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What is gate valve

Gate valves are primarily designed to start or stop flow, and when a straight-line flow of fluid and minimum flow restriction are needed. In service, these valves generally are either fully open or fully closed.

The disk of a Gate valve is completely removed when the valve is fully open; the disk is fully drawn up into the valve Bonnet. This leaves an opening for flow through the valve at the same inside diameter as the pipesystem in which the valve is installed. A Gate valve can be used for a wide range of liquids and provides a tight seal when closed.

Construction of a Gate valve

Gate valves consists of three main parts.. body, bonnet, and trim. The body is generally connected to other equipment by means of flanged, screwed or welded connections. The bonnet, which containing the moving parts, is attached to the body, usually with bolts, to permit maintenance. The valve trim consists of the stem, the gate, the disc or wedge and the seat rings.

YouTube Video
Cast steel wedged gate valve for oil and gas industry

Disks of a Gate valve

Gate valves are available with different disks or wedges. Ranging of the Gate valves is usually made by the type of wedge used.

The most common were..

  • Solid wedge is the most commonly used disk by its simplicity and strength.
    A valve with this type of wedge can be installed in each position and it is suitable for almost all liquids. The solid wedge is a single-piece solid construction, and is practically for turbulent flow.
  • Flexible wedge is a one-piece disc with a cut around the perimeter to improve the ability to correct mistakes or changes in the angle between the seats.
    The reduction will vary in size, shape and depth. A shallow, narrow cut gives little flexibility but retains strength.
    A deeper and wider cut, or cast-in recess, leaves little material in the middle, which allows more flexibility, but compromises strength.
  • Split wedge is self-adjusting and selfaligning to both seats sides. This wedge type consists of two-piece construction which seats between the tapered seats in the valve body. This type of wedge is suitable for the treatment of non-condensing gases and liquids at normal temperatures, particularly corrosive liquids.

Most common wedges in Gate valves

Most common wedges for Gate valves


Stem of a Gate valve

The stem, which connects the handwheel and disk with each other, is responsible for the proper positioning of the disk. Stems are usually forged, and connected to the disk by threaded or other techniques. To prevent leakage, in the area of the seal, a fine surface finish of the stem is necessary.

Gate valves are classified as either..

  • Rising Stem
  • Non Rising Stem

For a valve of the Rising Stem type, the stem will rise above the handwheel if the valve is opened. This happens, because the stem is threaded and mated with the bushing threads of a Yoke. A Yoke is an integral part from a Rising Stem valve and is mounted to the Bonnet.

For a valve of the non Rising Stem type, there is no upward stem movement if the valve is opened. The stem is threaded into the disk. As the handwheel on the stem is rotated, the disk travels up or down the stem on the threads while the stem remains vertically stationary.

In the main Menu “Valves” you will find links to detailed (large) drawings of both stem types.

Gate valve
Rising Stem Gate valve

Seats of a Gate valve

Seats for Gate valves are either provided integral with the valve body or in a seat ring type of construction. Seat ring construction provides seats which are either threaded into position or are pressed into position and seal welded to the valve body. The latter form of construction is recommended for higher temperature service.

Integral seats provide a seat of the same material of construction as the valve body while the pressed-in or threaded-in seats permit variation. Rings with hard facings may be supplied for the application where they are required.


Advantages and Disadvantages of Gate valves


  • Good shutoff features
  • Gate valves are bidirectional and therefore they can be used in two directions
  • Pressure loss through the valve is minimal


  • They can not be quickly opened or closed
  • Gate valves are not suitable for regulate or throttle flow
  • They are sensitive to vibration in the open state

What is Ball Valve?

In order to control liquid flow, a ball valve uses a hollow, perforated, and pivoting ball. The valve is open when the hole in the ball is parallel to the flow inlet; when it is rotated 90 degrees by the handle, it shuts off the flow. It is aligned flat with the flow when it is open and perpendicular to it when it is closed, making it easy to confirm the valve’s status visually. Closed position 1/4 turn can be either clockwise or counterclockwise.

Easy operation, ease of maintenance, and versatility of the ball valve make it ideal for numerous industrial applications. It can support pressures of 1,000 bar (15,000 psi) and temperatures of 752 °F (400 °C), depending on materials and design. Sizes are typically between 0.2 and 48 inches (5.1 and 1,219.2 mm). Metal, plastic, or metal with ceramic valve bodies are common; floating balls are usually chrome-plated for durability.

Ball valves have a high rate of durability, displaying good performance after many cycles, and are reliable, closing securely even after extended periods of disuse. Due to these characteristics, they are frequently chosen over gates and globe valves for shutoff and control applications but are not sufficiently precise for throttling applications.

Working Principle of a Ball Valve

In order to understand how a ball valve works, it is beneficial to understand the five main parts.

Components of a Ball Valve

The ball valve is made up of a valve body that is mounted on a large ball with a center hole diameter equal to the pipe inside diameter. The following figure shows the five main components of a ball valve.


Components of a ball valve (


1.Valve stem


3.Valve housing



The valve stem and ball are connected and can be either operated manually or automatically (electrically or pneumatically). By the ball valve seat and the O-rings around the valve stem, the ball valve is supported and sealed. The valves are all located within the valve housing. Through the ball is a bore. When the stem of the valve is turned a quarter-turn, the bore becomes open, thereby allowing the fluid to flow through or closed, thereby preventing it from going through. The ball valve’s operation is influenced by the circuit function, the housing assembly, the ball design, and the operation type.

Function of a Ball Valve

Using a ball valve, a liquid or gas flow is controlled by a rotating ball that features a bore. A quarter-turn (90 degrees) around the axis allows the medium to flow through or can block it. The valves have a long service life and provide reliable sealing throughout their lifespan, even if it is not used for a long time.

Therefore, they are preferred over the gate valve, for example, as a shutoff valve. Also, they offer superior resistance against contaminated media than most other valve types. A ball valve can also be used as a control valve in some modifications. Because of the limited accuracy of the flow rate control compared to other control valve types, this application is less common. However, there are some benefits to using the valve. It still provides a reliable seal, even if the media is dirty.


Usage of Ball Valves

An oil or gas engineer knows the importance of ball valves in piping systems. They serve various purposes in the oil and gas industry. For example, oil flow is controlled by them in upstream applications. By controlling gas and oil flow, they protect the equipment used in the midstream. Their downstream use is in refining crude oil.

Common Applications of Ball Valves

You can choose from a wide variety of ball valve types and configurations to suit your needs.

  • Various fluid services can be managed using ball valves, including on/off stop-valves and bubble-tight shut-off.
  • In onshore and offshore upstream oil and gas production facilities, ball valves are the most used fluid shutoff valves.
  • Besides hydrocarbon systems, ball valves are equally suited to gaseous, vapor, and air systems.
  • Through instrument tubing, ball valves are useful for connecting instruments.
  • On fire-truck water delivery parts of the pump, foam systems, and fire-extinguishing systems, as well as in situations where quick action is necessary to open the flow, ball valves are typically found. A ball valve can also be used when two or three valves need to be opened and closed simultaneously.
  • Applications with high-temperature and high-pressure conditions can benefit from metal-seated ball valves.
  • It’s possible to open and close ball valves quickly, with bubble-tight seals even under high pressure.

