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Free Float® Steam Traps for Process Use

Free Float® Steam Traps for Process Use



JX series steam traps can be installed on various types of equipment that uses steam as a heat source. The series covers a wide range of condensate loads, from the 100’s of kg/h to several 10’s of tons/h, making this TLV's most widely used series of steam traps.

In addition to offering compact size, continuous discharge of condensate, and large condensate discharge capacities, these steam traps are equipped with an X-element air-vent that provides a powerful automatic blow-out function. All these qualities gathered in one trap make the JX series ideal for steam-using equipment.



  • Shorter start-up time with X-element
  • Improved process heating efficiency
  • High allowable back pressure
  • Continuous condensate discharge
  • Reduced steam losses
  • Ideal for condensate recovery
  • Erosion-resistant design
Free Float® Steam Traps for Process Use

Process Use

Necessary Features of Steam Traps for Process Use

Reduced start-up time

When the X-element is cold, it opens the air vent valve a full 3.5 mm, rapidly discharging initial air 3.7 times more rapidly than the former integral bimetal air vent included in the J3N. Equipment start-up time is also shortened through the rapid discharge of hot air up to approx. 6°C below saturation temperature, something previously not possible.

Comparison of Start-up Times

Free Float® Steam Traps for Process Use

Comparison of Venting Capacities

Free Float® Steam Traps for Process Use

Improved process heating efficiency

The Free Float® adjusts the valve opening in response to the amount of condensate flow and continuously discharges condensate, preventing any accumulation of condensate inside the equipment. The X-element reacts with great sensitivity to hot air entrained during operation, and discharges it rapidly. These synergistic effects result in maximized heating efficiency.

Comparison of Heating Efficiency

Free Float® Steam Traps for Process Use

Compact and high capacity

The J3X is roughly the same size as the former J3N, yet it offers a larger discharge capacity than even the former J5N, which was one size larger.

Comparison of Flow Rates

Free Float® Steam Traps for Process Use


What is an X-element?

The X-element is comprised of a valve and a diaphragm that transmits the force of a thermoliquid (temperature-sensitive fluid). When surrounded by steam, the valve is closed. When condensate, air or other non-condensable gases are present, the valve is open. It can also discharge high temperature non-condensable gases, something bimetal air vents are unable to do. This is made possible due to the special properties of the thermoliquid.

Thermoliquid, like water, is liquid when kept under a certain pressure and temperature, and expands to become a gas when its temperature rises above a certain point. The temperature at which it becomes a gas is approximately 6°C (22°C for air vents) lower than the temperature at which water becomes steam. So when it is surrounded by steam, the thermoliquid is a gas and the chamber containing the thermoliquid expands and pushes on the diaphragm. This causes the gap between the valve and the valve opening on the diaphragm to close.

Free Float® Steam Traps for Process Use

In contrast, when the area around the X-element is at a low temperature (when it is either condensate or air), the thermoliquid is in the liquid phase and the valve is not being pushed closed, so condensate and air are discharged from the gap between the valve and the valve opening.

Free Float® Steam Traps for Process Use

”Fail Open” Safety Feature

Fail safe features are necessary in quality precision instruments. TLV therefore designed the X-element in such a way that the valve remains in the open position ('fail open' safety feature ) in the event the diaphragm ruptures.

If a steam trap fails, the valve may either remain open (blowing) or it may remain closed (blocked). If the valve remains closed, condensate accumulates in any equipment that cannot be shut down in order to replace the failed trap, and this pooling of condensate impairs the equipment's heating performance. On the other hand, if the valve remains open, the supply of steam continues uninterrupted and the equipment can continue to be productive. Due to this special design, even if the diaphragm ruptures and becomes technically 'closed' (by remaining in contact with the valve opening due to the flow of steam and condensate), condensate, etc. can still flow through the valve opening via the hole in the center of the valve.

Under Normal Operation

Free Float® Steam Traps for Process Use

Free Float® Steam Traps for Process Use

Free Float® Steam Traps for Process Use

Free Float®

Precision Free Float®: The Best for a Variety of Processes

Continuous condensate discharge

The Free Float® moves up and down in response to the amount of condensate inflow, automatically adjusting the amount of valve opening and continuously discharging condensate. This ensures that no condensate accumulates inside the equipment.

Free Float® Steam Traps for Process Use

Reduced steam losses

The surface of the liquid inside the trap is maintained above a certain level and condensate is continually discharged through the orifice. Even when there is no condensate flowing into the trap, the precision Free Float® securely seals the orifice closed. This minimizes steam losses during operation.

