A form of quarter-turn valve called a ball valve is used to regulate the flow of fluids via a pipeline or plumbing system. They get their name from the rotating ball-shaped disc inside the valve that controls whether fluid flow is allowed or blocked. Numerous industries, including oil and gas, water treatment, chemical processing, HVAC, and plumbing, frequently use ball valves.
A hollow, perforated ball (often made of metal like brass or stainless steel), a stem, and an actuator are the three primary parts of a ball valve. When the ball is positioned above the pipeline, the fluid can travel via a hole or bore in the centre of the ball. The bore becomes perpendicular to the pipeline when the stem rotates the ball 90 degrees, thus obstructing the flow.
- Ball valves are made to be quick and simple to use; all that is needed is a quarter turn (90 degrees) of the handle or lever to fully open or close the valve. They are therefore effective at regulating fluid flow.
- Ball valves are offered in two different designs: full bore and reduced bore. The ball's larger diameter in a full bore ball valve permits unhindered flow through the valve. When the valve is fully open, a lower flow area results from the smaller diameter of the ball in a reduced bore ball valve.
- Ball valves have exceptional sealing qualities, resulting in a tight shut-off. The ball creates a tight seal against the valve seat when it is in the closed position, preventing leakage and guaranteeing a dependable shut-off.
- Low Pressure Drop: Ball valves have a low pressure drop across the valve because, when fully open, they provide a straight-through flow route. This trait is especially helpful in applications where minimal pressure loss is essential.
- Ball valves are versatile because they work with a variety of gases, liquids, and slurries. They can be used in a variety of industrial processes since they are adaptable for both on/off and throttling applications.
- Size Variation: A wide range of sizes, typically from 14 inches to 48 inches or more, are offered for ball valves.
- Ball valves are available with a variety of pressure ratings, including ANSI Classes 150, 300, 600, 900, 1500, and 2500. The valve's maximum operating pressure is indicated by the pressure rating.
- Body Material: A variety of materials, such as stainless steel, brass, bronze, cast iron, carbon steel, and rare alloys like Duplex and Hastelloy, can be used to make ball valves. The choice of material is influenced by the application, fluid compatibility, and operational circumstances.
- Material of the Ball: The ball inside the valve is frequently constructed from the same substance as the valve body. To improve sealing and chemical resistance, the ball may occasionally be lined or coated with materials like PTFE (Teflon) or other polymers.
- Ball valves come in a variety of port sizes and types, including full port (full bore) and reduced port (reduced bore). Reduced port valves have a smaller ball opening than full port valves, which can result in some pressure loss but also allow for unfettered flow. Full port valves have a greater ball opening.