Material of Ball Valves


The following materials may be used to construct the body of a ball valve:

  • Stainless steel
  • Brass
  • Bronze
  • Chrome
  • Titanium
  • PVC
  • CPVC
  • PFA-lined

The seats and seals used in ball valves also come in many types. Chemical compatibility, pressures, and temperatures determine which applications each are good for. These are some of the materials:

  • TMF (valve seat)
  • Delrin
  • Reinforced Teflon (RTFE)
  • Kel F (PCTFE)
  • Metal
  • Nylon
  • PEEK
  • Virgin Teflon (TFE)
  • UHMW Polyethylene (UHMWPE)
  • Graphoil
  • Viton

Advantages of Ball Valves

Benefits of ball valves include:

  • Using ball valves is easy and cost-effective.
  • Ball valves ensure leak-proof service.
  • A ball valve opens and closes quickly.
  • Ball valves are much smaller than gate valves.
  • Ball valves are lighter than gate valves.
  • The flow resistance of a ball valve is very low in the fully open position, as compared to that of a gate valve.
  • Gate or globe valves do not offer the multi-design flexibility of ball valves, so they require fewer valves.
  • Variations in the size and shape of ball valves provide a wide range of options.
  • Ball valves of high quality provide safe service in high temperature and high-pressure applications.
  • Ball valves require less force to operate than other valves.
  • Ball valves do not require lubrication.

Disadvantages of Ball Valves

Ball valves also have some drawbacks, including:

  • The ball valve handle position is rotated.
  • Throttling cannot be accomplished with ball valves.
  • An upright installation is recommended for ball valves with drive mechanisms.
  • In closed positions, ball valves trap water in the center cavity when they regulate water flow. When temperatures fall below freezing point, the sides are susceptible to cracking due to ice formation.
  • Ball valves are prone to water hammer or surge pressure since they open and close so quickly.
  • As the ball moves across the seats with a wiping motion, abrasive solids suspended in the fluid flow may corrode the seats.

It is usually possible to prevent damage in this situation by using insulation and heat tape. Freeze-tolerant ball valves are another alternative in cold climates. It features a freeze plug in the side, which ruptures if the valve freezes up, serving as a ‘sacrificial’ fail point, leading to an easier repair. A new freeze plug can be installed instead of replacing the valve entirely.

FAQ about Ball Valve

  1. What is ball valve used for?

Using a ball valve, the flow of fluid is controlled by a metal ball that is sandwiched between two seats and contains a hole drilled through its center. Gas and vapors can be controlled by ball valves in hydrocarbon processes and are especially useful in low-flow situations.

  1. What are advantages of ball valves?

The benefits of ball valves include durability, low cost, shut-off capability, and optimal performance under high accuracy and control demands.

  1. How long does a ball valve last?

In general, ball valves last 8 to 10 years. This device has enormous value to the gas and water industries despite its simplicity.


What is a manual butterfly valve?


This is a butterfly valve that is operated using a handwheel or hand lever. A valve operator is needed to start and stop the valve. This valve works by turning the handle which then turns the disc so that it can open or close the fluid flow as necessary. The opening and closing operations need only a quarter turn of the handle a feature that makes these valves quick in operation. These valves are cheaper compared to automatic ones. Manual butterfly valve manufacturers produce this valve using different materials. These materials determine where the valve can be used in terms of temperature and type of fluid that is, corrosive or non-corrosive to viscous fluids. Manual butterfly valves are designed with short lengths which makes them occupy small space relative to other valves. Also, this helps to reduce the weight and cost of the valve. These valves are designed to allow bi-directional fluid flow although there are few of them meant for unidirectional fluid flow.

Manual butterfly valves

Figure: Manual butterfly valves.


Components of a manual butterfly valve 

Handwheel/hand lever 

This is the part of a manual butterfly valve where the operator applies force to start or stop fluid flow. Some of the valves are designed to operate using a handwheel while others use a hand lever.


The body is the main component that houses the internal parts. Manual butterfly valve manufacturer design the body using strong metallic materials such as stainless steel, carbon steel, nickel alloys, and brass among other strong materials. These materials make the body very strong enough to withstand the weight of other components. The high strength also helps the valve withstand fluid pressure as well as protect internal components against falling objects.


The stem is the part that connects the handwheel/ hand lever to the disc. This component of manual butterfly valve is used to transmit power from the handwheel to the disc. The stem is also made of metallic material to help withstand the torque needed to open and close the valve.

Gear box

This is a component that houses gears used in some manual butterfly valve to change direction of torque from horizontal to vertical. This happens where the handwheel is oriented perpendicular to the stem. The gear box is mounted on top of the valve stem.


This is the component that is responsible for opening and closing fluid flow through the valve. The disc gets the power to operate from the handwheel through the stem.


This is a component placed between the disc and the valve body. Seats serve as the surfaces on which the disc rests when the valve is closed. Manual butterfly valve manufacturers design these valves with two seats. The work of the seats is to prevent fluid leakage when the valve is closed.


This is a component placed between the valve and pipe connection to prevent fluid leakage. Manual butterfly valve manufacturers design the gasket from various materials. The material used to make the gasket determines where that valve can be used.

Components of manual butterfly valve

Figure: Components of manual butterfly valve.


How does a manual butterfly valve work? 

A manual butterfly valve operates when the operator applies torque on the handwheel or hand lever. This helps to either close or open the fluid flow. To open the valve, the handwheel/ hand lever is turned in the counterclockwise direction. This torque is then transmitted to the valve disc through the stem. The disc then makes a quarter turn angle where it aligns itself parallel to the fluid flow leaving the valve open. The fluid then keeps flowing through the open valve. To close the valve, the handwheel/ hand lever is rotated in the clockwise direction for another quarter turn. This torque returns the disc to the seating position. In this position, the disc becomes perpendicular to the fluid flow direction where it blocks any fluid attempting to cross the valve. For throttling fluid flow, the operator turns the handwheel/ hand lever to a certain angle of less than 90o degrees which forces the disc to open slightly allowing some amount of fluid to cross the valve.

Working of a manual butterfly valve

Figure: Working of a manual butterfly valve.


Types of Manual butterfly valves 

Concentric manual butterfly valve 

This valve is also known as a zero-offset manual butterfly valve. This is the most basic type of a manual butterfly valve. Manual butterfly valve manufacturers design this valve such that the stem centerline is collinear to the disc centerline. The disc is placed at the center of the pipe diameter while the seat is in the periphery of the valve body. The disc and seat remain in constant contact. Manual butterfly valve manufacturers design these valves with soft seats that is seats made of plastic or rubber materials. The flexibility of the seat makes the valve to efficiently seal fluid flow when the valve is stopped. Due to the soft seats, this concentric butterfly valve is suitable for use only in low-pressure and low-temperature applications below 60 oC. The media flowing through this valve does not come into contact with the valve body because the seat is made as a sleeve inside the valve body.

Concentric manual butterfly valve

Figure: Concentric manual butterfly valve.

Eccentric manual butterfly valve

This valve is also known as a high performance butterfly valve. This valve has the stem passing some distance from the disc centerline. From this design, two types of valves are the double offset type and the triple offset type.

  1. Double offset manual butterfly valve. This type has the stem axis offset behind the seat centerline and valve body which forms the first offset. The second offset is produced by having the stem offset from the vertical centerline of the valve body. When the valve is started, the seat lifts from the seal which then reduces friction for the first and last 10o degrees of the valve start and stop respectively. Manual butterfly valve manufacturers use this design to enhance smooth operation and tight shut-off. This design also enhances longer life span of the valve relative to the concentric manual butterfly valve. These valves are designed with soft seats which makes them suitable for moderate pressure and low temperatures. For this valve to be used at a higher temperature, the disc is coated with a layer of metallic material. Double offset butterfly valves are used in applications such as HVAC, wastewater treatment, and fire protection among others.
  1. Triple offset manual butterfly valve. This type of eccentric valve has three offsets. The first two are the same as that of a double offset valve while the third one is a cone axis of the body seal. The third offset is accomplished by use of a right-angled cone profile of the valve seat and a matching profile at the edge of the disc. The use of a third offset helps to reduce disc and seat contact when the valve is closing or opening which then reduces friction. Contact happens when the valve is fully closed. Manual butterfly valve manufacturer design this valve with metal seats. Metallic seats are more rigid and tough relative to rubber or plastic seats. As such, this valve can operate at high temperatures and high pressure. The use of metal seats also helps to reduce wear on the internal parts. Triple offset butterfly valve have long service life relative to the double and the concentric valve types. Manual butterfly valve manufacturers design this valve to work in harsh applications such as corrosive chemicals, superheated steam, high-temperature gases, and liquids among other applications where other manual butterfly valves cannot be used.

