Valves are mechanical devices that control the flow and pressure within a system or process. They are essential components of a piping system that conveys liquids, gases, vapors, slurries etc. Different types of valves are available: gate, globe, plug, ball, butterfly, check, diaphragm, pinch, pressure relief, control valves etc. Each of these types has a number of models, each with different features and functional capabilities. Some valves are self-operated while others manually or with an actuator or pneumatic or hydraulic is operated.
There are many valve designs, types, and models, with a wide range of industrial applications. All satisfy one or more of the functions identified above. Valves are expensive items, and it is important that a correct valve is specified for the function, and must be constructed of the correct material for the process liquid.
Gate valves are primarily designed to start or stop a flow when a straight line flow of fluid and minimum flow restriction are needed. In service, these valves are pretty much kept either fully open or fully closed. A globe valve is a linear motion valve used to stop, start and regulate flow. Conventionally used for isolation and throttling services, the globe has become the world’s most common types of valves.
A ball valve is a quarter-turn rotational motion valve that used a ball-shaped disk to control a flow. If the valve is opened, the holes in the ball stay in line with the body inlet allowing contents to pass. Mainly used for air, gases, and liquids, ball valves are quick to turn on and off and have a tight sealing with low torque. The only downside to these valves is the lack of throttling properties available.
The butterfly valves are used to stop, start and regulate flow. Easy and fast to open, the valve usually comes equipt with a gearbox where the hand wheel by gear is connected to the stem. This simplifies the operation of the valve, but at the expense of speed. These valves must also be installed a minimum of 6 pipe diameters away from other line elements.
Carbon steel is a common material for industrial valves. The most obvious difference is its appearance. It does not have the silvery chrome appearance that makes stainless steel so iconic. In fact, carbon steel typically has a dull, matte finish that is more comparable to cast iron. However, carbon steel is a high-quality metal alloy that is comparable to stainless steel with only a few major performance differences. Carbon steel has a slightly lower melting point and fewer chemical resistances, but it is more malleable and durable and has better heat distribution, due to its high carbon content. Carbon and stainless steel are both high-grade materials, each with their strengths.
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