“World’s biggest” gate valves deployed in Texas water pipeline project


The Parallel Faced Metal Seated Gate Valves are said to be the world’s largest.

In recent months Yorkshire based Blackhall Valves has played an important role in the gargantuan Integrated Pipeline Project (IPL), intended to improve the water supply in areas of Texas, and involving the design and manufacture of what are considered to be the world’s largest gate valves.

Aspects of the IPL include the construction of 150 miles of pipeline taking water from multiple lakes, and the construction of three lake pump stations and three booster pump stations. Regulating the water in the biggest and longest segments of the pipeline requires the use of 108-inch Parallel Faced Metal Seated Gate Valves. Each valve itself stands 40-feet tall and weighs in at over 100 tons.

Blackhall said Finite Element Analysis (FEA) was used extensively with the design, to simulate and predict both the structural behaviour of the valve during operation, and its ability to seal under various flow and pressure conditions. The geometry of the components have been optimized for enhanced stress distribution, says the firm. And the FEA results
were validated by performing Strain Gauge testing on the valve.

External loading factors were simulated using Computational Seismic (Modal) Analysis, which helped look at how the valve would cope with events such as earthquakes, optimising the design.

The first valve to be installed on the pipeline successfully passed all hydraulic tests, including Shell Strength at 375psig and Seating Capability tested at 250 psig. Engineering News reported in March that five further valves are in production for this huge pipeline scheme, designed in the UK and manufactured in the USA.

The Tarrant Regional Water District (TRWD) selected Blackhall for this part of the project.


Blackhall said an Advanced Casting Simulation Programme was employed to optimise the casting process to ensure the castings manufactured were free from any residual stresses that could potentially develop during the solidification of metal.

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