An affordable and very dependable method off all or nothing flow control is achieved by the use of a ball valve. The disc which controls the flow is spherical in shape. The round nature of this disc is the reason why it is called a ball valve. Many different types of ball valves are made for a variety of functions in the industrial sector and you can find technical explanations by checking the ball valve short guide.
The way flow control is achieved with a ball valve is straight forward. The disc in the shape of a ball is placed in the path of the flow. A hole is drilled completely through the valve to allow flow. When a stream of fluid is desired the pathway is placed parallel to the flow. To shut off the transmission of flow, the ball is moved so that the hole is perpendicular to the flow. In essence, the hole now faces the wall of the valve. By this simple method of control, the best results are achieved in systems that need all or nothing control. Fractional or incremental control can not be reliably achieved with a basic version of this valve.
The mechanical means of ball movement is normally achieved through a handle. The handle is placed in a position that is parallel to the pipe so the hole in the ball allows flow. When the handle is at a right angle to the pipe and valve, the flow stops. This simple visual aid is a quick and reliable indicator on flow presence in that part of the system.
Different make ups of ball valves are available dependent on needs and safety factors. The specialised V type of valve is designed to allow limited aspects of flow control. Instead of a round hole through the ball, a v shaped hole is made in a sideways direction. When initially opened, the narrow intersection of the shape is first exposed to the flow. Less flow is allowed though at a higher speed. The V ball valve can be more expensive due to the higher quality of materials that have to be used for the variances in speed and pressure.
Full port valves feature a hole that is the same size as the pipe providing the fluid. The valve has to be over-sized to accommodate the size of the hole. The full port valve is commonly used when a process called pigging comes into play. Pigging is a method of cleaning the pipes when issues of contamination can affect product quality or efficient operations.
Ball valves can also have L- or T-shaped holes put through the disc. These shapes allow for a variety of flow control configurations to be achieved at one junction in the pipe. This structure allows for construction savings cost by having less pipe being used. Greater versatility can be achieved in industrial systems by diverting flow.
When the need arises for reliable control, ball valves are an affordable and reliable choice. Gases and liquids can both be handled by this versatile valve. Accompanied by a handle, the ball valve provides for a quick means of visual inspection to see if flow is present. A long part life due to a few moving parts and simplicity of construction, the ball valve is a cost effective and dependable choice for flow control in an industrial system.