Butt-weld manual butterfly valve 

This is a manual butterfly valve that is welded to the pipe. This type of valve is used where the piping system is transporting hazardous fluids like corrosives and flammable products. Manual butterfly valve manufacturers design this valve for use where frequent operation is not expected. Also, this valve is suitable for use where high levels of hygiene are not expected since the valve cannot be opened for cleaning while in the field. In case the valve needs some repairs, the weld has to be removed first. These valves guarantee leakage proof between the valve and the pipe which ensures no injuries to the valve operator or to the environment which may happen in other valves that use bolts.


Applications of manual butterfly valves

  • Manual butterfly valves are used in petroleum refinery.
  • They are used in heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC).
  • They are used in steam power plants to control the flow of water and steam into and out of boilers.
  • Manual butterfly valves are used in mining industries.
  • They are used in the manufacturing of various types of chemicals.
  • These valves are used in municipal water purification and wastewater treatment.
  • Manual butterfly valves are used in food processing because of their ease to clean to enhance hygiene.
  • These valves are used in oil and gas processing and offshore pipelines.
  • Manual butterfly valves are used in the manufacturing of paper and pulp.
  • These valves are used in fire protection.


Advantages of manual butterfly valves 

  • Manual butterfly valves are cheaper compared to automatic types.
  • They are simple and compact in design.
  • They need a quarter turn to open and close which saves time and energy.
  • Manual butterfly valves are lightweight relative to other valves.
  • They serve well in areas with limited space due to their small size relative to other valves.
  • They can be bi-directional or uni-directional.
  • Manual butterfly valves are easy to install, repair, and clean.
  • They are versatile for use in different industries.
  • Manual butterfly valves can be used for shut-off or throttling flow.


Disadvantages of manual butterfly valves 

  • These valves open with the disc in the fluid flow path which reduces fluid pressure.
  • Manual butterfly valves may be tedious where high torque or frequent operation is needed.
  • These valves have seals that are weak compared to other valves like ball valves.
  • Manual butterfly valves are prone to cavitation and choking.


Troubleshooting manual butterfly valves 

Valve is hard to operate 

  • Solid particles clogged in the valve. Open the valve and remove the solid particles.
  • Disc and or stem are corroded. Open the valve and remove the corrosion. Clean inside of the valve.

Fluid leakage when the valve is closed

  • Dirt inside the valve. Open the valve and clean the dirt.
  • Worn out seats. Replace the seats.
  • Worn out disc. Repair or replace the disc as necessary.
  • Worn out O-rings. Replace the O-rings.

Fluid leakage between the valve and pipe 

  • Loose bolts. Tighten bolts to the torque recommended by the manual butterfly valve manufacturer.
  • High fluid pressure. Verify the fluid pressure level is as recommended by the manual butterfly valve manufacturer.



A manual butterfly valve is a valve that is operated manually. This valve is operated by use of a valve handwheel or hand lever. The handwheel or hand lever is where the operator applies torque to start or stop the valve. Manual butterfly valve manufacturers design this valve to operate by making a quarter turn angle. The operator turns the handle for a 90o degree angle in the counterclockwise direction to open fluid flow. The handle is rotated in the opposite direction for another quarter turn to close the fluid flow. This valve is also used in throttling fluid flow in which the operator turns the handle for an angle of less than 90o degrees.

Manual butterfly valve manufacturers produce various types of these valves which include concentric manual butterfly valves, eccentric manual butterfly valves, and butt-weld manual butterfly valves among others. Areas of application of these valves include fire protection, mining, water supply, paper and pulp, steam power plants, chemicals, and food processing among others. Advantages of purchasing manual butterfly valves include less expensive, quick operation, small installation space, small in size and light in weight, simple and compact design, and easy to clean, install and repair.


What is a full port ball valve?


The full-port ball valve is also known as a full-bore ball valve. A full-port ball valve is a type of ball valve with a larger body than a standard ball valve. With a larger body, a full-port ball valve houses a larger ball as well as larger openings. Full-port ball valves have their openings the same size as the connected pipe. For instance, a full port ball valve with a 2-inch diameter will need a pipe of 2-inch in diameter. This means that such a full-port ball valve will have a ball hole of 2-inch. A full-port ball valve is advantageous in that it produces less fluid resistance, pressure drop and has less friction when fluid flows. Full-port ball valves are mostly used in applications where cleaning and low fluid resistance are needed and where pressure loss can affect pipe performance. However full port ball valves are expensive relative to other ball valves.


Figure: Standard port ball valve compared to a full port ball valve.


Components of a full-port ball valve 

Valve housing 

The valve housing is also known as the valve body. This is the component of a full port ball valve used to cover all internal components of the valve. This is one of the most important parts of a full port ball valve as it protects the valve against excess pressure and safety to all internal parts. The valve housing is made of strong materials relative to its application to ensure that the full port ball valve can withstand high temperature and high pressure.

Valve handle 

This is a component used in manual full port ball valves. The handle is the component where the full port ball valve operator applies force to open/close the valve.


An actuator is a component used in automatic full port ball valves. The actuator is used to provide the force needed to open/close the full port ball valve. The actuators used in full port ball valves include hydraulic, pneumatic, and electric actuators. An automated system is used to control the closing/opening of the full port ball valve. However, the use of actuators is necessary for complicated control systems.

Stem or shaft 

A stem or shaft is the component of a full port ball valve used to connect the ball to the handle or actuator. One end of the stem is connected to the actuator or handle while the other end connects to the ball. The stem has O-rings and packing rings used to prevent fluid leakage.

Rotary ball 

This is a ball with a hole at its middle part. The ball is responsible for opening/closing media flow. The ball is connected to the stem so that when the stem is rotated by the actuator or handle, the ball rotates a quarter turn to allow or block fluid flow.


The seat is a disc installed between the valve body and the ball. The seats help to provide a seal between the ball and the body.


Packing is a seal placed around the stem. It helps to prevent leakage of fluid through the stem.

How does a full port ball valve work? 

A full port ball valve is a ball valve that opens and closes fluid flow using a ball. The ball in a full-port ball valve has a bore at its center. The fluid in a full-port ball valve passes through this bore in the ball. The ball in a full-port ball valve is connected to the handwheel or actuator through the stem. When torque is applied on the handwheel, it is transmitted to the ball via the valve stem. To open a full-port ball valve, the handle is turned a quarter turn that is 90o. When the handle is rotated 90o it also rotates the stem and the ball for 90o. When the ball is rotated for 90o it makes the ball bore to be in line with the pipeline containing the fluid. The makes the fluid flow through the valve and the full-port ball valve is said to be open. To close a full-port ball valve, the handle is rotated in the opposite direction for 90o. This makes the valve stem and the ball rotate 90o. At this stage, the ball bore becomes perpendicular to the pipeline and the fluid cannot flow through the valve. In this state, the full port ball valve is said to be closed.


Figure: Open full port ball valve and closed full-port ball valve.


Types of full port ball valve 

Two-piece full port ball valve

This is a full port ball valve with two pieces. One-piece consists of the valve body and one end connection and the second piece is fitted into the first piece to hold the trim in place and it also contains the second end connection. Two-piece full port ball valves can be dismantled for inspection, cleaning, repair, and maintenance. However, in a two-piece full port ball valve, the valve must be removed completely from the pipeline to separate the two pieces. The two-piece full port ball valve is used in high-pressure applications, cold and hot domestic water, HVAC, compressed air, low-pressure steam applications among others.

