. It should be understood that the wrap 33e may be a single piece or layer or a multi-piece or layer and can be formed of a sheet to overlay or formed having a pocket in which the seal insert is disposed therein prior to attachment to the valve member 12.

[0064] According to some embodiments, the wrap 33e is formed of an abrasion resistant material. For example, the wrap 33e may be formed of a durable fiber material including, for example, a fiberglass, a flexible, high-temperature material including, for example, a polytetrafluorethylene (PTFE) (e.g., TEFLON® (DuPont Co.)), a fluorinated ethylene propylene copolymer (FEP) (e.g., TEFLON (DuPont Co.)), a perfluoroalkoxy (PFA) (e.g., TEFLON (DuPont Co.)), a copolymer of ethylene and tetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) (e.g., TEFZEL® (DuPont Co.)), and combinations thereof, a high molecular weight material including, for example, an ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMwPE) (e.g., DYNEEMA® (DSM)), a high molecular weight polyethylene (HMwPE), a high molecular weight polypropylene (HMwPP), and combinations thereof, a high density material including, for example, a high density polyethylene (HDPE), a high density polypropylene (HDPP), and combinations thereof, a strong material including, for example, an organic fiber in the polyamide family (e.g., KEVLAR® (DuPont Co.)), a polyamide (e.g., Nylon 6/6, Nylon 6/12, Nylon 4/6, Nylon 6, Nylon 12, etc.), and combinations thereof. In addition, the wrap 33e optionally includes fiber or organic reinforcement such as, for example, carbon fibers, glass fibers, cotton fibers, or other organic reinforcing material, or combinations thereof, that can be either randomly disposed or specially oriented within the wrap. The fiber reinforcement is optionally formed of flat woven fabrics or fiber webs that include fiber bundles having a large number of individual fibers. Fiber reinforcement is utilized to prevent and/or otherwise reduce the likelihood of delamination of the wrap 33e.

[0065] The material may in any suitable form. For example, the material may be a fiber, a film, a mat, a mesh, a rod, a sheet, and a combination thereof. Furthermore, the wrap 33e may be a single piece or layer or a multiple piece or layer. In addition, the wrap 33e may be any suitable thickness. The wrap 33e may be thicker than the seal insert 33. The wrap 33e may be about the same thickness as the seal insert 33. The wrap 33e may also be thinner than the seal insert 33.

[0066] According to some embodiments, the wrap 33e can be secured in place using a metal fitting, a plastic fitting or a combination thereof. Any suitable metal fittings or plastic fitting may be used. For example, the plastic fittings may be formed of a high-temperature material including, for example, polytetrafluorethylene (PTFE) (e.g., TEFLON® (DuPont Co.)).

[0067] In other embodiments, the wrap 33e may be secured in place using an adhesive. Any suitable adhesive may be used. The adhesive may be formed of a polymer material including, for example, an epoxy adhesive, a polyamide adhesive, a polyurethane adhesive and combinations thereof. [0068] According to some embodiments, the seal insert 33 is formed of a conventional thermoplastic material including, for example, urethane. In addition, the seal 33 optionally includes fiber or organic reinforcement such as, for example, carbon fibers, glass fibers, cotton fibers, or other organic reinforcing material, or combinations thereof, that can be either randomly disposed or specially oriented within the seal. In some embodiments, the fiber reinforcement is optionally formed of flat woven fabrics or fiber webs that include fiber bundles having a large number of individual fibers. Fiber reinforcement is utilized to prevent and/or otherwise reduce the likelihood of delamination of the seal 33. Optionally, the seal 33 is formed having a hardness of 95A durometer, or greater. For example, the seal 33 is formed to have a hardness value of 60D durometer or more but in no event, greater than the hardness and rigidity of the valve member 12 and/or the valve body 13.

[0069] Furthermore, the seal insert 33 may be a single piece or layer or a multiple piece or layer. In addition, the seal insert 33 may be any suitable thickness. The seal insert 33 may be thicker than the wrap 33e. The seal insert 33 may be about the same thickness as the wrap 33e. The seal insert 33 may also be thinner than the wrap 33e.

[0070] In the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 2C and 2D, the valve assembly 11 employs an injection gate/passageway 52 disposed on the valve body 12 extending between the valve body top surface 54 and the annular cavity 34. As explained in greater detail below, the passageway 52 enables the seal insert material 33 (urethane or otherwise) to be injected into the annular cavity 34 after the wrap material 33e has been secured to the valve assembly 11.

