What Do You Need To Know About The Ball Valve?
Out of several valve types available in the market for commercial, residential, and industrial applications; the Ball Valve deserves a special mention. As the name suggests, this valve type should comprise a ball or a sphere. Just go to your kitchen a take a look at the sink tap. Yes, it looks nice and adds personality to your kitchen, but is it enough for heavy-duty commercial and industrial applications?
No, right? Well, industrial and commercial applications usually involve high-pressure and high-temperature. For example, urban pipelines. These pipelines carry water in high amounts, so high pressure. High-pressure and high-temperature applications require a valve that can handle these extreme conditions, and a Ball Valve is one of the best options available today.
The Ball Valve structure: Quarter-turn valve is another name given to this valve type. The valve is operated by turning the lever at a 90-degree angle. When the lever is aligned with the valve; the valve is in the closed position. A hollow ball inside the valve turns with the lever. A turning hollow ball is an effective way to control the fluid flow. Well, take a look at this picture for a better understanding of its mechanism (https://i.ytimg.com/vi/3f12hmJCfHo/maxresdefault.jpg.) The picture shows a metal Ball Valve, which is robust enough to use for heavy-duty applications.
The stem (the bottom part of the lever) is fixed to the ball in such a way the ball also turns when you turn the lever. What is the purpose of two seats (rubber seals) on both sides of the ball? Well, fluids such as water and gas can leak through tiny gaps. So, to minimize the risk of fluid leakage; two rubber seals are placed at both ends of the metal ball. The two pieces of the Ball valve are fixed tightly with nuts and bolts. What is the advantage of being able to separate the pieces? Can you repair your kitchen sink tap? If something goes wrong with the Ball Valve; you can separate the two pieces for repair. Anyway, you cannot repair a valve that comes as a single piece.
PVC Ball Valve: An alternative option for general applications such as home pipelines. PVC valves are lightweight, cheap, weather-resistance, and effective. Anyway, PVC valves are not suitable for heavy-duty applications such as high-temperature and high-pressure. Instead of a metal ball, a plastic hollow ball does the job here.
Ball Valve material options: Stainless steel, PVC, brass, and steel are the top material options for valves today. You should choose the right material option depending on your application. For example, brass, PVC, and stainless steel are the best material options for outside applications. Brass and stainless steel can be used for high-temperature, high-pressure, and chemical-resistance applications. Well, a PVC Ball Valve is a better option for chemical-resistance applications, but it cannot handle high-pressure and high-temperature. Offering a quick shut-off is the top advantage of incorporating a Ball Valve within a pipeline system.
For example, a quick shut-off is a necessary property when choosing a reliable valve for high-pressure applications such as gas plants.
These valves can withstand temperatures up to 500 Celsius and pressure of 1000 bar. The hollow metal ball is chromed for sturdiness. The largest Ball Valve can stand up to 4 feet. Well, you will find it interesting reading this article about the world’s largest Ball Valve that stands up to 4 feet (https://www.flowcontrolnetwork.com/worlds-largest-control-ball-valves-produced-by-circor-energy/.) The size of the valve can range from 0.2 to 48 inches. The world’s largest valve can handle very high pressure, and it is being used in Saudi Arabia on an urban pipeline.
Ball Valve Price: Well, it depends on the material, size, manufacturer, and so on. PVC valves are cheaper when compared to metal ones. In other words, the higher the price, the more the features. Stainless steel and brass valves are more expensive than PVC and steel ones.
Early Ball Valve designs came as a single piece. Such valves are difficult to maintain and repair. A valve that is being used for high-pressure and high-temperature applications should be able to repair for safety. Failing to repair the valve can lead to a fluid leakage, which can lead to a disaster (for example, a gas plant explosion.) Split-body, top-entry, and so on are the options that manufacturers have introduced for easy repair and maintenance.
Ball Valve advantages:
Well, we can highlight several useful advantages of this valve here:
* A quick-off: You can fully control the fluid flow just by turning the lever at an angle of 90 degrees. Heavy-duty valves come with a wheel to turn, instead of a lever. Don’t worry! The lever won’t turn beyond 90 degrees (a secure lock prevents this.)
* A tight seal: Take a look at this picture again (https://i.ytimg.com/vi/3f12hmJCfHo/maxresdefault.jpg.) Not like an ordinary valve, a Ball Valve is a robust structure that gives you peace of mind about sealing properties. The two rubber seals at both the ends of the metal ball ensure sealing.
And, that is why many engineers and technicians consider a Ball Valve as the best option for high-pressure and high-temperature applications. Valves that are designed to use for high-pressure applications come with seals that can withstand high-temperature. So, you don’t need to worry about the seal being melted at a high temperature (anyway, every valve comes with limitations.)
* Cheap: When compared to other valve types and benefits, a Ball Valve is a cheap option to consider. One-piece valves are the cheapest in the market. Two-piece valves are easy-to-clean and more expensive than one-piece valves. Three-piece valves are easy-to-repair.
* When compared to other robust valve types such as butterfly valves, a Ball Valve is small and compact.
* You don’t need a larger torque for tight sealing.
Some final words: Well, we hope that we have done a good job here explaining to you the Ball Valve. If you have any more questions and concerns; contact us today. We are more than happy to guide you. Anyway, we can’t ignore other valve types available on the market. Each valve type is designed to match unique applications. A robust butterfly valve would not look nice for your kitchen sink. Talk to an engineer or a professional in the industry if you are not sure of which valve type to use for your specific application.