Figure: Two-piece full port ball valve.


Three-piece full port ball valve 

A three-piece full port ball valve is a ball valve designed with three pieces that is a body and two end caps. This full port ball valve has three pieces connected using bolts and nuts. A three-piece full port ball valve is designed in a way that makes it easy to remove the center part containing stem, ball, and seats from the piping system. This helps to enhance effective cleaning of deposited solids, replacement of gland packing and seats, polishing scratches on the ball without the need to remove the pipe from the valve body. A three-piece full port ball valve is advantageous in that it can be serviced without the need to remove the whole valve from the piping system. Three-piece full port ball valves are very strong and thus suitable for high pressure and high-temperature applications. However, three-piece full port ball valves are very expensive relative to other valves like globe valve and butterfly valve.

Figure: Three-piece full port ball valve.

Three-way full port ball valve 

A three-way full port ball valve is a ball valve with three ports. This type of full port ball valve uses three ports to serve as a mixing valve or as a diverting valve. A three-way full port ball valve has two configurations that is L shape and the T shape. The L shape of a three-way full port ball valve is used to divert fluid from one port to another port. The T-shaped three-way full port ball valve is used to divert fluid or to mix fluid. When used to mix fluids, a three-way full port ball valve merges two fluid streams from the inlet ports into one stream to flow via the outlet port. T shaped three way ball valve is also used to divert fluid flow from one port into the other two ports.

Flanged full port ball valve 

The flanged full port ball valve is a valve defined by flanged ends where bolts and nuts are used to connect the valve to the pipeline. This type of full port ball valve provides effective control of fluid as it can enhance a bubble-tight seal. One advantage of a flanged full port ball valve is that it can easily be removed from the pipeline for inspection, cleaning, repair, and maintenance. As such, this type of full port ball valve can enhance sanitation as it is easy to clean. It is also economical because when a component fails in a flanged full port ball valve, it can be repaired instead of disposing the whole valve.

Figure: Flanged full port ball valve.


Applications of full port ball valve 

  • Full port ball valves are used in feed water and cooling water systems.
  • They are used in irrigation and water supply systems.
  • They are used in pharmaceutical industries.
  • Full port ball valves are used in steam power generation.
  • These valves are used in food and beverages processing.
  • Full port ball valves are used in chemical admixtures and treatment.
  • They are used in oil and gas industries.
  • Full port ball valves are used in fire-safe systems.


Advantages of full port ball valve 

  • A full port ball valve offers a bubble-tight seal free from leakage.
  • Full port ball valves open and close quickly.
  • These valves are light in weight relative to other valves like gate valve.
  • Full port ball valves are versatile as they can be used in different applications in different industries.
  • Full port ball valves are strong which makes them suitable for use in pressure and high-temperature applications.
  • The full port ball valve can use multiple ports suitable for different tasks such as fluid mixing and fluid diversion.
  • Full port ball valves are suitable for inspection, cleaning, repair, and maintenance.
  • Full port ball valves have low fluid resistance which makes them more efficient.
  • These valves have a low-pressure drop.


Disadvantages of full port ball valve 

  • Full port ball valves are not suitable for throttling applications.
  • Full port ball valves are not suitable for applications with solids because they tend to cause wear, leakage, and valve failure.
  • Full port ball valves are expensive relative to other valves.


Troubleshooting full port ball valves 

Internal leakage 

  • Leakage through the ball. Clogged particles. Clean the particles blocking the ball.
  • The stem or shaft is broken. Remove end connection and check rotation of the ball while operating the valve. Repair or replace the stem as necessary.
  • Damaged seat. Replace the seat.
  • Debris on the seat. Clean the debris.
  • Damaged, or displaced seat O-ring. Replace the seat O-ring accordingly.
  • Damaged ball. Replace the ball.

The full port ball valve difficult to open/close

  • Internal obstructions due to sediment build-up. Remove the full port ball valve and check for sediment build-up and clean the sediments. Check for valve compatibility with the media being worked on.
  • Over tightened handle. Loosen the handle slightly.
  • Chemical attack on the full port ball valve. Check for an attack such as distortion, etching, peeling, or bleaching of surfaces. Ensure the valve is compatible with the fluid.
  • Broken handle. Replace the handle.
  • Handle stripped. This could be due to excess exposure to sunlight or high temperature softening the handle. Shield the valve from sunlight. Replace the handle if necessary.
  • Broken stem. Replace the stem/shaft.



A full port ball valve is a type of ball valve in which the diameter of the ball bore is equal to the diameter of the pipe. In this case, for example, a 2-inch diameter ball bore in a full port ball valve will be connected to a pipe with a diameter of 2 inches. Full port ball valves help to reduce fluid flow resistance and pressure drop because the flow is almost straight unlike in other valves such as standard ball valves or reduced bore ball valves. Full port ball valves work by using a ball with a hole at its middle part. The bore is meant to allow fluid flow when the full port valve is open. When a full port ball valve is open, the ball bore is collinear to the pipeline. When the full port ball valve is in a closed state, the ball bore is oriented perpendicular to the fluid flow thus blocking fluid flow.

There are various types of full port ball valves which include three-piece full port ball valve, two-piece full port ball valve, three-way full port ball valve, flanged full port ball valve among others. Full port ball valves are used in various applications among them power generation, feedwater and cooling water systems, oil and gas, irrigation, and chemical industry among others. Full port ball valves are advantageous in various ways such as they can be inspected, cleaned, and repaired, they are versatile, durable, operate quickly, have strong bodies, suitable for high-pressure applications, they are energy efficient among others.



 What is a lockable ball valve? 

lockable ball valve

 What is a lockable ball valve? 

A lockable ball valve is a type of ball valve with a lock mechanism. As the name suggests, a lockable ball valve uses a hollow ball and locking mechanism to control fluid flow and lock the valve in an open/closed position. The hole in the valve ball is where the fluid flows through in a lockable ball valve. The lock mechanism is used to ensure valve personnel safety as well as secure the valve in an open or closed state. The lock mechanism covers the stem nut to ensure the lockable ball valve lever cannot be removed which helps to avoid valve interference or tampering. Also, using a lockable ball valve in controlling fluid flow helps to ensure that the valve cannot open by mistake when it needs to be closed and vice versa. Lockable ball valves are important as they help protect people working in pressure relief devices from malfunctions.

Locking ball valve

Figure: Locking ball valve.


Components of a lockable ball valve 


The handle is the component of a lockable ball valve where the valve operator applies force to open or close the valve. The handle should be made strong enough to withstand the torque required to open the locking ball valve.

Valve housing/valve body 

The valve body is the main component of a lockable ball valve which is used to serve as the pressure barrier. This helps to protect the internal components of the lockable ball valve against external damage and holds them tight in position. The valve body is very critical because it needs high strength to make it withstand high pressure.


The stem is the part of a lockable ball valve that aids in transmitting torque applied by the valve operator on the handle to the valve ball. The stem connects the ball and the handle in a locking ball valve.


The ball is the component tasked to open or close the locking ball valve. The ball has a hole at its middle part where the fluid flows through. The ball should be made of material that enhances compatibility with the fluid.

Lock mechanism 

This is the component of a lockable ball valve which is used to lock the valve in one state that is open or closed state.


Seats refer to discs used between the body and valve ball in a lockable ball valve meant for providing a seal between the body and the ball and also enhancing ball support against fluid pressure.


Packing is a component that forms a pressure seal on the valve stem to ensure the fluid does not leak through the locking ball valve.

Components of a lockable ball valve

Figure: Components of a lockable ball valve


How does a lockable ball valve work?

