A ball valve is a mechanical device for controlling the flow of media through a pipeline – it is a particular type of valve made up of seats, seals, a valve body and a machined metal ball which has a hole bored through the centre.
This perforated metal ball is situated between two seats designed to shut off and control the flow though a pipeline. The valve is in open position when the ball’s hole is in line with the flow and it is in a closed position when the ball is forced into a 90-degrees rotation either by a lever handle or an actuator.
A ball valve is most suited for conditions where quick on/off and/or bubble tight service is required. It is also known as an Isolation valve.
Ball valves are mainly used in the Food & Beverage, Pharmaceutical and Cosmetics industry and are very useful in low-flow situations.
What are the different types of a Ball Valve ?
There are a variety of ball valve types used in Industry such as;
Full Port (Full Bore), Reduced Port (Reduced Bore), Long Pattern, Short Pattern, Tank Outlet Valve/Drain Valve, Divert Valve and Glass Pipework Valve.
To decide which type to use it really depends on certain criteria such as the chemical compatibility, what is the media type flowing through the pipeline, the line pressure, temperature and the end connections. There are 4 basic end types; Threaded Connection, Socket / Welded Connection, ANSI Standard flanges and Sanitary / Clamp end.
But the 2 most common industry types used are either Reduced Port where the opening of the ball is one size smaller than the pipeline diameter or the Full Port where the opening of the ball is the same size or inline with the pipeline diameter and it provides excellent flow rates.
Other criteria to consider are the application types;
Sanitary /ASME BPE ball valves are used for Utility applications in the Biotechnology Industry;
Corrosion / Lined ball valves are typically made up of plastic and PTFE/PFA/FEP lining and are used for nasty applications;
Industrial / Utility metal seated ball valves which consist of either metal, carbon, stainless steel, higher alloys like Hastelloy etc
Finally, to decide on which type of ball valve to use – you need to take all these factors into full consideration the Valve Design, Client Preference, Application Type and Size.
A Ball Valve turn handle vs Actuators ?
Well, it depends on your application.
The ball valve may be operated automatically by an actuator (pneumatic or electric) or manually by a handle. The two position handle blocks the valve in an opened or closed position. The actuator transforms axial movement of the piston to a 90º rotation movement of the ball.
Our range of two piston actuators is ideally suited for ball valves where the torque requirements are higher compared to the lower torque range of other actuators. We also have a compact range of two piston actuators for smaller bore valves. Our Actuators can be mounted in-line with the pipe or cross-mounted with the pipe which is also beneficial when it comes to stacking of your pipe.
Why choose a Ball Valve ?
A ball valve is your popular standard valve.
It is very cost effective and it can cater to your requirements from 0.5 inch (12.7mm) up to 4 (101.6mm) or 6 inches (152.4mm).
They have a bi-directional flow as they have an inlet and outlet side.
How Flexachem can help you?
Flexachem is the leading distributor for the sizing & design of Ball Valves throughout Ireland.
We have a dedicated Valve Specialist team who are highly experienced and industry trained to assist you with any simple to complex application. Our Service Engineers provide localised technical support & on-site service engineering to support your operational needs. We also hold a heavily stocked inventory to help take the pressure off you in the event of unexpected emergencies.
We offer a full range of actuated ball valves, from Sanitary, Lined or Alloy such as Full Port (Full Bore), Reduced Port (Reduced Bore), Long Pattern, Short Pattern, Tank Outlet Valve/Drain Valve, Divert Valve and Glass Pipework Valve.
Contact our Valve Specialists:
Brendan Merrigan (external) – mob: 087 2598124
Vicki McGrath (internal)
Brian Barry (internal)
Tim Quigley (internal)
Ross O’ Donovan (internal)
Tel: 00353 21 4617260