Energy efficiency, Valve Steel, Fatigue properties, Compressors
In 2018 the International Energy Association IEA reported that air conditioning will be a major contributor for future electricity consumption (Birol, F. 2018). As recently seen in China, tougher legislation on energy efficiency for air conditioning and refrigeration is being introduced all the time. It is therefore crucial that new compressor models perform at the highest levels in terms of efficiency to reduce global energy consumption. The prerequisites to fulfill this legislation vary for the different applications such as rotary, reciprocating, scroll and linear compressors. However, to succeed in developing more energy efficient compressors, the ability to improve the performance of the flapper valves will play an important role. Furthermore, the current commercial alloys available for flapper valves may not be sufficient to meet these increasing demands. In the past, to improve the material fatigue properties, the development of high-performance flapper valve material has been focused around optimizing the metallurgical cleanliness, microstructure, surface finish and mechanical properties. Now research has been completed to develop a new alloy composition aiming to develop a material with further improved fatigue properties for flapper valve applications. The results from internal and external testing of the new alloy show significantly improved fatigue properties. Within this paper, some of the critical properties of the new alloy are presented and the test results are compared with other existing flapper valve steels on the market.