A lockable ball valve is a ball valve with a lock mechanism. The working of a lockable ball valve depends on the ball of the valve. A locking ball valve has a ball with a bore at its middle section. It is the ball that is tasked to open or close the fluid flow. The ball is connected to the handle through the valve stem. To start the lockable ball valve, the handle is rotated for a quarter turn which then rotates the stem and ball at the same 90o angle. In this case, the ball bore becomes in line with the fluid flow from the pipeline which makes fluid flow through the valve. To close the lockable ball valve, the handle is then rotated in the opposite direction for 90o. This then makes the stem and ball rotate for the same quarter turn angle. In this case, the ball bore becomes perpendicular to the fluid flow from the pipeline which makes the valve to be closed. The lock-in of a lockable ball valve is used to close or open the valve when the valve operator finds it necessary.


Types of lockable ball valves 

Two-piece lockable ball valve 

This is a lockable ball valve with two pieces. One of the two pieces has the body and one connection end while the other piece holds the valve trim and fits into the first piece with its end connection. The two-piece lockable ball valve can be disassembled for inspection, cleaning, and servicing. However, in a two-piece lockable ball valve, the valve must be removed completely from the pipe to separate the two pieces. In most cases, two-piece lockable ball valves have a standard bore or reduced bore ball diameter.

Two piece locking ball valve

Figure: Two piece locking ball valve.

Three-piece lockable ball valve 

A three-piece lockable ball valve is a valve with three pieces that is the body and end caps. The three pieces are held together using bolts and nut connections. The three-piece lockable ball valve is designed such that the central components of the valve that is seats, stem, and ball can be removed easily from the pipeline. This helps to enhance effective cleaning of debris, replacement of gland packing and seats, polishing scratches on the ball without the need to remove the valve body from the pipeline. However, comparing a three-piece locking ball valve to the other valves, this valve is more expensive.

Three-piece lockable ball valve

Figure: Three-piece lockable ball valve.

Three-way lockable ball valve 

This is a lockable ball valve with three ports. A three-way lockable ball valve can have an L shape or T shape configuration. With an L shape configuration, the lockable ball valve can be used to mix two fluid streams into one stream. The T-shaped lockable configuration of a ball valve can be used as a fluid diverting or fluid mixing valve. When the T-shaped configuration is used as a diverting valve, it is arranged such that the fluid stream from one port is divided into two ports. When the T-shaped configuration of a three way ball valve is used to mix fluids, it combines two fluid streams from two ports to form one fluid stream.

Three-way lockable ball valve

Figure: Three-way lockable ball valve.

Full port lockable ball valve 

A full port is also known as a full bore lockable ball valve. This is a valve with its ball bore diameter equal to the pipe diameter. One benefit of a full port locking ball valve is that it does not cause losses due to friction and that the valve can be cleaned easily. When used in large manufacturing systems, the advantage of inspection and cleaning without dismantling the lockable ball valve and without loss of production cannot be underrated. One of the main challenges of a full port ball valve is that the valve body and the valve ball need to be bigger relative to those of a standard lockable ball valve. As such, the cost of a full port ball valve becomes higher. Despite the cost, full port lockable ball valves are useful where low flow resistance is important for example in a pump suction piping system, where pressure loss can lower pump performance.

Reduced port lockable ball valve 

A reduced port lockable ball valve is a type of ball valve which has a ball bore diameter less than the pipe diameter. The reduction in ball bore diameter relative to the pipe diameter introduces losses due to friction and turbulence in a locking ball valve. As such, reduced bore lockable ball valves are preferred in cases where turbulence, pressure drop, and material characteristic are not major challenges. A reduced port ball valve is of lower cost and smaller size.

Threaded end lockable ball valve 

This is a lockable ball valve that is connected to the pipeline using threads. The threaded connection on a lockable ball valve will be either male or female. A lockable ball valve with a female threaded end connection will need a male threaded pipeline and vice versa. Threaded end lockable ball valves can be disassembled from the pipeline for inspection, repair, and cleaning.

Flanged end lockable ball valve 

This is a locking ball valve that has flanged ends for connecting the valve to the pipeline using bolts and nuts. Both the pipeline and the lockable ball valve need flanged ends with holes for the bolts. These lockable ball valves provide a tight seal and they can be dismantled for inspection, repair, and cleaning.

Flanged end lockable ball valve

Figure: Flanged end lockable ball valve.


Applications of lockable ball valves 

  • Lockable ball valves are used in water supply and irrigation systems.
  • Lockable ball valves are used in air, liquids, and gaseous applications that need bubble-tight service.
  • Locking ball valves are used in feed water and cooling water systems.
  • These valves are used in steam services.
  • They are used in oil and gas industries.
  • Locking ball valves are used in different manufacturing industries.


Advantages of lockable ball valves 

  • Lockable ball valves provide a lock mechanism when in an open or closed state.
  • These valves enhance the safety of valve operators and personnel.
  • Lockable ball valves are quick to operate.
  • These valves have high strength for high pressure and high-temperature applications.
  • Lockable ball valves are versatile as they can be used in different industries.
  • Lockable ball valves are small in size and weight.
  • Lockable ball valves have a simple and compact design structure.
  • A small amount of torque is required to open/close a lockable ball valve unlike other valves like globe valve or gate valve.
  • Locking ball valves can be used for fluid mixing and fluid diversion.
  • These valves have a perfect seal that prevents fluid leakage.
  • Locking ball valves have low-pressure drop and a high fluid flow rate.


Disadvantages of lockable ball valves

  • Lockable ball valves can have suspended dirt build up between the ball and the body which can cause erosion, leakage, and valve failure which necessitates frequent maintenance.
  • Locking ball valves are not suitable for throttling applications.


Troubleshooting lockable ball valve 

Leakage at the thread/bolt connection 

  • Loose thread connection. Tighten the connection.
  • Improper threads. Check threads for proper sizes. Replace the connections if necessary.
  • Loose bolts and nuts. Tighten the bolts and nuts.
  • Worn out or damaged gasket. Replace the gasket.

Leakage at the stem 

  • Stem O-ring damaged. Replace the O-ring.
  • Broken stem. Replace the stem.

Ball leakage 

  • Ball obstruction. Check for solids blocking the ball and remove them.
  • Damaged ball. Replace the ball.

Leakage through the seat 

  • Worn out seats. Replace the seats.
  • Debris-laden seat. Clean the debris.
  • Displaced or damaged seat O-ring. Adjust the seat ring or replace it as necessary.

The handle is difficult to close/open 

  • Over-tight seal carrier. Loosen the seal carrier slightly.
  • Internal obstruction. Disassemble the lockable ball valve and check for segments blocking handle rotation. Clean the segments.
  • Broken handle. It could be due to external impact. Replace the handle.
  • Broken or sheared stem. This could be due to external impact. Replace the stem as necessary.



A lockable ball valve is a ball valve with a lock mechanism that can be used to lock the valve when it is in a closed or open state. The lock mechanism is used to help valve personnel to isolate the valve while carrying out valve work which enhances safety in the hope that the valve cannot be used. The ball has a bore at its center which is used to open or close fluid flow. The lock is activated according to the operator’s intended use either in an open or closed state.

There are various types of locking ball valves such as three-piece lockable ball valves, two-piece lockable ball valves, three-way lockable ball valves, flanged lockable ball valves, threaded end lockable ball valves, reduced port lockable ball valves, and full port lockable ball valve. Locking ball valves are used in various applications such as oil and gas, chemical industries, water supply, steam services, air, gaseous and liquid applications among other manufacturing applications. The advantages of lockable ball valves include ease of operation, versatility, high strength for high pressure and high temperature, they have a lock mechanism, and they have perfect seals preventing fluid leakage.




What is a steam trap?

Steam Trap is an important component of a steam system. Steam traps have an important role to play in keeping the productivity and reliability of the steam system. The role of a steam trap is to remove condensate, air, and other incondensable gasses from a steam device while not allowing live steam to escape. The need for steam traps, requirements pertaining to their operation, standard modes of operation, troubleshooting, and related requirements are all addressed by this article guide.

steam trap drawing

Steam Trap


What is a steam trap?

