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General Information On Valves
The valve is a device that controls and regulates the flow of gases, liquids, fluidized solids or slurries by opening, closing, or partially obstructing various passageways. Although valves are technically pipe fittings, they are also referred to in a different category. In an open valve, fluid flows in a direction from high pressure to low pressure.
Valves are used in different contexts. For example: industrial, government, military, petroleum, commercial, residential and transport.
Industries in which the most valves are used are petroleum (oil and gas), power generation, mining, water reticulation, peppermills, refineries, sewerage and chemical manufacturing.
Common valves are plumbing valves. Taps for hot and cold tap water are the most viable types of valves. Other types used on a daily basis include gas control valves on cookers, small valves fitted to washing machines and dishwashers, and safety devices fitted to hot water systems.
Valves may be operated manually. Hand wheel, lever or pedal. Valves may also be automatic, driven by changes in pressure, temperature, or flow. The changes may act upon a diaphragm or a piston which in turn activates the valve, examples of this type of valve found commonly are safety valves fitted to hot water systems or boilers.
More complex control type systems using valves requiring automatic control based on an external input (i.e., regulating flow through a pipe to a changing set point) require an actuator. An actuator will stroke the valve depending on its input and set-up, allowing the valve to be positioned accurately, and allowing control over a variety of requirements.
The inside of an extremely large butterfly Valves are quite diverse and may be classified into a number of basic types. Valves may also be classified by how they are actuated:
Ball Valve General Information
Ball Valves are valves with a spherical disc and the part of the valve which controls the flow through it. The sphere has a port (or opening) through the middle so that when the port is in line with both ends of the valve, flow will occur. When the valve is in the closed position, the hole is perpendicular to the ends of the valve, and flow is blocked. The handle (*or lever) will be inline with the port position letting you ‘see’ the valve’s position. The ball valve plus the butterfly valve and plug valve, are part of the family of quarter turn valves.
Ball valves very are durable and usually work to achieve perfect shutoff even after years of disuse. They are therefore an excellent choice for shutoff applications (and are often preferred to globe valves and gate valves for this purpose). They do not offer the fine control that may be necessary in throttling applications but are sometimes used for this purpose.
Ball valves are used extensively in industry because they are very versatile, supporting pressures up to 700 bars and temperatures up to 200degC. Sizes typically range from 0.5 cm to 30 cm. They are easy to repair and operate. The body of ball valves may be made of metal, plastic or metal with a ceramic center. The ball is often chrome plated to make it more durable. There are five general body styles of ball valves: single body, three piece body, split body, top entry, and welded.
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