Optimizing Water and Wastewater Flow Control with the Help of Stainless Steel

Essential considerations when choosing water and wastewater flow control gates and why stainless steel is a leading choice

Water and wastewater flow control requires reliable, long-lasting performance from the parts and equipment used. 

Depending on the exact processes involved, they could need to reliably actuate during various flow conditions, provide tight seals for a variety of fluids, or span a range of sizes depending on the facility or system design.

Stainless steel is a popular choice for flow control gates. In this guide, we’ll explore common considerations when choosing flow control gates and why you might consider stainless steel water control gates for your next project or system upgrade.

Common Flow Control Considerations When Dealing with Water or Wastewater

While exact needs will differ based on the project, many shared traits among processes make stainless steel gates an ideal choice for long-term operation and reliability.

Excellent durability and corrosion resistance

Whether you’re processing freshwater or wastewater, corrosion resistance is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing a long-lasting flow control gate.

Stainless steel gates offer exceptional overall durability and enhanced corrosion resistance, making them ideal for nearly any flow control scenario.

Extended operation in submerged applications

Unlike some piping and fluid processing components, flow control gates often spend extended periods (if not the majority of their operational life) submerged.

This means you must choose materials that can remain submerged without fear of corrosion or excessive surface build-up or contamination.

Stainless steel not only resists corrosion during long periods of submersion but provides an easy-to-clean surface for speedy maintenance.

Safe operation around harsh chemicals and suspended solids

If working with wastewater or water treatment processes, there’s a high chance that your gates and other processing systems will have to handle exposure to caustic or corrosive substances, harsh chemicals, and possibly suspended solids.

These things can contribute to potential operational issues if not accounted for.

Stainless steel’s easy maintenance, smooth finish, and excellent corrosion resistance can help to combat all of these concerns.

Effective seal with minimal leaking in a variety of pressure scenarios 

In many systems, the pressures and conditions gates must account for vary.

Gates designed for low-pressure use might not provide adequate sealing or easy operation under higher pressures.

Heavy, reinforced gates might not be cost-effective or provide smooth operation in low-pressure situations.

Stainless steel flow control gates come in a variety of designs and sizes to provide flexibility in addressing the range of pressures you expect to encounter, while well-designed gates, such as those by Fontaine-Aquanox, ensure smooth operation and dependable sealing time after time.

Consistent and reliable operation for both seating and unseating

Depending on the seal design of your control gates, wastewater or slurries can pose significant challenges.

What starts as a well-functioning system can quickly degrade due to dirty or clogged seals or obstructions in the gate’s path.

Seal integrity is compromised when this happens, and maintenance is required to restore performance.

Choosing the proper design for your intended application is essential for reducing excessive downtime and ensuring a long service life for your stainless steel water control gates.

Slide Gate Functionality: A Quick Primer

Understanding how slide gates function can also help to highlight ways in which stainless steel might help and further refine the ideal gate options for your intended application or process.

While slide gates come in a number of designs, they all work using similar principles.

The doors are installed into slotted paths–typically within a channel or sluice.

However, some designs allow for installation in alternative environments such as on the surface of water or natural waterways with additional engineering support.

You can restrict or eliminate flow by moving the gate into the flow path.

Gates are actuated linearly, moving the heavy panels upward so water can flow beneath the gate or downward, allowing water to flow over the gate.

The latter is handy when contaminants or materials might float on the water.

Gates are available with a range of actuation methods–including manual wheel or handle cranks, hydraulic, pneumatic, or electric systems–to provide flexibility in both the implementation and operation of your slide gates.

Stainless Steel Fontaine-Aquanox Slide Gates

At Unified Alloys, we stock and recommend a range of stainless steel slide gates from Fontaine-Aquanox, including sluice gates, channel gates, and weir gates.

As a leader in innovative design and quality, Fontaine-Aquanox has decades of industry experience and a reputation you can trust with projects of any size.

All Fontaine-Aquanox stainless steel slide gates meet or exceed AWWA C-561 standards for leakage rates, utilizing self-adjusting side and top seals made from self-lubricating ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) for long-term sealing and dependable operation.

Gate designs in various sizes are available with 304L and 316L components for excellent corrosion resistance and long-lasting durability.

They also feature a variety of mounting options, including on-wall, in-channel, and embedded circular options to help meet the engineering needs of a range of environments or applications.

Additional Stainless Steel Flow Control Options

Slide gates are just one of many items available for controlling water or wastewater flows.

Two additional popular options are flap gates and stop logs.

Flap gates are available in multiple shapes and sizes for use with both channels and pipes, offering a simple way to prevent return flow under positive pressure.

Adjustable hinges provide flexibility in defining the amount of flow or force needed to actuate the gate.

At the same time, self-lubricating UHMWPE ensures long-term operation and minimal maintenance–even during extended periods of inactivity.

Stop logs allow you to quickly fill the gap in a flow control system when isolation is required to repair or maintain other equipment.

Available in a variety of sizes, logs are manually actuated and stackable to suit a wide range of flow scenarios and provide safer, simplified access to critical flow control equipment without the need for complex rerouting or shutting down entire processes.

Key Takeaways

  • Slide gates use slotted paths to guide metal panels into or out of the flow path, effectively blocking or reducing flow rates.
  • Multiple actuation methods and a simple linear actuation path mean that gates are easy to operate or automate and highly efficient.
  • When considering slide gate materials, stainless steel is an excellent alternative to aluminum or cast iron.
  • Stainless steel offers exceptional corrosion resistance–even when exposed to harsh chemicals or suspended solids–while weighing less than traditional cast iron slide gates.
  • Stainless steel slide gates are also ideal for use when gates are submerged for long periods.
  • Self-lubricating ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) seals provide long-lasting, low-friction operation and reliable performance exceeding AWWA C-561 standards in a variety of environments and high- or low-pressure applications.
  • Fontaine-Aquanox is a leading provider of stainless steel slide sluice gates, channel gates, weir gates, flap gates, and stop logs.
  • Flap gates effectively reduce or eliminate return flow using adjustable hinges for easy adaptation of pressure requirements.
  • Stop logs are a popular method for isolating equipment or altering flow paths for maintenance and repair purposes without requiring complete shut-down or rerouting flow processes.
Unified Alloys is an industry-leading stainless steel piping and flow control equipment and solutions provider. With decades of experience across a range of industries throughout Canada, we can help you find the ideal solution for your next project. Contact us today to discuss how Fontaine-Aquanox Series S Standard Stock Stainless Steel Slide Gates can help with your water or wastewater processing systems.
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