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What Is a Ball Valve

The author:admin Release time:2020-09-24 browse:
One of the most commonly used industrial valves, ball valves are often employed in tight shut-off applications. The ball valve got its name from the hollowed-out sphere component that allows media passage when it opens or blocks it when closed. These are members of the quarter-turn family of industrial valves.

The ball valve is often used in many industries so it’s not surprising to find that its demand is high. Nowadays, you can find high quality made in China ball valves or ball valves manufactured in India.

Advantages and Disadvantages of the Ball Valve
Ball valves are great to use when the system needs a quick opening and closing. These are also advantageous in applications where it needs a tight seal without having to consider high internal pressure.

However, ball valves have limited throttling capacities. In fact, these are not recommended for regulating media flow. Ball valves have partially exposed seats, which can erode quickly when slurries are used. These are also hard to open quickly and manually when pressure is high.

Common Ball Valve Materials
Ball valves come in different materials. Depending on the nature of the application, ball valves are often forged or cast using iron, stainless steel, and other steel alloys. Ball valve seats can be made of an elastomeric material such as PTFE or metal, often stainless steel.

Ball Valve Ports
Typically, ball valves have two ports. But with the advent of new services, ball valves can have up to four ports. These are often branded as two-way, three-way or four-way ball valves. A three-way valve can have an L-configuration or a T-configuration.

Ball Valve Working Mechanism
The ball disc is opened or closed by turning the actuator a quarter turn or 90-degrees. When the lever is parallel to the flow of media, the valve allows the latter to pass through. When the lever becomes perpendicular to the flow of media, the valve blocks the flow of the latter.

Ball Valve Classifications
Ball valves are actually classified in several ways. You might encounter valve groups based on the number of components or the type of ball valves have.

Based on Housing
You can classify ball valves depending on the number of components their bodies have. The cheapest among the three, the one-piece ball valve is made of a single block forged metal. This can’t be disassembled for cleaning or maintenance. One-piece ball valves are suitable for low-pressure applications.

On the other hand, the two-piece ball valve is made of two pieces connected by threads. This type should be completely removed from the pipeline while being cleaned or replaced. Lastly, the components of the three-piece ball valve are connected via bolts. Maintenance can be done on the valve even if it is still attached to the pipeline.

Based on Disc Design
The design of the ball is a major classification for ball valves. Aptly named because the ball is suspended at the top of the stem, the floating ball valve is the most common design of this category. As it closes, the ball moves towards the downstream opening. The pressure load helps seal the valve tightly.

On the other hand, the trunnion mounted ball design is held steady by trunnions located at the bottom of the ball. The most suitable application for the trunnion mounted ball valves are those that have large openings and high-pressure ranges, typically more than 30 bar.

Based on Pipe Diameter
Ball valves can also be categorized based on the size of the connection in relation to the diameter of the pipes. A reduced bore ball valve means that the diameter of the valve is one size smaller than that of the pipes. This causes a minimal pressure loss. One-piece ball valves often have the reduce bore type.

The full bore type types have the same diameter as that of the pipes. The advantages of this type include no pressure loss and easier cleaning. Full bore types are more expensive because of the size of the valve. Lastly, The V-shaped type has a V-shaped hole which enables precise fluid control whenever the valve is open.

Ball Valve Applications
Ball valves are often found in a wide variety of applications. Most often, you would find them in flowing systems on ships, corrosive services and fire safe protection services. These are not used in applications where contamination is an issue such as those in the food processing services. Ball valves are difficult to clean.
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