Master of Science in Industrial Engineering (MSIE)


Construction Management

Document Type



Hutchinson, Francis Williams, B.G.S., Louisiana State University, 1989 Master of Science in Industrial Engineering, Summer Commencement, 2012 Major: Industrial Engineering Evaluation Of Methods To Operate Gate Valves Using Elapsed Time, Rating Of Perceived Exertion, And Electromyography Thesis directed by Professor Fereydoun Aghazadeh, Ph.D., PE Pages in thesis, 86. Words in abstract, 253. ABSTRACT Industrial valve handwheels are in common use in many industries to block, allow, or regulate the flow of materials within a system. Significant numbers of musculoskeletal disorders have been attributed to turning valve handwheels. The torques encountered to “break” and/or turn these handwheels often exceeds 100 Nm and therefore necessitate the use of special wrenches or other aids. The literature reveals that most of the research has been done to determine the operator’s capabilities for developing the “breaking” forces. After breaking, the continuous muscular effort for as much as five to fifteen minutes required to fully open or close some valves is believed to place greater demands physically and physiologically on the operator than the initial breaking torque requirement. This study used electromyographic data taken from two different locations, the elapsed time to fully open a valve, and Borg’s subjective Ratings of Perceived Exertion (RPE) obtained from the participants to determine the optimum method for opening the valve. The data was obtained from a group of 10 participants who fully opened the valve by using their hands only, using a conventional valve wrench, and using a modified valve wrench. The tasks were repeated with the valve wheel set at two different torque requirements: 25Nm and 50Nm. The data gathered was then analyzed and evaluated to determine if the modified wrench was the optimum method to open the valve. Although the modified wrench was demonstrated to be the most efficient under some conditions, advantages from further testing and modifications to the wrench were indicated.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Aghazadeh, Fereydoun