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Hexagonal Valve Plated Column

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Hexagonal Valve Plated Column

Postby myles » Mon Mar 18, 2013 9:03 pm

This build has been in the drawing phase for a long time but I finally got some time in the workshop. I have made a start so I thought I would post some pics to whet your appetite.

I wanted to try an alternative build from flat sheet for those folks that can't find large bore tube that easily. It would have been easy enough to make it circular - but I wanted something slightly different from what you usually see. Also the hexagonal shape has a slightly bigger footprint to aid stability ;-)

Mine is offset from the boiler so it is going to be mounted over a thumper. It was going to be a variation of a thump tower using this configuration

hex thump tower.jpg


However some time ago there was a change in plan. I decided to go for a valve plate design with 3 plates over a thumper, so lost 1 plate. I also reduced the dimensions down to a 70mm face on the hexagon so it is now about 5.5" between the points. The surface area is equivalent to a 5.4" dia tube.

I wanted a hexagon so I could try nice and simple methods for fixing view ports etc to the flat surfaces. This might be slightly easier for some folks than attaching tube to tube.

Anyhow time for some pics. These are just out of an acid bath so they have not yet been fully cleaned up.

hex col1.jpg


This is 5 sides of the hexagon. The final side is the back of the column that will be added later on. What we have is 3 view port stubs. These are flanged like easy flanges on the inside and are 2" tube. The actual view glass clamps are the threaded compression fittings that I cut off a 2" compression T. These are going to be soldered onto these tubes with the surplus tube cut off.

View port clamps.jpg


The side of the column. These are bulkhead fittings and the back nuts were soldered onto the inside of the column . Each vapour space above a plate, and the headspace on the thumper, is getting a thermo well and a CIP spray ball. I know it is not necessary but I thought it might be interesting to include the options.

hex col2.jpg


And the inside of the column to show the flanged tubes.

hex col3.jpg


Each flanged stub was secured into the column with 4 rivets prior to soldering to ensure the but joint is nice and tight. Also the holes in the column for the tube are slightly dished (like a very short funnel) to provide more surface area for the solder joint. The backing nuts on the couplings are soldered to the column wall, and the thread is also soldered to seal the nut onto the body of the fitting.

The final side will also have similar (but smaller 3/4") tube studs fitted so that there will be 1 stub above and 1 below each plate. These will provide a vapour path via an external valve to by-pass (and hence disable) each plate.

The plates are going to be fixed, 6 valves per plate with a central down comer. Each 26 mm valve will cover a set of 4, 8 mm holes.

More to come later.
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Re: Hexagonal Valve Plated Column

Postby myles » Mon Mar 18, 2013 11:07 pm

minime wrote:
myles wrote:is getting a thermo well and a CIP spray ball.


I'm not familiar with CIP at all. Could you splain SVP?


Sorry minime - Clean In Place. I am going to take a spur off the coolant supply to the dephlegmator so that I can blast water into each chamber as required to rinse it out, and discard it through the drain on the thumper.
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Re: Hexagonal Valve Plated Column

Postby myles » Mon Mar 18, 2013 11:15 pm

Smaug wrote:Myles are you feeding this column with/from tbe copper cone?
Gonna be super steampunk sensational.


YES :smile: I have a strip run / single run option via the parrot, but this thumper / column is going to be a permanent fit on the pot still. There is a valve upstream from the first parrot that diverts all the vapour into this column, via that left pointing branch that is not connected to anything yet.

Image
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Re: Hexagonal Valve Plated Column

Postby Bushman » Mon Mar 18, 2013 11:17 pm

myles wrote:
minime wrote:
myles wrote:is getting a thermo well and a CIP spray ball.


I'm not familiar with CIP at all. Could you splain SVP?


Sorry minime - Clean In Place. I am going to take a spur off the coolant supply to the dephlegmator so that I can blast water into each chamber as required to rinse it out, and discard it through the drain on the thumper.

Cleaver, that was a new term for me as well. Some how I missed your original thread. :handgestures-thumbupright:
I started my liquid diet and so far it seems to be working! I've already lost two days.