[0071] In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 2C, the wrap 33e is secured to the valve body 12 without the seal insert 33 inside the cavity 34. By forming the passageway 52 in a position that does not interfere or otherwise touch any area of the valve where the wrap 33e is located, the wrap 33e can be secured to the valve assembly 11 in its entirety (i.e., without the necessity to form an opening through the wrap 33e or between the wrap 33e and the valve body 12) during the injection process. This reduces and/or otherwise minimizes the likelihood of creating a weak spot in the wrap 33e or the connection thereof to the valve body 12

[0072] It should be understood that the passageway 52 may be formed of a cross section having a different size (i.e., larger or smaller). In some embodiments, the passageway 52 is formed having a cross sectional area that varies in size along the length of the passageway 52. In addition, it should be understood that while passageway 52 is formed having a substantially straight path, the passageway 52 may extend otherwise, such as, for example, in a curved path. In still other embodiments, while the passageway 52 is formed through the top surface 54, it may be otherwise located, such as, for example, on the side of the valve body 12 in which the passageway would curve toward the annular cavity 34.

[0073] In the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 2C and 2D, a single passageway 52 is illustrated. It should be understood however, that more than one passageway 52 can be utilized. For example, a plurality of passageways 52 can be formed circumferentially at spaced apart intervals around the valve body 12 top surface 54. It should also be understood that in embodiments in which a seal insert 33 is disposed in the valve seat body 13, a corresponding passageway 52 may also be formed in the valve seat body 13.

[0074] The valve assemblies 11 may be used to particular advantage when incorporated with a reciprocating pump apparatus, for example, the reciprocating pump apparatus of the type disclosed and described in U.S. Patent 7,364,412, issued April 29, 2008, and assigned to the assignee of the present disclosure. The description in such patent is incorporated by reference in its entirety. For example, and as diagrammatically illustrated in FIG. 3, any herein described valve assembly 11 may be used as an inlet valve 100 and/or an outlet valve 102 to move fluid back and forth from a fluid chamber 104 with a reciprocally movable piston 105, thereby respectively opening the inlet valve 100 to draw fracturing fluid into the chamber 104 (with outlet valve spring biased closed) and opening the outlet valve 102 to allow the fluid to flow there through (with inlet valve spring biased closed).

[0075] According to embodiments disclosed herein, the valve assembly 11 is manufactured by providing a valve seat body having a tubular shaped member 15 and a seating surface 17. The method further includes positioning a valve member 12 at least partially within the tubular shaped member 15, the valve member 12 having an engagement surface 32 to contact the seating surface 17 when the valve member 12 is in a closed position. The method also includes securing a seal insert 33 (and, possibly, a wrap 33e) to at least one of the seating surfaces 17 or the engagement surfaces 32. The method also includes securing the seal insert 33 (and, possibly, the wrap 33e) within the cavity 34 on the at least one of the seating surface 17 or the engagement surface 32. For example, during manufacture and assembly, the seal insert 33 (and, possibly, the wrap 33e) is preferably molded in place such that the first surface 33a and at least a portion of the side surfaces 33d and 33e are disposed within the cavity 34; however, the seal 33 (and the wrap 33e) can be otherwise installed and secured within the cavity 34. Furthermore, the seal assembly 33 (and the wrap 33e) is also attachable on top of the seal surfaces 32 (via an adhesive or otherwise) not having the cavities 34.

[0076] Various modifications may be made to the embodiments described herein without departing from the principles of the invention. For example, while the valve member 12 has been described as having a plurality of legs 25, a variety of different designs may be employed for the valve members. Moreover, although in each of the described embodiments the angle of the engagement surfaces of the valve member and valve seat body are the same, the principles of operation are the same if the angles slightly differ.

[0077] Furthermore, while in certain embodiments, valve assemblies have been described herein to operate in conjunction with reciprocating pumps in the presence of highly abrasive fluids, such as fracturing fluids, it is to be understood that many other applications for said valve assemblies he within the scope of the invention. For example, the valve assemblies can be used in pumps pumping drilling fluid directly into the well bore, mining slurry through a pipeline, in pumps that are used to plump fluid with fluid particulars, or in applications other than pumps.

[0078] In the foregoing description of certain embodiments, specific terminology has been resorted to for the sake of clarity. However, the disclosure is not intended to be limited to the specific terms so selected, and it is to be understood that each specific term includes other technical equivalents which operate in a similar manner to accomplish a similar technical purpose.

[0079] In the specification and claims, the word“comprising” is to be understood in its “open” sense, that is, in the sense of“including”, and thus not limited to its“closed” sense, that is the sense of“consisting only of’. A corresponding meaning is to be attributed to the corresponding words“comprise”,“comprised” and“comprises” where they appear.

[0080] In addition, the foregoing describes only some embodiments of the invention(s), and alterations, modifications, additions and/or changes can be made thereto without departing from the scope and spirit of the disclosed embodiments, the embodiments being illustrative and not restrictive. [0081] Furthermore, invention(s) have described in connection with what are presently considered to be the most practical and preferred embodiments, it is to be understood that the invention is not to be limited to the disclosed embodiments, but on the contrary, is intended to cover various modifications and equivalent arrangements included within the spirit and scope of the invention(s), as defined solely by the appended claims. Also, the various embodiments described above may be implemented in conjunction with other embodiments, e.g., aspects of one embodiment may be combined with aspects of another embodiment to realize yet other embodiments. Further, each independent feature or component of any given assembly may constitute an additional embodiment.