Also known as blue blush buildup, blue blush is a type of deposit that can develop on different types of valve components. The origin of this thin layer on various types of valves and other components normally takes place due to the sustaining of high temperatures of liquids and other materials passing through the valves over a period of time. The heat causes some degree of oxidation that gradually builds up and can interfere with the normal function of the valve system. If left untreated, the oxidation can weaken the valve components over time, making the possibility of some sort of industrial accident more likely.
The development of blue blush due to oxidation is a gradual process. As the thin layer begins to develop, it appears as a film on the components of the valves. Over time, this concentration of the oxidized material can lead to the degradation of the valves themselves, possibly to the point of a failure. In order to minimize the chances for this type of event, it is not unusual for the valves to be checked on a regular basis and steps taken to remove the blue blush from the surface of the valve components.
Removing blue blush normally involves using methods designed to dislodge the oxidized material without causing any harm to the valve components. In some cases, this may be done by hand using materials such as specially designed stones that help to puncture the surface of the blush without harming the metal underneath. If the buildup is thicker, shutting down that section of the line and temporarily removing the valves for treatment in an alkaline bath may be necessary. In general, approaches like sandblasting are not recommended, since the potential for damaging the components of the valves is somewhat high.
Managing the incidence of blue blush is very important to protecting the integrity of the metal valves. If the blush is allowed to build up over time, this can compromise the components and eventually cause them to fail. Since the degree or pressure that is normally managed with the valves is quite high, a valve failure can have severe consequences, both in terms of damage to the facility and the potential to endanger human life. For this reason, periodic inspection and removal of the blue blush not only helps to minimize the possibility of interrupting the function of the valves but also helps to avoid the potential for serious industrial accidents.