What Are Industrial Ball Valves?
An industrial ball valve is a rotary motion valve with a 90-degree turn that controls flow by pivoting a disc with a ball-like form. The port in the ball enables flow when it is lined up, but when the valve is turned 90 degrees, the solid component of the ball shuts off the flow.
The majority of ball valves are quick-acting and are unlocked by twisting the handle 90 degrees. However, when a huge valve needs to be opened or shut down with a lot of force, a gear-operated actuator is employed. With this configuration, a little handwheel may control a sizable valve.
Industrial ball valves are frequently employed in applications where tight sealing is necessary, and they have low-pressure dips. Even when the media has a large volume, pressure, or temperature, its 90-degree turn makes it simple to operate. Due to their lengthy lifespan, they are very cost-effective. For gases or liquids with minute particles, ball valves are suitable.
How Do Industrial Ball Valves Work?
Industrial ball valves use hollow balls that let flow when in the open position but isolate when they are shut down. A spindle that slides into a slot milled into the hollow ball drives the ball, which is then opened and shut down by a lever. The neck seals on the valve body surround and seals the ball valve spindle to deter any leaks.
Two body or ball seats that guarantee effective sealing are positioned between the ball and them. They offer a wiping action and remove suspended particles from the ball’s surface as the ball opens and shuts down between the seats. It must be noted that abrasive substances will wear down the seats and the ball’s surface, ultimately leading to leaking.
Material that is dense, stringy, or fibrous may impede the ball from shutting down. The most popular type of ball valve has a two-way construction that allows the flow to move from the input to the outlet. Ball valves with three and four ways allow for different directions of flow.
Begin The Flow: The actuator spins around 90 degrees clockwise to initiate the fluid flow. The stem turns around when it twists, and the ball is spun by the stem. The flow begins via the valve when the ball’s hole is parallel to the direction of the fluid flow.
Halt The Flow: The actuator turns around 90 degrees counterclockwise, and the stem is similarly rotated counterclockwise to halt the flow. The ball completely ceases the flow of liquid as it pivots 90 degrees counterclockwise.
Throttling Flow: For throttling flow, the ball is held in somewhat open and somewhat closed positions. Under high-pressure drop circumstances, if the partially open valve was left open for an extended period of time, the soft seats would incline to flow around the ball orifice edge and perhaps lock the ball in that position indefinitely.
What Are Different Types Of Industrial Ball Valves?
Here are different types of ball valves produced by an industrial valve manufacturer that are used in different industrial applications.
- Floating Ball Valves
In a floating ball valve, the two elastomeric seats are condensed against the ball to hold the ball in place. Inside the valve body, the ball is allowed to float freely. The ball may pivot a quarter turn since the stem is attached to a slot at the top of the ball. Because of the pressure applied to the ball from upstream, the shaft permits some sideways movement of the ball.
This slight lateral movement places the load on the ball, pressing it upstream against the valve seat and increasing the valve’s leak-tightness. This style of valve can shut off in both directions. When the upstream pressure is elevated, operating the floating valve is challenging.
- Trunnion Mounted Ball Valves
The issue of excessive torque needed by a floating type valve in high-pressure service can be solved by a trunnion-mounted ball valve. A short shaft functions similarly to the trunnion set in the body, which is an attachment. The steam and ball function together in this configuration. Two spring-loaded or floating seats that are in continual touch with the ball serve as the ball’s supports. The working torque requirement is reduced for trunnion ball designs. As a result, it lowers the size of the actuator and the overall price of the valve.
- Fully Welded Body Ball Valves
The construction of fully welded body ball valves decreases potential leak routes, removes body flanges, and boosts resilience to pipeline stresses. Because there will be fewer leak routes, they are advantageous in vacuum and fugitive emission applications. Direct access to each seat ring is provided by sealant injection fittings. This makes it possible for the technician to regularly top off the lubricant level in the valve’s sealant injection mechanism.
- One-Piece Ball Valves
A single-piece cast body houses the internal components of a one-piece ball valve. There is no longer a chance that the valve will overflow with fluid. Smaller-diameter one-piece ball valves are affordable. The most typical type of ball valve is one that is welded together. However, if it is broken, it cannot be disassembled for cleaning or repair.
Due to that, it is only employed when there is a low risk of molecule formation and minimal need for disinfection. Contrarily, damaged one-piece ball valves require the use of specialized tools and can be cleaned, adjusted, and overhauled.
- Two-piece Ball Valves
An additional two-piece valve is used in addition to the single-piece plan for reduced bore and FB valves with diameters more than 6″. The body stud, which is made of two sections as part of a two-piece design, holds the ball in place. At this time, a full bore or a reduced-bore design would be suitable.
- Three-piece Ball Valves
A three-piece design features a single centerpiece, two end parts, and two end pieces for the body. Ball valves with a three-piece construction are the easiest to maintain. To perform any installation or maintenance work on the valve, the body can be swung away utilizing the last body bolt as the fulcrum by withdrawing all the body bolts. Downtime for maintenance is drastically decreased because of this functionality.