"24 hours in a day, 24 beers in a case. Coincidence? I think not."
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Re: Hexagonal Valve Plated Column

Postby Dfitz » Tue Mar 19, 2013 2:09 am

Nice work so far Myles. I was considering (though more opposed in the end) a CIP on my build. Its quite a bit of added cost and plumbing work on a build that will only be used occasionally. This is why I am opting for hand holes. I can get in and provide maintenance to the innards manually through removal and replacement on the hand hole covers.


Nice looking build so far. :handgestures-thumbupright:
I'll look forward to seeing this as it comes along.
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Re: Hexagonal Valve Plated Column

Postby jake_leg » Tue Mar 19, 2013 5:33 pm

I can't quite envisage how it all fits together. What order are you going to solder things up myles?
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Re: Hexagonal Valve Plated Column

Postby myles » Tue Mar 19, 2013 8:07 pm

jake_leg wrote:I can't quite envisage how it all fits together. What order are you going to solder things up myles?


Not easily is the honest answer Jake. The 6th side at the back, with the bypass valves will have to be the last bit fitted - so that I can work through the big (well 70 mm :roll: ) gap.

The plates will be soldered into the 5 sided column starting with the top one and working down, each plate fully assembled before it is put into the column. I will probably fit small short strips of 90 degree profile copper as supports for the plates onto each wall before the plates go in, and just sit the plates on top of them and then solder them in. I anticipate using small copper split (cotter) pins to hold the plate in place before they are soldered in.

The 6th side (with all valves etc attached) slides into the column and will probably be stabilised with rivets before being soldered. I will pre tin the final joints and apply any extra solder required in through the view ports.

hex column.png


The dephlegmator will be soldered to the cap, but probably will use a bolted flange for a semi-permanent fit to the column. I have a spare 6" tri-clamp that I might use to connect the thumper to the column, although it is very heavy so I may just build a bolted flange at that point also. I shouldn't need to split the column from the thumper very often.

I may just make both of those joints bolted and sealed to be semi-permanent.

The dephlegmator will have a coolant baffle and two outlet ports at different heights, fed from the bottom. It will only be 4" high but at over 5" in diameter (equivalent) it would be easy to cram in a LOT of 1/2" vapour tubes. Everything I read suggests that dephlegmators can be surprisingly efficient, so I will probably increase the tubes to 3/4" and reduce the number. 12 would be easy to build but that still might be too much 6 or 7 could be sufficient.

Is there a post somewhere that indicates real life dephlegmator performance?
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Re: Hexagonal Valve Plated Column

Postby myles » Fri Mar 22, 2013 7:37 pm

Well I got my plates drilled and formed the sockets for the down comers. Need to trim down the sockets and put in the down comers and valves, but it is looking promising. Hopefully this weekend I can cut the plates to size and fit them into the column. :smile:

Valve plates 1.png


They are not perfect (some of the holes are slightly out of position :roll: ) but they should work. 28 mm down comers to be fitted, and a set of 4 x 8 mm holes under each valve.
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Re: Hexagonal Valve Plated Column

Postby myles » Sun Mar 24, 2013 4:32 am

Got the plates assembled.

valve plate 2.png


28 mm down comer set to a depth of 40 mm, cup depth 60 mm.

Decided to put a 2 mm weep hole in the cups for ease of cleaning. The cup is just offset to 1 side of the down comer.

valve plate 3.png


valve plate 4.png


And the valves have little tabs like the punched versions to stop them sticking to the plate. Just need to build the column next. Oh and I got the last side fitted with 6 sets of 22 mm tubes for the disable valves, but it is in an acid bath at the moment. :smile:
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Re: Hexagonal Valve Plated Column

Postby Harry » Sun Mar 24, 2013 6:57 am

@myles
Have you tested a single plate yet?
to see how much gas pressure/volume you need to hold up a liquid bath on the deck?
Slainte!
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Re: Hexagonal Valve Plated Column

Postby FullySilenced » Sun Mar 24, 2013 7:15 am

Myles why the dimples on the valve heads versus flat to flat contact? Less pressure to lift them off the valve seat maybe? and will there not be leakage back down the column as a result of the dimples?

This is not a negative comment... but a learning issue on my part...