A steam trap is among the family of automatic drain valve that determines steam and condensate.  Steam traps hold back steam & discharge condensate under different pressure or loads. Steam traps should have a reasonable capacity to easily expel air and other non-condensable gases while maintaining live steam back. In industries, steam is used daily for healing purposes or as a driving force for mechanical control. Steam traps are being used to ensure that steam is not lost in such applications.

In an official statement, ANSI defines a steam trap as:

“Self-contained valve which automatically drains the condensate from a steam containing enclosure while remaining tight to live steam, or if necessary, allowing steam to flow at a controlled or adjusted rate. Most steam traps will also pass non-condensable gases while remaining tight to live steam.”


Why is a steam trap needed?

In simple words, steam traps are being used to eliminate condensate and non-condensable gasses from the steam system.

Steam is produced as the water vaporizes to change its state to gas. In order for the phenomenon of vaporization to occur, the water molecules should have enough energy to break the bonds between molecules. This energy provided to transform a liquid into a gas is called ‘latent heat.’

The steam produced by the boiler provides the heat energy needed to heat the product. Once steam loses its energy by heating the product in the process, the condensate is formed. A majority of the energy found in steam is often wasted due to radiation leaks from valves and fittings. Since this heat is lost, the steam is condensed and become saturated. If this condensate is not removed instantly as soon as it develops, the operational performance of the device can be minimized by slowing down the heat flow to the phase.   If condensate is present in a steam system it will cause physical harm due to water hammering or corrosion.

In the bottom of a horizontal conduit, the condensate is collected with steam moving above it. If the condensate builds up, it will create a dense mass of incompressible water that moves at high speed. As a pipe bend, fitting, or valve abruptly blocks the slug of water, it may cause mechanical damage to the pipe or fitting.

It is similarly important to eliminate air and other non-condensable gasses from the steam system for four critical aspects.

  • When the operation is resumed, if the air is present in the system steam is not able to enter, until the air is vented out.
  • An air-steam mixture has a temperature far below the steam temperature, which reduces the transmitted heat.
  • Air slows-through the heat transfer as it clings to the inside surface of the pipe or vessel.
  • Dissolved in condensate, non-condensable acid gasses that corrode the system.


How does a steam trap work?

All steam traps operation can be categorized under one of three fundamental working principles: velocity, temperature, or density. Over time, various types of steam traps have been built to accommodate different applications. The important function of a steam trap is the ability to differentiate between steam and condensate. Various types of steam traps use various operating criteria and methods to differentiate between steam, condensate, and air. When categorized according to these operating principles, each type has advantages and disadvantages which must be addressed when choosing a steam trap for a particular application.


How many different types of steam traps are there?

Steam traps can be divided into two main types owing to their working principles, they are:

  1. Mechanical steam traps: Mechanical steam traps work on the concept of specific gravity, as compared to other types of steam traps that depend on temperature change or velocity/phase change. In mechanical cages, the valve opens and shuts due to the displacement of a float that rises and falls with a condensate surge.

There are two major designs of mechanical traps: float traps and inverted bucket traps. Float traps generally use an enclosed spherical float, whereas inverted bucket traps use a buoyant, cylindrical cup turned upside down.

Buoyancy is a key element working at the core of all types of mechanical traps, but the mechanisms and operating concepts are a little different.

  • Ball float steam trap: It incorporates the effect of both temperature and density. A ball float opens the primary valve as enough condensate reaches the trap to raise the float, discharging the condensate. When the machine drains, the ball drops and the valve shuts down. A separate thermostatic component at the top of the trap gets open for the release of air and non-condensable gases, as soon as they induce a slight temperature drop in the trap.

Ball float steam trap

  • Inverted bucket steam trap: It employs an upside-down bucket or an open float, which works on the density difference of steam and water. Steam flowing under the inverted and submerged bucket allows the vapor to float and shut the discharge valve. Condensate filling the trap allows the bucket to sink, releasing the trap valve to remove the condensate. A small vent at the top of the bucket allows the stored air to flow through to discharge the condensate.

Inverted Bucket Steam Trap

Inverted Bucket Steam Trap

  1. Thermodynamic steam trap: Thermodynamic steam traps are appreciated for their small size and flexibility over a wide range of pressures. They may have a basic construction and work either horizontally or vertically. These properties make thermodynamic steam traps a popular alternative for a wide range of tracing, drip, and light flow steam applications.

There are two basic types of thermodynamic steam traps: thermodynamic disk and thermodynamic impulse (thermostatic steam trap).

  • Thermostatic steam trap: The pressure determines the temperature of saturated steam. In the steam chamber, steam loses the enthalpy of evaporation (heat), creating condensate at steam temperature. As a consequence of any more heat loss, the condensate temperature will decrease. A thermostatic trap will allow the condensate to pass when this lower temperature is observed. When the steam enters the trap, the temperature rises and the trap shuts.

Thermostatic Steam Trap

Thermostatic Steam Trap

  • Thermodynamic steam trap: Thermodynamic traps are the most common type of traps, they are built on the theory of velocity. Condensate and air reach the trap and travel into the gate, heating, and control area. When steam or flash steam enters the entry, the flow speed rises and the disk is pulled towards the seat. The disk is closed with rising pressure in the control chamber. The controlled swelling of vapor pressure over the sealing face of the disk causes the trap to open up again and controls the speed of cycling.

thermodynamic steam trap

Thermodynamic steam trap

Why are steam traps so important? 

It costs money to produce and hold steam for process and space heating in the factory. That is too costly to waste. Steam is taken from a furnace to thousands or hundreds of branches. The steam trap prevents the steam from escaping out of the device at the end of each branch.

If condensate is not extracted, flowing steam and small waves within the pipe can be pushed together with faster-moving steam. The force of the steam behind the plug produces the water lull like the strength of a battering ram, if one of the waves hits the top of the pipe basically plug. This water trick will ram into teas, knees, pumps, floats in some traps, and other device equipment. This behavior can be very damaging and is one of the types of water hammer.

Steam, condensate, and air will share the same space inside a heat exchange unit. As condensate, air, and non-condensable gasses are separated as soon as they are created, the steam has more surface to transmit heat energy. Steam in the presence of water or air is an energy transfer medium that is less effective than dry steam.


What happens if a steam trap blows through?

If the malfunction of a single trap is overlooked, some steam can blow out and be released into the atmosphere. Steam costs an average of $5/1000 lb to produce, thousands of dollars can be lost every year. Current trap surveys have found that the average faulty trap losses 50 lb of steam per hour. The annual loss amounted to more than 400,000 Ib of steam at a rate of $2044. Multiply this by 100 to estimate the scale of a standard steam machine, and minor steam losses begin to add up to real money. Small traps are the secret to saving steam, not because they are vulnerable to collapse, but because there are several of them.

Functionally, a blow-through trap can have effects that extend into its heat exchange system. If the failed trap is attached to the condensate return line in which the other traps are discharged, the unexpected amount of live steam can pressurize the return line, causing backpressure for the other traps. Any steam traps do not work properly under high backpressure. In either case, the elevated back pressure may cause condensate to back up in other parts of the system.


What happens if a steam trap locks shut and Won’t discharge?

When the trap on the steam line fails closed, the closed valve does not allow the steam and condensate to flow through it and accumulates in the line. The condensate continues to move to low spots and collect there, with the ability to partially obstruct the flow of steam and cause a water hammer. If the line is exposed to temperatures below zero, the condensate can freeze and the pipe may be broken.

Some major problems that can be seen are:

  • Water Hammer and pressure surge.
  • Water Logging in the process.
  • Damage to piping and Process equipment.
  • Compromise safety.


What makes one type of trap better than another?