- Rising Stem Ball Valves
A ball valve with a long stem that extends above the valve body is known as a rising stem ball valve. For applications requiring both on and off the fluid flow, a rising stem ball valve is employed. Most rising stem ball valves are made of metal and are flame-resistant. The temperature range for rising stem ball valves is between -200 degrees Celsius and 815 degrees Celsius. Rising stem ball valves are made to move the ball and seat without causing friction, and they only require a tiny amount of torque to open and shut down.
- Flanged Ball Valves
By the way they are connected, the flanged ball valves can be identified. Through flanges, which are often created in accordance with a particular standard, the ports are joined to a piping system. These valves retain a full-bore design, which often results in a high flow rate. These ball valves are composed of cast iron, steel, or stainless steel and have two, three, or four ports.
- Full Port Ball Valves
Ball valves with full ports or full bores cost more than other versions. As the hole in this ball valve is identical in size to the pipeline, the bigger ball in the full port ball valve reduces friction loss. Full port ball valves have an unfettered flow despite their bigger valve size. Full-bore ball valves are frequently utilized in systems with high flow coefficients and minimal pressure drops for throttling applications.
- V-Port Ball Valves
Either the seat shape or the ball shape is represented by the V in the v-port ball valve. It is possible to manage the opening and shutting in a better way, thanks to the ball valve. This type’s flow characteristic is nearly linear. As these kinds of liquids promptly harm a regular valve, the high velocities of the liquids employed with such ball valves compelled the designers to create a generally more durable construction for them.
- Standard Port Ball Valves
The standard port ball valve retains a smaller port and ball than the full port ball valve. Due to the pipe size, it is less expensive but has a little reduced flow. Despite being less expensive, they carry greater pressure dips than other kinds of ball valves. Similar to full port valves, standard port valves are excellent for systems with large flow coefficients.
- Multi-Port Ball Valves
Multi-port ball valves retain three or four ways and a central hole with an L to T form. Any pair of ports can be connected using T valves, and side ports can be connected to the middle port using an L valve. A multi-port ball valve’s inlet is typically orthogonal to the outlet’s plane. 4-way ball valves have two X ports, which are L-shaped openings in the ball.
- Reduced-Port Ball Valves
The flow area through the valve is smaller than the pipe, and the flow through the valve is one pipe size less than the pipe size of the valve. These valves are also referred to as reduced-port ball valves, RB, or reduced bore. The pipeline has a pressure loss while using this kind of ball valve.
- Top-Entry Ball Valves
Cast steel bodies are typically used in the production of top entry ball valves. The structure of these valves is monolithic as they are made from a single piece. Because of their cast bodies, top entrance ball valves need more non-destructive testing compared to side entry. The extended lead times are a result of the casting processes needed to produce the body. Top entry valves can be assembled, disassembled, repaired, or maintained without having to withdraw the valve from the pipeline by extracting the bonnet cover.
- Side-Entry Ball Valves
The two-piece or three-piece assembly side entrance valves are made with forged steel bodies. Side entry ball valves are simpler to construct and assemble compared to top entry valves, which need more skill and craftsmanship to function adequately. When compared to top-entry valves, they are less expensive. A valve body is split into two or three body sections in this design. The bigger body section has a ball, seat rings, a stem, and other internals that are fastened together with bolts inside of it.
- Segmented Ball Valves
A V-shaped notch can be found on the ball of a segmented ball valve. The rotation of the ball is what determines how well a segmented ball valve controls the flow rate. In addition, it features a strong shut-off capacity. A segment ball valve’s flow characteristic resembles an equal percent flow characteristic. As the ball moves toward its totally opened position in a segmented ball valve, the flow rate increases exponentially.
- Soft Seated Ball Valves
The majority of applications are sufficiently covered by soft, non-metal seated ball valves. A thermoplastic substance like PTFE, NBR, etc., is used in soft seated ball valves. The polymeric seals can be highly stressed by abrasive media, high pressure, and temperature, which can result in damage. Metal-seated ball valves were created in the 1960s as a result of this.
- Metal Seated Ball Valves
Metals like 316 SS, Monel, etc., are utilized as seat material in metal-seated ball valves. The benefits that a metal-seated ball valve offers are taut shut-off, lack of jamming, smooth management, adequate corrosion and wear resistance, broad temperature range, resilience under pressure, and so on.
- Vented Ball Valves
In terms of design and functionality, a vented ball valve is comparable to a standard ball valve, with the exception that it has little orifices whacked into its side. When the valve is shut down, the orifice is directed toward the valve’s outflow direction. The pierced hole is employed to release trapped gases that cause an accumulation of internal pressure inside the valve, deterring leakage, valve failure, and outburst.
- Manually Operated Ball Valves
Ball valves that are manually actuated have a simple design and are easy to utilize. In this style, the valve opens and shuts down by twisting it a quarter turn. The drawback of this rapid action is that it can increase the risk of a water hammer. A few ball valves come with an actuator that can be powered by an electric or pneumatic motor. These valves can be utilized for flow control or on and off functionality. A positioner is another component of a pneumatic flow control valve that converts the control signal into the appropriate actuator position and valve opening.
