Are You Using the Wrong Valve Trim?

What is Valve Trim?

Valve trim consists of three basic items: the stem, ball, and seat. These are the critical parts that control the flow of liquid and gas through a valve. They are also the pieces most exposed to process elements, and therefore most vulnerable to wear.

The Wrong Valve Trim

A Kimray customer in the Woodford Shale had been using our High Pressure Control Valves for years. During an informal meeting, they mentioned that they were going through a lot of trim sets in the valves, replacing them more often than expected. We began asking questions.

Q: What have you been ordering?
A: High Pressure Control Valve packages for all new construction

Q: What type of trim are your requesting on these valves?
A: 5/8″ equal percentage trim

Q: What are the temperatures and flow rates of your wells?
A: Conditions differ depending on the well

This was a problem we were prepared for. Conditions are rarely the same well to well in the various locations and applications where Kimray customers operate. Because of this, we offer different types of valve trim designed to handle different temperatures, pressures, flow rates, and process fluids.

Types of Valve Trims

Three Types of Valve Trim

There are three primary types of control valve trim:

  • snap trim (also referred to as quick opening)
  • nominal trim (also referred to as linear)
  • equal percentage trim

The equal percentage trim this customer was using was designed primarily for gas applications, where precise throttling is ideal. Their new wells, however, were flowing liquid, and bringing a lot of sand to the surface along with it. Because they were using equal percentage trim, the valve was consistently open, subjecting the trim to the abrasive, sandy flow path. This was the central reason for the premature wear.

We advised the customer that carbide snap trim for these valves would be a better option. This would give them a harder ball and seat, and the snap trim opens and closes quickly, so it would be exposed to the abrasive flow less often and therefore last longer.

We also helped the customer resize their valves accordingly to the appropriate flow rates of the wells. Because our trim can be field converted, they didn’t have to order new valves, just outfit their existing ones with the new, better suited trim.


If you have further questions about valve trim or any Kimray product, reach out to your local Kimray store or authorized distributor.

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Ron Crumpacker serves as Kimray’s National Sales Manager.