Nozzle type check valves are often employed in compressor stations in three locations: compressor outlet, station discharge and station by-pass. The fundamental design concept of these valves is based on creating a converging diverging flow through the valve internal geometry such that a minimum area is achieved at a location corresponding to the back of the check valve disc at fully open position. This will ensure maximum hydrodynamic force coefficient which allows the valve to be fully open with minimum flow. Spring forces and stiffness determine the performance of this type of check valves and impact the overall operation and integrity of compressor station. This paper examines the effects of various spring characteristics and stiffness in relation to the compressor and station flow characteristics. The results show that when the spring forces are higher than the maximum hydrodynamic force at minimum flow, the disc will not be at fully open position, which will give rise to disc fluttering and potential for cyclic high velocity impact between components of the internal valve assembly. This could lead to self destruction of the check valve and subsequent risk of damage to the compressor unit itself. The paper also points to the fact that the spring selection criteria for a unit check valve are different than that for station and bypass check valves. An example of a case study with actual field data from a high pressure ratio compressor station employing this type of check valves is presented to illustrate the associated dynamic phenomena and fluid-structure interaction within the internal assembly of the check valve.

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