Experiments are performed to evaluate the leakage vs. pressure drop, wear and fluid properties, in ball-and-seat valves used in pumping units for artificial oil production. The test facility is constructed to evaluate the operation of several valve sizes, using water, oil and air, subjected to pressure drops up to 5000 psig. Results demonstrated that the currently accepted API vacuum test might be too severe and that more realistic tests may lead to substantial savings in valve replacements. Experimental results in dimensional and dimensionless form are presented, using a new similitude criterion.

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