Thanks in advance,

FS
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Re: Hexagonal Valve Plated Column

Postby acfixer69 » Sun Mar 24, 2013 8:17 am

Looks good Myles. I was wondering about the tab also. I went the other way on my plate and made as close a seal as possible to allow the plate to fill the downcommer cup andstop the bypass of the valves. :confusion-confused:

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Re: Hexagonal Valve Plated Column

Postby myles » Sun Mar 24, 2013 8:49 am

To all of the above, no I have not tested it yet but I have the capacity to push 6 kW into this column which I think will be more than it can cope with. I may have the wrong idea about this but I thought the whole idea of the "tabs" was to allow enough vapour to pass to break the seal and lift the valve. With a close fitting valve it is difficult to lift it at low vapour pressure.

I may have the tabs set too high, about 1 mm, but but it its easy to knock them down a bit. Increasing them would be more difficult once built. Yes the valves will leak but that is a bonus from the cleaning point of view.

I don't wish to take this apart once built, I wish to clean in situ.
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Re: Hexagonal Valve Plated Column

Postby FullySilenced » Sun Mar 24, 2013 8:56 am

Thank You Myles... for the information was hoping my thoughts were on track with the dimples...

Beautiful build keep er going...

FS
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Re: Hexagonal Valve Plated Column

Postby Harry » Sun Mar 24, 2013 9:28 am

myles wrote:To all of the above, no I have not tested it yet but I have the capacity to push 6 kW into this column which I think will be more than it can cope with. I may have the wrong idea about this but I thought the whole idea of the "tabs" was to allow enough vapour to pass to break the seal and lift the valve. With a close fitting valve it is difficult to lift it at low vapour pressure.
I may have the tabs set too high, about 1 mm, but but it its easy to knock them down a bit. Increasing them would be more difficult once built. Yes the valves will leak but that is a bonus from the cleaning point of view.

I don't wish to take this apart once built, I wish to clean in situ.



I've never encountered a valve with "tabs" to stop sticking. Maybe in huge fouling duty type stills like petroleum plants, but certainly not in anything close to what we use.

Sticking "down" won't happen in any case. Upward vapor pressure will prevent that, even if the tray deck is dirty with dead yeast (that is really sticky stuff). As the pressure increases it will lift the valve head. After all, where else can the vapor go?

However in your design with valve "stems", sticking "up" is a real possibility at lower vapor rates. The stems can "gall" in the stem guide holes (see description below).

Valve plates are essentially sieve plates with large diameter holes covered by movable flaps, which lift as the vapor flow increases. As the area for vapor flow varies with the flow rate, valve plates can operate efficiently at lower flow rates than other sieve plates: the valve closing at low vapor rates.

They are meant to be able to completely close off a number of vapor holes at low vapor rates, and open up more or lift higher as necessary to accomodate higher vapor flow rates.

I don't mean to rain on your parade myles. But these above are facts. I suggest you rig up a test on one plate with compressed air, before you go further. Otherwise you could be very pissed later. JMHO. :obscene-drinkingcheers:

Slainte!
regards Harry



Description of "Galling"...
Galling is a form of wear caused by adhesion between sliding surfaces. When a material galls, some of it is pulled with the contacting surface, especially if there is a large amount of force compressing the surfaces together. Galling is cause by a combination of friction and adhesion between the surfaces, followed by slipping and tearing of crystal structure beneath the surface. This will generally leave some material stuck or even friction welded to the adjacent surface, while the galled material may appear gouged with balled-up or torn lumps of material stuck to its surface.

Galling is most commonly found in metal surfaces that are in sliding contact with each other.
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Re: Hexagonal Valve Plated Column

Postby FullySilenced » Sun Mar 24, 2013 12:45 pm

Would there ever be a time when the valves were moving and they would be completely dry for an extended period of time? Any fluid on the shaft would more than likely prevent galling.

I don't ever see the valve moving the full length of the rod.... would figure they would move a few mm's at most, but that's speculative on my part. Especially with the very low pressure at which these boilers and columns operate.
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Re: Hexagonal Valve Plated Column

Postby myles » Sun Mar 24, 2013 6:39 pm

Thanks Harry, it looks like I miss-interpreted the application of the dimples. I put them in because on this site http://www.amistco.com/products/trays/trays2.html
it mentions "Anti stick dimples are standard" on the description of their 1 piece valves. However, in hindsight, it is logical that it all depends on what product is being separated on the plate.

