Different Types of Valves and the Benefits and Uses of Each

July 19, 2021


Ball, butterfly, gate, knife, globe, and needle. What do these words have in common? The answer - each of these represents different types of valves.

In a nutshell, valves are devices that control or regulate the flow and pressure within a particular system. While this general function stays the same, there are slight differences that give different valves varying abilities.

So, how do you determine which is the right one for your needs?

This article outlines what you need to know about them, right here!

Let's get started.

Ball Valves

Ball valves play an important role, particularly with regard to sanitary fittings.

Ball valves are generally made from metal but can be made from other materials like plastic or ceramic. These balls function with simple on and off control. Sandwiched between seats, with a hole through its center, these balls are equipped with ninety-degree turn handles.

Butterfly Valves

A butterfly valve opens quickly and easily and works well to isolate or regulate flow. The operation of this valve is fairly similar to that of a ball valve and works particularly well in tight spaces.

Check Valves

A check valve helps regulate flow in a single direction, or at a particular angle. They are generally used to protect devices from backflow damage, to prevent contamination and siphoning. These valves are almost always self-activating.

Usually, check valves have a lifespan of around ten years.

Gate Valves

A gate valve is sometimes also called a sluice valve. These valves work by lifting or putting down a barrier (or a gate) across the path of the fluid to stop or resume flow.

Knife gate valves, a variation, are used to control the flow of solids. The use of these valves is ideal for regulating the flow of oils, greases, paper pulp, and similar media.

Globe Valves

Globe valves have a spherical shape with both halves separated by a baffle on the inside. These valves are further categorized into three subtypes that include a T-body globe valve, a Y-pattern globe valve, and an angle body globe valve.

Needle Valves

A needle valve is ideal for operations that use small, narrow pipes and require accuracy. Some examples include regulating the flow of gas or water.

They allow for minute adjustments that are gradual, smooth, and efficient. These valves use conical discs with a needle-like point at the end.

Which of These Different Types of Valves Is Right for You?

To choose the right type of valve, you need to know the purpose you're looking to fulfill, the size of your piping, and the type of regulation required.

Once you have these facts, you'll be able to choose the best of these different types of valves for your needs.

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