Free Float® Steam Traps for Process Use

Ideal for condensate recovery

In Free Float® type steam traps, the forces of the inlet pressure and the back pressure act in opposing directions, so Free Float® traps are able to operate normally even under 90% back pressure. This makes them ideally suited for processes with closed condensate recovery systems. In contrast, disc type traps only have a 50% to 80% allowable back pressure because the pressures act in the same direction.

Free Float® Steam Traps for Process Use

Erosion-resistant design

Constructed to resist erosion through features like: a simple construction with no levers or hinges and only one moving part, the Free Float®; an extra-large surface area in the condensate discharge passage; improved thickness of passage walls from 3 mm to 5 mm (model J3X); and a selection of highly-durable materials.

Operation Animation

Continuous Discharge of Condensate & Rapid Removal of Cold and Hot Air

Operation animation

When the steam trap is cold (before steam is supplied to the equipment), the X-element is in the contracted position, so its valve is fully open. When the supply of steam begins, air and condensate are released through this valve opening. Condensate is also discharged through the main valve opening (also known as the orifice) in the lower part of the trap.

When the discharge of the initial air and cold condensate is finished, steam enters the trap causing the X-element to expand. By expanding, the X-element closes the valve where air is discharged. As condensate enters the trap, the float rises in response to the inflowing condensate load, and condensate is continuously discharged through the orifice.

When hot air enters the steam trap during operation, the X-element immediately senses the drop in temperature inside the trap and automatically opens the air-venting valve, which rapidly discharges the air. After the air has been completely discharged, the temperature again rises and the air-venting valve closes.

If there is no inflow of condensate, the float drops and is held tightly against the orifice. This seals off the main valve opening (orifice). Steam leakage is prevented at all times by maintaining a water seal over the orifice.


The video below demonstrates how TLV's Free Float® steam traps prevent steam leakage by creating a water seal over the orifice. The precisely grounded Free Float® valve modulates the flow of condensate, and shuts the orifice completely when there is no liquid in the trap.



For steam processes, particularly for batch operations or where condensate removal is difficult due to equipment configuration

For example:

  • Reactor kettles, vulcanizing kettles, presses, jacketed kettles, distillers, etc.
  • Hot air dryers, air conditioning equipment, absorption chillers, unit heaters, steam air heaters, heat exchangers, roll heaters, cylinder dryers, re-boilers, air preheaters, etc.

Free Float® Steam Traps for Process Use

Used in a Variety of Industries

High precision technology gives TLV's Free Float® traps superior reliability. They are thus confidently used in a wide variety of industries on the processes that are the lifeblood of manufacturing.

Examples of applications by industry


  • Vaporizers
  • Concentrators
  • Heat Exchangers
  • Reactor Kettles
  • Tank Heating

Fine Chemical

  • Roll Dryers
  • Conical Dryers
  • Concentrators
  • Jacketed Mixing Tanks
  • Acetone Vaporizers
  • Purifying Kettles
  • Reactor Kettles


  • Boil Pouches
  • Jacketed Kettles
  • Plate Heaters
  • Boiling Kettles
  • Bottle Washers
  • Steam Kettles


  • Corrugators
  • Triple Heaters
  • Rollers
  • Hot Plate Presses
  • Yankee Dryers
  • Paper Making Machines


  • Presses
  • Mold Presses
  • Vulcanizers
  • Calender Rolls
  • Hot Presses

Steel Mill

  • Smelting Furnaces
  • Pretreatment Tanks
  • Anti-rust Liquid Heating Tank


  • Embossing Rolls
  • Cylinder Dryers
  • Roll Dryers
  • Dye Tanks
  • Hot Air Dryers


  • Roll Dryers
  • Aerofin Heaters
  • Embossing Foam
  • Printing Heaters
  • Coaters

Others (Power Generation / Electrical Equipment / Linen / Animal Feed / Building Materials / Building / Transportation)



Model Appearance Body Material Maximum Discharge Capacity (kg/h) Product Specifications
J3X J3X Ductile cast iron 710 154 kb
JF3X Cast iron
J3S-X J3S-X Cast stainless steel 760 178 kb
J5S-X J5S-X Cast stainless steel 1020 145 kb
J5X J5X Ductile cast iron 1040 161 kb
JF5X (Screwed flange) Ductile cast iron
JF5X (Flange) Cast iron
J6S-X J6S-X Cast stainless steel 3400 217 kb
J7X J7X Cast iron 4000 113 kb
J7.2X J7.2X 9000 119 kb
J7.5X J7.5X 15600 89 kb
J8X J8X 25000 178 kb