It will be easy enough to flatten out the dimples. With the close fitting valves does the plate still drain efficiently at the end of the run? Although as my valves are hand cut and are probably not making a perfect seal anyway, this probably is not a big issue. :lol:
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Re: Hexagonal Valve Plated Column

Postby jake_leg » Mon Mar 25, 2013 1:07 am

I think Harry made a good point about the valves getting stuck in the up position. Unlike AC's plates the guide hole for the stem has a small diameter. The centre of gravity of the valves will rise above the plates so they might topple sideways and stick. If it turns out to be a problem, possible solutions might be to increase the size of the guide hole to reduce friction or add weight to the bottom of the valve.
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Re: Hexagonal Valve Plated Column

Postby acfixer69 » Mon Mar 25, 2013 1:40 am

As far as the concern with cleaning. I back flush the column through my product condenser by removing the parrot and attaching a hose connection. It cleans up very nice thru the downcommers. The valves will retain the water for a few minutes but will weep till most water is gone. If the column is not going to be used for a bit I remove the sight glass and give it a couple short blasts of nitrogen or clean dry air and it is good till next time. I don't have a weep hole in my trap and as of yet I haven't any issues with the air drying. This is not the case with my bubble plates I need to work a little harder because they do retain liquid on the deck the level of the upcommer.

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Re: Hexagonal Valve Plated Column

Postby myles » Mon Mar 25, 2013 7:47 pm

I did as Harry suggested and tested one of the plates. Glad I did so as it it leaked real bad and would not hold a liquid layer. :oops: Will need to think again about the valves and make sure that they sit flush to the plate. If I can't get them to work correctly I will revert to bubble caps, but I would prefer to use valves.
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Re: Hexagonal Valve Plated Column

Postby Googe » Mon Mar 25, 2013 10:38 pm

Very nice work mate, have offen thought of this shape and others, should be fun for you, good luck with it :smile:
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Re: Hexagonal Valve Plated Column

Postby myles » Sun Mar 31, 2013 11:16 pm

I threw the first batch of valves in the scrap bin and started again. Slightly modified the style to counteract some production flaws and aid sealing so they are now like this.

valves3.png


Now off course they are not PRECISELY like that :lol: as they are hand made, but they are close.

valves2.jpg


And I did actually test them this time before I get round to fitting them to the plate. They do seep, but even without any air flow they will retain liquid on the plate quite well.

I used two thickness's of copper sheet. I am thinking of using 1 set of the slightly heavier ones on the lowest plate with the lighter ones on the other 2 plates. Mostly because if I choose to run with less than 3 plates I am more likely to disable the plates from the top and use the lower ones. Also if there is a pressure differential the highest pressure will be under the lowest plate.

Or do you think it would be better to mix valve weights on the same plate? With such a small column it probably won't be significant either way.
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Re: Hexagonal Valve Plated Column

Postby acfixer69 » Mon Apr 01, 2013 1:27 am

I think you are going to like the new valves. I have the same happening on my valve plates, they will hold liquid for a time but do weep with no vapor. This is helpful when cleaning and storing. As you stated, I would stack the heaver valves on the lower plates and disable from the top to bottom. Mixing valve weight on the same plates doesn't sound as effective. Some of the valves would be working and some just staying closed. I hope to get back to working on my valve tray this week. Will be watching for your results. I am positive the valve style trays are good choice in 4" columns. Not going to say better or worst then caps or sieve. They do run different. I have found at low heat input I still get good results. I hope more of these get built and result get posted.
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Re: Hexagonal Valve Plated Column

Postby Philter » Mon Apr 01, 2013 11:39 am

acfixer69 wrote:I hope more of these get built and result get posted.
AC


+1
Can I asked how you formed the valves? They look like little cymbals :grin:

Nice work on the whole build as well Myles - thanks for sharing :smile:
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Re: Hexagonal Valve Plated Column

Postby Googe » Mon Apr 01, 2013 11:52 am

Looks awesome mate, well done :handgestures-thumbupright: . They look like little drum cymbals :lol:
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Re: Hexagonal Valve Plated Column

Postby FullySilenced » Mon Apr 01, 2013 1:02 pm

Refurbished valves look great.. I think you got a winner winner.... :handgestures-thumbupright:

Are you going to shorten the stems don't think the valves need a lot of travel...?
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Re: Hexagonal Valve Plated Column

Postby myles » Mon Apr 01, 2013 6:28 pm

Ist attempt with these valves I tried to build a manual press with 2 blocks of wood in a vice but they didn't turn out too well.

