Valves are essential parts of almost any construction and engineering project. Valves have applications in the residential, commercial and industrial settings. A valve is necessary to regulate and control the flow of fluids – like water through a plumbing system or oil through a pipeline – and they are often subject to high pressures which makes it essential that a valve supplier in the USA knows what type of valve is suitable for a certain situation.
In this post, we are going to take a closer look at the three most basic and common types of valves. These valves are classified according to how they operate – or stop the flow of fluids.
Table of Contents
1. Ball valve
This is a basic, quarter-turn valve that has a hollow, pivoting ball with a hole in the middle that is used to control the flow of fluids. It is usually operated by lifting or lowering a handle. Basically, when the valve is open, the fluid can flow through the hole in the ball. When the valve is open, the hole is “closed” and so it the valve, stopping the flow of fluid. Despite how “simple” they are, ball valves are considered reliable and durable and are commonly chosen for use in a variety of applications.
2. Butterfly valve
A butterfly valve is similar to a ball valve, but instead of a ball, it has a disk that rotates in order to open and close the valve, regulating the flow of fluids. A butterfly valve is a quarter-turn valve, which means that a quarter turn of the disk allows the valve to be either fully opened or closed. It depends on the direction the disk was turned. The disk’s turning is usually achieved by turning a handle. Butterfly valves are usually used in pipes with large diameters. They’ve replaced ball valves in the oil and gas industry as they are easier to clean.
3. Choke valve
In a choke valve, the ball or disk is replaced by a set of cylinders. There is a solid cylinder, called a plug or stem, that goes into another hollow cylinder that is perforated with holes or slots. When a choke valve is “open” the plug is up and fluid can flow through the holes or slots in the hollow cylinder. When the valve needs to be closed, the plug is lowered and the flow of fluids is effectively stopped.
Choke valves are used in heavy industries such as oil production. They are also used in the chemical industry to control the flow of corrosive and erosive fluids. In this case, they are made out of corrosion resistant materials like inconel or tungsten carbide.