It totally depends on the application and operating requirements of a trap that is to be used. It also depends on what is expected from a steam trap to do. Steam traps are commonly used for the following requirements:

  • To minimize steam loss.
  • To draw maximum output from the heat exchange equipment that is used.
  • For a smooth operation that is failsafe and trouble-free.
  • Increase the lifespan of equipment present in the system.
  • For reliability of operation even under dirty steam conditions.


Where should traps be located?

Accessibility, all traps will crash, and fail. Traps must be tested periodically so that the damaged trap does not waste steam for months or years. The inspection method is made simpler if the trap can be approached effortlessly. Often, a list of the trap positions makes it easy to locate all the traps.

Below the machinery is being drained. Although the heater coil and its steam trap will work at 250 psi steam pressure, the condensate must be pulled into the trap at some point of gravity. With most heat exchangers, the thumb rule is to position the trap inlet at around 10 to 12 inches. Below the relation of the condensate drain. A 6-inch dirt pocket should be given to shielding the trap from dirt and size.

Steam mains need some additional care since high-speed steam makes it difficult to remove the condensate. The drip leg should be adequately designed, the same height as the mainline, up to and above 4 in., use one-half of the mainline size, but not less than 4 in.

Close to the facility being emptied. As noted above, the flow of gravity carries the condensate to the trap. Around the same time, air and steam are being pushed upward through the pipe. To mitigate issues with this counter-flow, stop long pipe runs to the steam trap.


In summary.

Steam traps are safety equipment that is employed to increase productivity and at the same time operation cost of the process is lowered. We have provided a brief introduction to the steam trap in this article. STV is a professional China steam trap manufacturer, please feel free to contact us if you have any questio


What Is A Bellow Valve

What Is A Bellow Valve

A Bellows Valve is a specially designed valve suitable for use in industries dealing with a hazardous medium where even minute leakages can be extremely critical. With the exponential growth of new industries such as the chemical and nuclear industry, there is a growing abundance of flammable, hazardous, extremely poisonous, and toxic media flowing through the pipelines. This creates a high risk of leakage, explosion, and health hazards. So, the valves used in such pipes and systems have specific stringent leakage and sealing requirements.

The need for a completely different approach required for the desired sealing & redundancy has led to the development of Bellow seal globe Valve.



Table of Content

1. What Is A Bellow Valve

2. Construction of Bellow Seal Globe Valve

3. How Does Bellow Seal Globe Valve Work

4. Advantages of Bellow Seal Globe Valve

5. Comparison of Bellow Seal Globe Valve with Normal Valve

6. Bellows Selection Guide

7. Application Ranges of Bellow Seal Globe Valve

8. Precaution for Bellow Seal Globe Valve

9. Reason of Leakage for Bellow Valves

10. Summary


Construction of Bellows Seal Globe Valve

Metal bellows are the main feature of a Bellows globe seal valve. There are two types of bellows:

i. Formed Bellow – They are made by rolling the flat sheet into a tube and longitudinal fusion welding. After this, the tube is mechanically formed into bellow with rounded and widely spaced folds.

ii. Welded leaf Bellow – In this type, the washer-like plates of thin metal are welded together. The welding is performed on the inside and outside of the washer-like plate. The folds per unit length in welded leaf bellows are more.

The amount of movement per fold is the same for both formed and welded-leaf bellows. So, for the same stroke rate, the mechanically formed bellows are two to three times longer than their welded leaf equivalent.

The lower end and the stem assembly is welded by automated seam welding, while the upper end is welded by automated seam welding on the connecting plate, creating a metal shield between the fluid medium and the environment, ensuring zero leakings from the valve stem.



The sealing surface of the valve disc and the valve structure is precisely ground, so once the installation has been done, it is confirmed that it has 100 % passed a pressure test and the possibility of any kind of leakage is eliminated. As an auxiliary seal, the stuffing box is always held on the bellows, which improves durability and protection. The metal bellows of the high-pressure valves have a multi-layer construction which will guarantee an open/close life of 10000 times at the highest pressure by hydroforming.


How Does Bellow Seal Globe Valve Work

A Bellows Seal Globe Valve is a compact structure that is a kind of control valve which uses bellows for sealing the valve stem components. The bellows valve has a bellow inside, and the lower end of the stainless-steel bellows is welded to the stem to prevent the system fluid from eroding the stem. The other end is positioned between the body of the valve and the cover of the valve to create a permanent seal. This double seal configuration eliminates leakage i.e., even if the bellows collapses, the stem packaging will prevent further leakage. The bellows are welded to the valve stem to ensure stable operating efficiency and prevent the vibration of the valve stem induced by the movement of the valve insert.




Advantages of Bellows Seal Globe Valve

1.     The most prominent advantage of any bellows valve is the Double seal design (bellows + packing). So, even if the bellows fails, the stem packing will prevent any kind of leakage to meet the international sealing standards.

2.     It minimizes any loss of medium fluid and ensures the safety and environmental protection. This will ultimately improve the safety of the plant where is bellows valve has been installed.

3.     It can act as an energy saver as it contributes to minimizing energy losses due to leakage.

4.     Since the leakage is minimized, it prevents frequent maintenance of the valve. So, it leads to longer valve life.

5.     Owing to longer service life, operating and maintenance cost is considerably reduced.

6.     The rugged bellows seal design ensures zero leakage from the valve stem, thereby providing the maintenance-free conditions.

7.     The safety of working personnel is improved with the installation of a bellows valve as emissions of inflammable, toxic, and hazardous chemicals can be minimized.


Comparison of Bellows Seal Globe Valve with Normal Valves

Ø  When valves with gland packing are used such as gate valves or ball valves in the system for heated oil transfers (permeability of heated oil is about 50 times that of steam), chances of hot oil spillage are quite high and can cause loss of equipment and property. In such cases, due to its construction, the bellows valve can ensure absolutely nil leakage.

Ø  In ordinary valves, the shape of graphite packing cannot provide 100% effective sealing which is the main reason for frequent leakage of packing valve. As ordinary fillers are manufactured with graphite, if the purity of graphite is not adequate, its oil resistance would below. When heating oil being transferred is soaked in a graphite filler, certain graphite impurities get separated and flows along with it.

Ø  When a ball valve is used in the system with heated oil, if the internal PTFE is not resistant to high temperatures, it will quickly deteriorate and cause valve leakage.

Ø  The internal parts of the bellows valve are made of stainless steel, which can withstand a temperature of 425°C. Considering the life span of Bellows Seal Globe Valve, the duration of the general bellows valve is more than three years. Therefore, to maintain the reliability of output and to reduce the direct running costs, a bellow shut-off valve is preferred over ordinary seal valves in case of a system where heated oil is being transferred.


Selection Guide for Bellows

1.     Choose the inner diameter of the bellows according to the diameter of the valve stem. The inner diameter of the bellows should be greater than the stem diameter of 115 mm.

2.     The outer diameter of the bellows is selected according to the inner diameter of the bellows. The outer diameter and the inner diameter are related by the ratio of the outer diameter to the inner diameter. In general, the ratio of the outer diameter to the inner diameter is 113 to 115.

3.     The wall thickness, number of layers, number of corrugrtions, and length of the corrugated pipe must meet the requirements of the pressure resistance, stroke, and cycle life of the corrugated pipe. Under normal circumstances, greater the pressure, more thickness of the bellows is required. To increase the displacement or reduce the stiffness of the bellows and increase life, the thickness of the single layer can be reduced and the number of layers of the bellows can be increased.

4.     For handling higher pressures, the multiply design of bellows is recommended. The pressure that bellows can withstand can be increased by using 2 or 3 piles of the metal wall as in case of multiply design of bellows. Pressure rating by using a two-ply bellow can increase by 80% to 100% than single-ply bellow of the same thickness. Alternately, the stroke length is reduced if single-ply bellow of a thickness equivalent to the pressure rating of two­ ply bellow is used. So, we get a distinct advantage of multi­ply design over the single-ply thick bellows.

