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Understanding the Different Types of Valves That Industries Use Today

Does your industry use pipes to transfer liquid or gas? If so, then you could benefit from understanding the different types of valves better.

A valve is a mechanical device that can control the pressure and flow of a fluid or gas within a system. It does so by opening, closing, or partially blocking this flow.

There are different types of valves depending on the task at hand, which we’ll review in this article. Read on!

The Types of Valves

There are quite a few different types of valves with unique characteristics. They have different costs and can fulfill particular functions. They include:

  • Gate valve
  • Ball valve
  • Globe valve
  • Plug valve
  • Check valve
  • Butterfly valve
  • Needle valve
  • Pinch valve
  • Pressure relief valve

Let’s take a closer look at each type.

Gate Valve

Gate valves are the most common type found in process plants. They have two positions: fully open or fully closed.

They can be used in virtually all fluid services, which is why they are so popular.

Ball Valve

Ball valves use a ball-shaped disk to start or stop the flow. They require a quarter-turn rotary motion. They are smaller and lighter than their gate valve counterparts.

Metal seated ball valves, in particular, can withstand high temperatures and are very resistant to wear.

Globe Valve

Globe valves can start, stop, or regulate the flow. They provide better shut off compared to gate valves but are costlier.

They are used when leak tightness and flow control are requirements.

Plug Valve

Plug valves are quarter-turn rotary motion valves. They feature a cylindrical plug to start or stop the flow.

They can be used in high-temperature and high-pressure situations.

Check Valve

Check valves are useful to prevent backflow in the system.

They are opened through the pressure of the fluid passing in the pipeline. When there is a reversal of flow, the valve closes.

Butterfly Valve

Butterfly valves are quarter-turn rotary motion valves. They can be used to start, stop, and regulate the flow. They have a short circular body.

Thanks to their compact, lightweight design, they are suitable for large applications.

Needle Valve

As the name indicates, needle valves feature a needle-like disk. They are otherwise similar to globe valves.

They provide very accurate flow control in smaller piping systems.

Pinch Valve

Also known as a clamp valve, the pinch valve is a linear motion valve. It can start, stop, and regulate fluid flow.

It derives its name from its rubber tube, called a pinch tube. The pinch valve is ideal for handling liquids with significant amounts of suspended solids.

Pressure Relief Valve

Pressure relief valves are especially useful at protecting the piping system in case of over-pressure.

A pressure relief valve releases the pressure when it reaches a pre-defined figure.

Understand the Types of Valves

There are different types of valves because there are different tasks to perform.

You may only need to start or stop fluid flow, in which case a gate valve is what you need. Alternatively, if you need to protect your system against over-pressure, you might use a pressure relief valve.

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