Put simply, gate valves are nothing more than a valve that opens or closes by lifting or lowering a round or rectangle-shaped wedge or "gate" out of, or into, the path of the liquid in the line. Yet, it's an integral piece of hardware, sometimes called a "sluice" valve. This type of valve is typically used in a straight line application, allowing or stopping the flow of liquids at given points along a line. However, these are not recommended for regulating flow, as gate valves are designed specifically for being open or closed, with no "in between" points. This travels up and down so it is referred to as a linear valve.
Common Applications for Gate Valves
A gate valve may be used in numerous applications, and can be seen being utilized in simple home plumbing or in more commercial applications like the food, pharmaceutical, and petroleum industries--they are common in the oil industry. Gate valves are often seen on things like well head manifolds and other applications involving high pressure, like steam.
Basic Gate Valve Designs
There are four basic designs when it comes to gate valves. Each provides a specific advantage for different applications.
- Slab gate: A slab gate is a gate valve primarily used in transporting non gas liquids like oil, utilize a single gate that moves up or down between two seat rings.
- Expanding gate: An expanding gate valve uses two gates, as opposed to just one, as in a slab gate. These collapse together or expand apart from one another to stop or permit the flow of a liquid.
- Wedge gate: A wedge gate valve utilizes a tapered gate that provides metal to metal sealing. When opened, the valve retreats into the valve body, creating a large bore.
- Knife gate: A knife gate is typically used for heavier, thicker liquids and for dry bulk solids (as in food or pharmaceutical applications). It gets its name from being very thin in comparison to other types of gate valves, and cleans itself every time it passes the skirts and seat rings.
Where to Buy Gate Valves
A gate valve--like any valve--is an important piece of hardware you depend upon to get your projects off the ground, and keep them running. You can't afford to buy the wrong part, or put trust in just any valve, valve supplier, or manufacturer. When only the best will do, put your trust in a valve store like ValveMan.com. Buy gate valves from a company that only sells valves--that's what we do, and that's all we do, and we've been doing it for over 50 years. When you want the job done right, buy them from a supplier that knows what a gate valve is, and what it's for.