A Breakdown of Industrial Valve Types

A Breakdown of Industrial Valve Types

Valves are arguably the workhorse of piping systems. There are many different types of industrial valves that perform countless jobs from isolating to regulating flow in a variety of different industries, from ball and globe valves used in the power industry to butterfly valves in pharmaceutical processing to gate valves in oil and gas production. While valves all play similar roles, it’s in their differences that they shine – ball valves help regulate flow, check valves prevent backflow, and gate valves are ideal for high temperatures and pressures. Today we’ll take a closer look at a few of the most common types of valves: ball, butterfly, check, gate, and globe valves.

What are Ball Valves?

Ball valves are a compact, cost-efficient, and low maintenance quarter-turn valve. Inside the valve is a ball with a hole in it. When this valve is open, the hole in the ball allows media to pass through. To open and close the valve all it takes is a quick 90-degree turn of the handle on top. This effortless turn makes ball valves one of the simplest valves to operate.

Ball valves are typically used for flow and pressure control. By providing a leak-proof service, and being quick to operate, ball valves are a popular choice in the oil and natural gas industries; though, they can also be found in the manufacturing and chemical storage sectors, and even for residential use.

Check out our collection of ball valves here.A Breakdown of Industrial Valve Types

Explanation of Industrial Butterfly Valves

Butterfly valves, like ball valves, are a member of the quarter-turn valve family. With butterfly valves, the handle is attached to a stem, which is attached to a disc that sits inside the valve. When the handle is turned, the disc inside rotates to open and close. Since the disc sits inside the valve, butterfly valves can also be used for throttling.

The downside to having the disc sit inside the valve is that the disc is always inside the valve, which could cause you to experience a pressure drop. Butterfly valves can be used in a broad range of applications and are commonly utilized in water supply and wastewater treatment. Butterfly valves are also a popular choice for pipes with large diameters.

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Check Valves: What Are They?

Check valves offer one major benefit that no other valve on this list does: they are a self-automated valve. Check valves allow the flow to pass th

A Breakdown of Industrial Valve Types

rough in one direction and automatically prevents backflow. They utilize the pressure from the flow to open the disc inside, meaning the higher the pressure the more the disc opens.

As the flow decreases or if it reverses, the disc inside will close. Since check valves prevent backflow they are sometimes referred to as Non-Return Valves (NRV). This ability to automatically prevent backflow makes them an excellent choice to be used near parts of the line that need to be protected from backflow, such as the pump and compressors.

Gate Valves and Their Common Industrial Uses

Gate valves are a member of the shut off/on family, making them primarily suited for isolation applications. When the handle on top is twisted, the gate inside slowly raises and lowers. When the gate is fully open there is no resistance as the gate is completely out of the flow path. It is recommended that gate valves only be used to start or halt flow, and not for throttling as this can lead to substantial damage on the disc. Gate valves are used with a variety different media including air, liquid, and steam. Some of the most common applications for gate valves are in wastewater and as a main water shutoff valve.

What You Need to Know about Globe Valves

Globe valves are one of the most popular types of valves as they can be used to stop, start, and regulate flow. Globe valves are spherical in shape and have two halves, which are separated by an internal baffle. The baffle is typically parallel to the pipe. Globe valves boast a superb shutting mechanism and are less likely to leak than other valves.

Globe valves are favorable in a variety of applications because they are capable of stop, starting, and regulating flow. Typically, you would see them used in a regulatory capacity including, but not limited to, fuel oil systems, boiler and main steam vents and drains, and cooling water systems.

Choosing the Right Valve for a Pipeline System

The most important question to ask yourself when looking for a valve is what job do you need the valve to do? Valves are an important purpose in any pipeline system. No matter the demands your system has, there is a valve to serve that purpose. From regulating flow with butterfly valves to isolating flow with gate valves.

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