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Keywords:

  • valve tray;
  • dry tray pressure drop;
  • opening process;
  • physical model;
  • valve weight

An accurate prediction of the dry pressure drop is very important for consideration of valve trays and for calculations in distillation field. Therefore, in this article, a series of hydraulic experiments were first conducted to reveal that the intermediate state during the valve opening process is closely related to the dry tray pressure drop under great valve weight. Then, a rigorous force analysis was made to show that Euler number is related only to the valve's position at the balance points for a certain valve type. Third, a new model for prediction of the dry tray pressure drop—which considers for the first time the influence of the intermediate state—was developed and then simplified for the purpose of convenient utilizations. Finally, the new model and its simplified form were tested by comparisons with the experimental results. The agreements are good, with the mean deviations being <5%. © 2013 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 59: 2694–2705, 2013