OSKO Valves' blog on Ball Valves & their types.

What are the Ball Valves? Explain Parts, Advantage and Standards

Niraj Hedapara
December 22, 2020

Ball valves are used to control the hydraulic flow. These valves use a ball (a spherical obstruction) to start or stop the flow of fluid. Ball valves manufacturer places a ball to rotate at 90 degrees that opens and closes to perform the required function. Since it can be used for gas and liquid both, it is one of the most popular valves of the industries. Their lifelong service and reliable performance enhance the usages of ball valves. These are shutoff valves that rotate to a point where either part or entire hole gets covered. The ball allows the fluid to pass through the valve. When the hole gets perpendicular to the path, the flow of fluid gets stopped. The ball valves manufacturer has created a 90-degree turn to either fully open or fully close. This can also refer to as a typical ‘on-off’ control function.

The Operational Performance

Ball valves, somehow, belong to the same family of butterfly valves. When we will take a sneak peek into its manufacture, a ball valve has a perforated and pivoting ball. The size of the ball is equal to the pipe’s diameter.

The conventional valves often prove themselves worthless with their partial closing and opening positions. Their poor throttling ability, somehow, propels the users to use ball valves instead of conventional valves. These valves are considered less expensive as compared to many other valves.

Seat Design

The seat design of ball valves is considered as a specific performer. Ball valves usually include soft seats like PTFE, Buna-N, Neoprene, and Nylon, etc. These seat design materials limit the usage of valves and make them unsuitable for abrasive service.

Where the elastomeric seats fail to serve, metal to metal seats caters to the applications. They are able to handle high pressure and temperature. The fluid may include some solid particles. The valves which are having metal seating can incorporate things in a better way. The valves can be fitted with extension bonnets. Metal seated ball valves are used if a high level of safety is required.

Parts of a Ball Valve

The typical view of Ball valve includes the below parts –

  • Ball
  • Stem
  • Stem Nut
  • Bonnet
  • Bonnet Fasteners
  • Grounding Washer
  • Body
  • Seat
  • Handle Retainer Nut
  • Travel Stop
  • Gland Ring
  • Stem Seals
  • Bonnet Gasket
  • Spring
  • Seat Rings

The Patterns of Ball Valves

Based on the dimension and weight ball valves, these are classified into two patterns –

  1. Short pattern ball valves
  2. Long pattern ball valves

The piping design uses long pattern dimensions for the easy connections of pipe flanges. Apart from this, as short pattern ball valves are of lesser weight and dimension than the long pattern ball valves, they are used for other different purposes.

The Types of Ball Valves

The types of ball valves are classified on the basis of various factors. Different parameters have shown the different types mentioned below –

  • One, two, three-piece ball valves
  • Soft and Metal seated ball valves
  • Reduced bore, full bore, and V-shaped ball valves
  • Floating and Trunnion mounted ball valves
  • Single and Double piston effect design
  • Split, Top entry, and Welded body ball valves

Investment Casted 3-piece Flanged End Ball Valve      

Investment casted 3-piece flanged end ball valve includes below-mentioned specific features –

  • Design Standard – As per IS/ISO 17292, BS 5351
  • Testing Standard – As per IS/ISO 17292

Further to this, other salient features are here –

  • Availability of Socket weld end
  • Availability of Buttweld end
  • Low Torque and Long Life
  • Actuation comfort
  • Anti Blowout proof design
  • Double Block & Bleed (DBB) feature

Electrically Actuated Ball Valves

Electrically actuated ball valves can be classified into two forms, 2-way and 3-way ball valves. 2-way ball valves are a simple solution that rotates at quarter-turn from fully open to fully close. They typically operate slowly with an air-operated pneumatic actuator. On the other hand, 3-way electric ball valves offer the service for diverting applications like a bypass line.

Electrically actuated ball valves have their own different types where each has its own advantage and disadvantage. Some offer feedback via electrical signals and monitor the exact position. NEMA (National Electrical Manufacturers Association) rating describes the suitability of an electric actuator for a specific task.

Pneumatically Actuated Ball Valves

Pneumatically actuated ball valves are another kind of ball valves that are used for automation to control remotely. One uses pneumatically actuated ball valves on the demand for specific applications. These actuators use the pressure of compressed air to generate the required torque for turning a value.

The compressed air moves the piston linearly and further to this, the linear motion gets converted into the rotational. The pinion transfers the motion to the valve stem that further turns the ball either open or close.

Industry Codes and Standards

Some specific industry codes and standards of Ball Valves are mentioned here –

API 6D: Pipeline Ball valves

API 598: Valve Inspection and Testing

API 6FA: Fire Test for Valves

BS 5351: Petroleum, Petrochemical and Allied Industries.

BS 6755: 

  • Pt. 1 – Production pressure testing requirements.
  • Pt. 2 – Fire type-testing requirements.

MSS SP 72: Ball Valves with Flanged or Butt Welded Ends for General Service

MSS SP 61: Pressure testing of steel valves

MSS SP 25: Valves, fittings, flanges & unions

MSS SP 45: Bypass and drain connections

Advantages of Ball Valve

Ball Valves are having multiple advantages for the industries –

  • The soft seat design of ball valves makes it possible to get a bubble-tight shutoff with clean fluid service.
  • There is no need for lubrication, although it requires a smaller space envelope.
  • With 90 degrees rotation, the ball valves are considered quick-acting valves that can be used for emergency shutdown applications.

Disadvantages of Ball Valves

As compared to advantages, the disadvantages of ball valves are negotiable while making the purchase –

  • The debris can become trapped in the cavities below the ball and other areas of the valve.
  • The poor throttling characteristics of valves can be seen if there is a high-velocity flow.

Summarizing all, Ball Valves are such a great investment if you are looking for some throttling valve. Though it may include some disadvantages or chaos of installation, you need to be sure with your ball valves manufacturer. OSKO Valves ensures the customers with their reliability of services. We can help you to choose the best design for your specific requirement. Your ball valve should be accredited to the industry regulations and OSKO Valves makes it sure for your specific ambience!

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