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BEL Valves manufactures bespoke clamping solution for subsea hydraulic spring return actuator

BEL Valves has completed the installation of a fully engineered bespoke clamping solution for use on a subsea hydraulic spring return actuator in service within the North Sea.

Utilised on a 5,1/8”, 10,000psi API 6A subsea slab gate valve, the clamping solution was designed, manufactured and delivered within six weeks from the date of enquiry.

Design for manufacture and assembly (DFMA) sessions were held with the customer to ensure that the overall weight of the clamp was kept to a minimum, whilst maintaining the engineering integrity.

Finite element analysis was used to analyse how the clamp design would react to the design requirements. Stringent in-house factory acceptance tests were also completed to simulate the installed loads and scenarios of the clamp’s environment.

Bespoke features such as location blocks and machined labels ensured that the subsea divers and remotely operated vehicles (ROV) could easily fit the clamp during installation.

BEL Valves’ technicians mobilised onto the dive support vessel to assist the customer with the subsea installation and commissioning of the clamp.


clamping solution for a hydraulic spring return actuator 3D model
clamping solution for a hydraulic spring return actuator


Dan Clayton, Design Engineer at BEL Valves, said: “This project was interesting because the clamp had to be designed to be retro fitted onto the actuator whilst it was subsea, as well as in service. The clamp’s unique shape was engineered to allow a simple one fitment method, whilst also reducing the material’s weight as much as possible.

“We are pleased that we could provide our customer with this bespoke solution within the short time frame required.”

The project was executed from the BEL Valves facility in Newcastle upon Tyne which included the conceptual design of the complex clamping system, material purchase, manufacture, assembly, test and paint.

BEL Valves provides a full life cycle solution including design, manufacture, service and aftermarket. We offer a range of valve, service and bespoke engineering solutions, for more information contact us on +44(0)191 265 9091 or email