In the end I just cut 2 discs of HDPE out of the scrap top of a fermentation drum and drilled a 1/2" hole in the middle of both. Sandwiched a long strip of copper between the 2 HDPE plates, and then dimpled it with a whack with a ball peen hammer through the hole.

Produced a long strip of dimples, which I then marked by eye for centre, and drilled 3mm holes. Roughly cut out to circle, threaded the entire lot on a 3" length of 3mm studding and used a pillar drill to spin them. Used a sanding disc on an an angle grinder to round them off whilst they were spinning. They are not all perfectly round, but are good enough. If I were to do a lot of these I would go to the effort of building a more effective manual press to get them even and mark the centres.

Then just put a copper nail through each one, tapped down a copper washer to secure the nail and added a dab of solder. A final tap round the edge with a hammer on a flat surface, and dressed the mating face on fine abrasive and they are good enough. Will solder a copper washer on each shaft and cut shorter. It is a 2.5mm copper nail in a 4mm hole so it is loose fit just to keep the cap positioned.
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Re: Hexagonal Valve Plated Column

Postby Philter » Tue Apr 02, 2013 10:04 am

Interesting, thanks for the write-up Myles - well worth the effort IMHO :handgestures-thumbupright:
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Re: Hexagonal Valve Plated Column

Postby myles » Tue Apr 02, 2013 6:59 pm

Just wait. I can see how easy it would be for someone inventive to produce an interchangeable valved option that would fit into the existing SD bubble cap plates. ;-)

It wouldn't take a lot of modification to convert the existing cap standpipes into a valve support. You already have the option of using one upside down as a down comer, just expand that concept and add a valve with a screw retainer into the stand pipe thread and you are good to go.

EDIT:

Here you go folks, have fun. :smile:

SD Valve.png
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Re: Hexagonal Valve Plated Column

Postby myles » Mon Apr 15, 2013 3:51 am

I have been busy with other stuff, but did manage to get the sight glass mounts completed. My cut down compression fittings were placed on the shortened tubes and pushed down close to the column. Now obviously these are loose as there is supposed to be a compression olive in use - but that is no problem. Took my trusty tube expanders and widened the copper tube to be a tight fit inside the threaded section. Then just soldered the threaded fitting onto the tube.

In this style the threaded fitting is just there to secure the sight glass, the vapour tight seal is between the column and the copper tube, so the brass fitting does not need to seal onto the column wall - although some folks might prefer to do that.

sight glass1.png


The solder filled gap between the 2" tube and the bevelled part of the fitting, makes a nice contact surface for the seal for the sight glass.

sight glass2.png


And from the side showing the slight gap that does not bother me too much.

sight glass3.png


A single 2" equal compression T, into 3 sight glass mounts will go. :smile:

OH! and the valved plates

valve plate 5.png
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Re: Hexagonal Valve Plated Column

Postby sweden » Tue Apr 16, 2013 1:51 am

Love bild and experiments like this :text-coolphotos:
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Re: Hexagonal Valve Plated Column

Postby acfixer69 » Tue Apr 30, 2013 12:48 pm

Hey Myles
Any updates on this build. I've put my valved plate on the bottom, 1st plate, and am still having a flooding issue on it with bubble caps above it.

AC
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Re: Hexagonal Valve Plated Column

Postby myles » Tue Apr 30, 2013 5:59 pm

Sorry AC, other life got in the way. Will let you know.
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Re: Hexagonal Valve Plated Column

Postby Yummyrum » Thu Aug 01, 2013 9:56 pm

Hi Myles.Have you had time to scratch you arse and have another crack at this ?
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Re: Hexagonal Valve Plated Column

Postby myles » Fri Aug 02, 2013 2:17 am

Sorry but work is intruding big style, in fact I will be out in the desert for the best part of the next 2 months, so everything is on hold.
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Re: Hexagonal Valve Plated Column

Postby Dfitz » Fri Aug 02, 2013 5:01 am

That sucks some times. Then again, its nice to take a break. Look forward to seeing more when you have the time.
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