- Forged Ball Valves
By grinding out metals and alloys while they are still in their solid state, the forged ball valves are produced. Heating or using large, industrial-sized equipment that applies compressive stresses on the materials tilts the metals and alloys. Forged ball valves can be built from substances such as brass and stainless steel.
- Hydraulic Ball Valves
Because of their high operating pressure rating and resistance to hydraulic and heating oil, hydraulic ball valves are particularly created for hydraulic and heating systems. Steel or stainless steel is the material utilized to make these valves. These valves’ seats are constructed of polyoxymethylene, which works well in situations requiring both high pressure and low temperature. Hydraulic ball valves have a maximum operating pressure of 500 bar and a maximum temperature of 80 degrees Celsius.
- Standard Or Threaded Ball Valves
The housing, seats, ball, and lever for rotating the ball make up a typical ball valve. They consist of two-port, three-port, or four-port valves that can have either female or male threads or a mixture of the two. The most popular type of valve is threaded valves, which come in a wide range of variations, including small ball valves, angled ball valves, ISO-top ball valves, and valves with built-in strainers or bleed points.
- Cavity-Filled Ball Valves
A seat on a cavity-filled ball valve seals the space between the ball and the body. As a result, there is no longer a chance of entrapped media or particle accumulation over time surrounding the ball, which could contaminate the liquid or prevent it from flowing. Cavity-filled ball valves are simpler to maintain and wash. They are useful in fields where sanitation is essential, including pharmaceutical, food and beverage, bioprocessing industries, etc.
- Single Piston Effect Seat Ball Valves
Ball valve seats are forced against the ball by spring load. The seats are shoved back, and the pressure in the line is released as the body cavity pressure exceeds the spring load. If both ball valve seats have one-piston action, there will be a cavity relief on the downstream side.
- Double Piston Effect Seat Ball Valves
A cavity pressure relief mechanism is necessary for double piston effect seat ball valves in order to lower the pressure within the body cavity. In this seat design, the body cavity pressure and medium pressure combine to produce a thrust that forces the seat rings up against the ball.
Factors To Consider When Selecting Industrial Ball Valve
Check out the primary factors that one needs to take into account when choosing industrial ball valves for industrial applications.
The type of valve material to be utilized will depend on the properties of the liquid or gas being regulated. Polytetrafluoroethylene and perfluoroalkoxy alkanes are excellent options for monitoring corrosive or harsh compounds because they can tolerate these circumstances. For the best level of safety when monitoring pressured gases, it is crucial to use metal valves.
Manual, electrical, or pneumatic control options are available for the industrial ball valve.
- If you have a little budget, no need for electricity or pressurized air during installation, or if automation is not required, it is best to choose a manual ball valve.
- In comparison to pneumatic ball valves, electric ball valves retain a greater starting cost but reduced operational expenses.
- The pneumatic ball valves are utilized for larger-sized valves since they have a higher torque.
There are two seals on a ball valve. On the inlet and exit, seat rings are located around the ball, and an o-ring seals the stem. The seat rings are typically constructed of PTFE. The seal material for both seals must be appropriate for the application’s liquid media.
Depending on the number of ports, industrial ball valves might retain 2-way, 3-way, 4-way, or 5-way circuit functions. The two-way ball valves offer a direct flow path from input to output. For various applications, a 3-way ball valve with a T or L port enables blending, distributing, or redirecting flow direction. The four ports of a four-way ball valve are L, T, X, and straight. The 5-way ball valves have perpendicular double L-bore and are relatively rare.
Make sure that the industrial valve’s material can resist the operation’s required minimum and maximum temperatures. The temperature range of a ball valve is primarily specified by the housing and seal material.
- The brass ball valve can withstand temperatures between -20 degrees Celsius and 60 degrees Celsius (-4 degrees Fahrenheit and 140 degrees Fahrenheit), respectively.
- The PVC ball valve can withstand temperatures between -10 degrees Celsius and 60 degrees Celsius (14 degrees Fahrenheit and 140 degrees Fahrenheit), respectively.
- The industrial stainless ball valve can withstand temperatures between -40 degrees Celsius and 220 degrees Celsius (or -40 degrees Fahrenheit and 428 degrees Fahrenheit), respectively.
Verify that the industrial ball valve can resist the system’s minimum and maximum pressures. The ball valve’s pressure range is influenced by the material of the housing. Brass, PVC housings, and stainless steel often have the highest ratings for maximum pressure.
Ball valves are one of the easiest valve types to service and resist clogging, making maintenance straightforward. Ball valves can also be purchased in three-piece designs, which include a body and two end caps. This deters the line from being closed during maintenance because the main body portion may be readily peeled off for cleaning without removing the end caps from the pipe. Therefore, 3-piece ball valve layouts are simple to maintain and clean.
Understanding the different types of ball valves helps people to make suitable decisions related to the proper ball valve models that are ideal for their industrial applications. Are you willing to learn more about these valves and want to buy them? In that case, contact Dombor, a reliable industrial ball valve manufacturer.