What is a Ball Valve
Ball valves are valves which permit or halt the flow of media through a pipeline. A typical ball valve includes an inlet, outlet, and a housing for the valve itself, which is commonly a spherical shape and hollow. A stem--which fits snuggly into a slot at the top of the ball--rotates the ball to an open or closed position. When the valve is "open," the hollow bore will be in line with the pipe, allowing material to pass through. Conversely, when the valve is "closed," the hollow bore positions itself perpendicular to the pipe; thus, stopping the flow of media. A handle, lever, or wheel turns the stem (on manually operated valves).
Common Applications of Ball Valves
Ball valves can be used in thousands of applications, and are commonly employed throughout the industrial world. Ball valves come in a wide variety of designs: full port (which utilizes an oversized ball for unrestricted flow), a "v" port ball valve for flow control (the ball is actually a "v" shape), a trunnion ball valve, which may have additional mechanical anchoring--for high velocity flow--and a standard port ball valve, which is usually a size smaller than the pipe, for a mildly restricted flow. A ball valve frequently used in the food industry is known as a cavity filled ball valve. A cavity filler incorporates extendable seals to fill the cavity around the ball; therefore, limiting potential bacteria growth. Body styles include single piece, split body (two piece), three piece body, top entry, and welded body.
Ball Valve Construction
Design elements may include, but are not limited to, any of these materials: stainless steel, brass, bronze, chrome, titanium, PVC, PFA-lined, etc. Some ball valves are flanged, and the pieces are bolted together. Many of the smaller, lower flow capacity ball valves (reduced port) are dispensable and inexpensive. These replaceable types of ball valves are often called “throw away valves.” Ball valves made in America (and meeting ANSI qualifications) are of the highest quality. Three piece, top entry, and some other ball valves, typically for industrial applications, are made to last as long as possible, and are often repairable when they fail in the field. Conforming to today’s laws in America, most valves and valve fittings are available "lead-free”.
Other Uses for Ball Valves
Ball valves may also include 2, 3, and multiple ports. Multi-port ball valves often utilize electric, or pneumatic actuators, and some are so sophisticated they can even regulate flow, besides just diverting, stopping, or allowing flow. Nevertheless, Ball valves are most typically used in "shut-off" applications.
Shop Ball Valves
If you want to know more about ball valves, or would like to spec or purchase ball valves, regardless of your application needs, contact us--we know all about valves. The team at the ValveMan valve store are experts. We have been in the valve business for over 50 years, and we pride ourselves on carrying the finest industrial grade valves and valve related products available on the market today. Shop our online store for new products and examples of the valve industry's latest innovative technology. Unlike some of our competitors, we only sell valves, period. It's simply what we do, and we do it better than anyone else.