Ball Valve: How It Works?
Ball Valve is a common type of valve used for piping today. It’s very effective, and that’s why it has become a good choice for plumbers and engineers. This picture explains all about its mechanism It has a spherical unit to control fluid flow. As you can see in the picture, the spherical unit is hollow and it has a bore through the center. When the Ball Valve is in option position, fluid can go through the bore. When you turn the valve handle through a 90 degrees angle, the bore becomes perpendicular to the flow, so fluid cannot pass through.
It’s a form of quarter-turn valve. Ball Valves are very reliable in terms of bubble-tight sealing. Due to tight-sealing abilities, Ball Valves are widely used for gas applications. The ball of the valve is made of a metal and PVC Ball Valves have a ball made of plastic.
Two-way ball valves are the most common type allowing flow to travel linearly. Anyway, three-way and four-way valves are available allowing flow to travel in multiple directions. You can categorize the valves according to their body types too. Four types of ball valve body types are there today each with unique features and advantages (top-entry, three-piece body, fully-welded, and split-body.) Anyway, the valve operation is the same in each body type, but how the manufacturers have manufactured the body is different.
As mentioned, each body type valves have unique advantages. For example, the fully-welded type has a greater body strength compared to its weight. Also, it can handle high-pressure. The top-entry Ball Valve can be repaired just by taking off the top part. So, the type you have to use depends on the application.
Floating: Many types of floating valves are there. The simplest type you can see in your water tank (rising-stem valve.) As you can see in this picture when water touches the ball; the ball moves up closing the valve. Another common place where you can find a floating valve is the commode.
Common Applications: Gas processing, industrial, transmissions, and storage. The top advantage of using ball valve is preventing unnecessary leaking. Due to this unique quality, these valves are widely used for high-pressure gas applications. Well, we can’t ignore the ones used in PVC piping. Anyway, the plastic valves are only suitable for low-temperature applications. It’s a very versatile valve available on the market today. When properly installed, it will do its job for a long time without failing.
Common Materials: Brass, stainless steel, chrome, bronze, PVC, titanium, PFA-lined, and much more. Also, Delrin, TFM, Kel-F (PCTFE), PEEK, Metal, Nylon, Virgin Teflon, Viton, 50/50 are the materials used for seats and seals. Type of materials used depends on the application.
Some final words: As mentioned, Ball Valve is a very useful valve type for many industrial applications such as oil, gas, and high-pressure. It’s a durable valve when compared to other types. Welded, three-piece body, single-body, top-entry, and split-body are the types of Ball Valves.