Valves are used in a variety of applications that involve the flow of a liquid or gas. While you may be more familiar with the kind of valves that bring propane gas to your stove top burners or valves that control the flow of water in your sink, outside of the home, the most common type of valve employed is an industrial valve. Industrial valves are made to withstand high pressure, either from a fluid or a gas, and are meant to handle a number of harsh environments. This makes them ideal for various commercial construction and automation projects. This blog is going to discuss various types of industrial valves, their pros, cons, and applications. To begin, there are five main types of valves: gate valves, globe valves, ball valves, butterfly valves, and check valves.
Gate valves are used to either obstruct or start the flow of liquid through pipes. They are designed to function as isolation valves whose channels can be opened or closed by moving a small metal gate up and down. They are typically made of stainless steel, cast iron, alloy steel, forged steel, and other durable materials.
Gate valves have many advantages including a very low friction loss, which helps your system conserve energy and are a cost-effective choice. Unfortunately, gate valves cannot be opened and closed quickly, which can cause some leakage. Additional leakage can also occur if connected to a system that has irregular high-temperature changes. Moreover, the complexities that come with maintenance, operation, and repair make these valves less than optimal. However, you can find these types of valves in the water industry, or in simple on-off applications.
Similar to gate valves, globe valves utilize linear motion to control flow. Moreover, they are able to regulate flow more accurately than other valve types. The location of a movable disk with respect to the stationary ring seat allows for this precision. Additionally, globe valves get their name from their spherical body containing an internal baffle that separates the inside of the pipe into two parts. In addition, globe valves usually contain interchangeable parts that can be made larger or smaller depending on the user’s needs.
Unlike gate valves, their closing time is much shorter, their body ring seating surface is easier to maneuver, they can be utilized as stop-check valves, and they contain a positive shut-off mechanism. Unfortunately, globe valves need a lot of force or an actuator with large torque to close under high pressure. Nonetheless, globe valves are often used for throttling purposes and for high-temperature applications.
As the name suggests, ball valves are composed of a valve housing often made of a metal casting and a perforated ball. The ball is in control of the flow of substances between openings. Activating the valve turns the ball, increasing flow as the perforation comes in line with the channel. These valves work by allowing the hole to be open, closed, or partly open to control the flow of a liquid or gas. Moreover, in order for these valves to open or close, they require a 90-degree rotation.
Ball valves support pressures of up to 700 bars and temperatures reaching up to 200 degrees Celsius. Additionally, their air-tight sealing qualities provide leak-proof service, and their compact design requires no lubrication. More than that, they are easy to operate, which makes them popular for applications that deal with corrosive fluids, slurries, normal liquids, and gases. However, if you’re in need of a valve that can be used for permanent throttling, ball valves are not the optimal choice. In addition to this, ball valves hold fluids containing particles that often cling to the internal walls and can cause leakage.
Butterfly valves are another type of isolation valve that is designed to regulate flow, but with a limited control capability. They consist of a channel and a paddle fastened to the channel through its central axis. The paddle is usually disc-shaped and spins in order to block or open the channel. Liquid flow is commonly regulated by rotating a handle 90 degrees, but can also be operated using a gear or an actuator. In some cases, they are easier to control through remote actuators, but are limited to large-volume applications.
If you’re looking to purchase a butterfly valve, but aren’t quite convinced, some of the advantages include accuracy, reliability, and capability to control flow even for the most corrosive liquids. Moreover, these valves require little maintenance and can be installed or removed without trouble. Butterfly valves can be found in pharmaceutical, chemical, and food processing services.
Check valves, also referred to as Non Return Valves (NRV), allow liquid to flow in one direction while preventing backflow in the reverse direction, which can sometimes damage equipment or disrupt processes. Their hands-off design relies on the flow velocity of the fluid to open and close. The higher the flow rate, the larger the opening gets until it reaches its fully open position.
Beyond a check valve’s ability to prevent backflow, it can sustain larger amounts of pressure. Moreover, check valves can be found in a variety of markets and industries related to petrochemical, chemical, oilfield production, water, and steam. Additionally, they can also be found in manufacturing and waste-water management systems. While they can be used in a variety of applications, check valves cannot be used in pulsating systems and in some cases, the closing element may crash and cause damage to the system.
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