How exactly ball valve work? And what different types we can choose between
Do you know that ball valve grab the attention and the design work of a large segment of the oil and gas industry? The industry, and mainly the oil and gas industry, requires manufacturers and suppliers to create highly performing products that fit many different and specific functions. And ball valve, between check valve, are the most interesting due to their functional options.
A ball valve is a quarter-turn rotational motion valve equipped with a ball shaped disk to control flow and has a wide range of applications. The seat matching the ball is circular so that the seating stress is uniform. A ball valve can manage and control all kinds of fluids and it also finds application in managing with condensate and steam.
How ball valve works
While valve open, the holes in the ball keep the line of the inlet body allowing the fluid flow. When the valve is cloesed the port takes a perpendicular direction and stops the fluid flow. That happens because the sphere –the ball– in the valve consists of a port that adapts according to the position of the valve.
Ball valves are advantageous in a wide range of applications in the oil and gas industry mainly because they require lack of leakages and a few maintenance.
Types of ball valves
Operators can count on different types of ball valves. We usually classify them by shape and function, but to choose ball valves properly we need to mostly pay attention to the materials.
Floating ball valves
In this type of ball valve, the sphere –the ball– is sospended in the flowing fluid and keps its position thanks to the compression of two elastomeric seats against it. The shaft is connected to the top of the ball and allows the switch from an open to a closed position with a 90 degrees turn movement. When the shaft is moved the ball receives a load and gets pressed against its seats.
V Port ball valves
Between ball valves the V Port ball valve can obtain a more precise control on the fluid flow. They indeed have either a ‘v’ shaped ball or a ‘v’ shaped seat which allows to better controll opening and closing the hole. This kind of valve requires a more accurate designing and robust manufacturing in order to not be dameged from higher fluid speed.
Trunnion ball valves
Trunnion ball valves answer the needed of size limitations of standard floating valves. The shaft, the ball and the supporting trunnion act as a single solid element able to overcome the load generated by balls of large dimensions.
Standard ball valves
Standard port valves has a straight flow path, but there is a flow restriction that produces a pressure drop as the flow passes through the valve. The inlet and outlet connections of this valve are the same sizes as the tubing or pipe. The ball –the inside element– fits within the valve and has a smaller hole than the pipe or tube that it is connected to: it therefore produces a pressure drop due to the flow restriction.
Full port ball valves
A full port ball valve also has a straight flow path where there is not a reduction of flow as it travels through the valve. That is why this king of valve is sometimes called full bore valve.
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