5.     To prevent the distortion of bellows, the designed guide structure must be strictly followed.

6.     To prevent wear and premature failure, local contact between the valve stem or bellows must be avoided.

7.     The design should be such that twisting and torsional deformation of the bellows is prevented.

8.     The valve design should be limited by the extension stroke and compression of the bellows. This is to prevent displacement of the bellows and to withstand compression and tensile extension beyond the defined cycle life test. Under normal conditions, the stroke of the bellows should not exceed 25% of the free length. If this is not fulfilled, it will affect the cycle life of the bellows, especially bellows valves under high temperature and high-pressure environment.

9.     The bellows adopt the same pressure and temperature grade as the Bellow seal Globe Valve. The bellows must withstand the pressure test of the nominal pressure of the main valve at 38 ℃ and 115 times the nominal pressure at 38 ℃. During the pressure test, the weld should not crack or leak, and the bellows should not twist.

10.  The material of the bellows components should be selected within the allowable temperature range, and it should have good formability, welding performance, and compatibility with the medium.


Application range of Bellows Seal Globe Valve

·       Bellows valves eliminate the risk of leakage of the process fluid and are therefore ideally suited for applications where leakage cannot be tolerated from the valves. So, places where highly hazardous materials such as hydrogen, ammonia, chlorine, and other similar poisonous or explosive material are handled, these valves are preferred.

·       It is suitable for use as a shut-off valve with heat-conducting oil, toxic, flammable, highly permeable, environmentally polluting, and radioactive fluid pipelines. It can be considered as a high-quality product for creating a leak-free factory.

·       To name a few, bellows seal globe valve is highly used in petrochemical industries, electronics industry, various plants, vacuum industries, etc.


Precautions for Bellows Seal Globe Valve

Ø  To avoid damage or injury to personnel or equipment, always read all warnings and instructions. Unprofessional re-conditioning, the use of foreign replacement parts, or the incorrect maintenance steps, may cause a loss of efficiency or lead to personnel injury or damage to parts.

Ø  Use double seal bellows in case of a highly corrosive chemical environment so that you get two protective layers of sealing.

Ø  If you find that there is a smell of media in the air or the valve cover is wet, it is generally because the bellows have been damaged by the medium.

Ø  You can replace the bellows by yourself or get it replaced by makers. Replace it to avoid prolonged negligence, a threat to life, and damage to the entire valve.

Ø  An excessively tightened gland nut can cause excessive packing wear and can hinder the free movement of the plug stem.


Reasons for Leakage of Bellow Seal Glove Valve

There are many reasons for the leakage of a Bellows Seal Valve. Bellows valve leakage is generally divided into internal leakage and external leakage.


bellow globe valve

1.     It is because the liquid medium contains solid impurities that damage the sealing surface and cause failure.

2.     Combined with the analysis of the on-site usage, the reason for the leakage of the valve stem is mainly related to the valve structure, working environment, and operation mode.

3.    The valve stem adopts a double sealing structure of bellows and packing. The bellows are welded with the inner lining ring and the outer lining ring to form a bellows assembly and then welded with the valve stem and the guide body to block the leakage of the medium through the valve stem. The valve stem of the bellows valve moves up and down by the flat key, until the upper-end surface of the flat key contacts the lower end surface of the lower packing. Since the lower packing is made of PTFE material, if the valve is opened too much, the flat key will be embedded in the packing, the bellows valve can no longer be opened and closed, and the bellows assembly is knocked to death, causing the medium to leak along the valve stem.

4.     Tensile elongation and compression of the bellows valve according to the line determination process can contribute to leakage. If tension or compression exceeds the limit, the bellows may be damaged, resulting in small series hose rupture, seal failure. Therefore, it is necessary to increase the limit device for opening and closing of the bellows valve, so that the bellows always expand and contract within the design range during the operation of the valve.

10. SummaryAPI

The unique design of Bellows Seal Globe Valve and its efficiency to provide leak-proof operations makes it the best-suited valve for a wide range of applications, especially hazardous materials & where system media is at high temperatures. Durability, maintenance-free operations and cost-effectiveness is an added benefit with bellows valves.

STV Valve is a professional China bellow seal valve manufacturer, don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any inquiry


Spring Check Valves VS Swing Check Valves

Swing check valves are by far the most common check valve in any industry. They are often a lower-cost solution and may work in many horizontal flow applications. However, it’s important to understand the differences between these types of check valves. In this article, we’ll cover some basic differences between these two types of inline check valves. We well also cover the advantages and disadvantages of each.

spring check valve

china spring check valve Supplier

1. One difference between these types of check valves is how they allow and prevent flow. A swing check valve uses a flapper that ‘swings’ off the seat to allow forward flow and then swings back onto the seat when the flow is stopped. In contrast, a spring loaded check valve incorporates a spring to assist in closing the valve. Learn more about spring check valves!

2. Swing check valves are limited in the orientation in which they can be installed. These type of check valves can only be installed in horizontal flow applications, which greatly limits the applications where they can be used. While swing check valves do offer a larger flow capacity, they may not always fit in existing piping configurations. On the other hand, spring loaded check valves can be mounted in any flow orientation with the right spring selection. In you need a check valve for a process skid, a difficult space with challenging dimensions, or even unique direction of piping, choosing a spring check valve with the proper spring setting (spring cracking pressure) provides more possibilities for finding the right solution for your specific flow control application.

3. Any water hammering effects present in a piping system can potentially be amplified by a swing check valve. Installing a spring loaded check valve can prevent effects of water hammer; whereas a swing check valve can exacerbate the issue. Spring check valves are considered “silent check valves” by utilizing a spring to assist the poppet in closing the check valve prior to fluid flow reversal. The following is a basic example to explain the concept of water hammer.

Consider an application where you have a process line with water in it. For flow control you have a check valve and downstream of that check valve you have a lever handle quarter turn ball valve. Let’s say water is flowing and someone shuts the quarter turn ball valve abruptly. This can produce a pressure wave flowing through the piping – this is what is known as water hammer. With a swing check valve specifically, the flapper on that valve will be open until that pressure wave returns back to the swing check. The pressure wave can cause the flapper to slam shut, both of which can contribute to inducing water hammer. Conversely, a spring loaded check valve will help minimize, and in some cases, eliminate the effects of water hammer because the spring in the spring check closes before the pressure wave gets there.

We hope this clears up any confusion you may have around the differences between these different type of check valves and that you learned the advantages offered by spring check valves. All the valves Check-All Valve manufactures are inline spring loaded poppet style check valves. Our expert staff can answer any questions you may have. Use the comments to post your questions or tag us on social media. Stay tuned for our next article!


An Overview of Butterfly Valves

Butterfly valves belong to the family of quarter-turn rotational valves, created and first used in steam engine prototypes as early as the 18th century. Use of butterfly valves grew in the 1950s for applications in the oil and gas market, and 70 years later they continue to be widely used in numerous industrial applications.

Butterfly valves can be assembled with handles, manual gears, pneumatic or hydraulic actuation. The valve configuration consists of a stem and disc that rotate 90° from open to close in the clockwise direction. Butterfly valves are popular in many applications as they are cost effective to maintain, offer fast operation and are lightweight compared to other types of valves. Most butterfly valves use the same basic configuration, with a body, stem, disc, seat and stem seal; however, other parts may vary between the different butterfly valve types, such as resilient seated, lined, single offset, double offset (often referred to as high performance) and triple offset. These types are differentiated by the geometry of the disc, stem, seat and the material of the seating designs.

A key advantage of selecting a butterfly valve is the reduction of space and weight to a system compared with other options such as ball, check, globe or gate valves. Compared to a gate valve, installation of butterfly valves is less difficult from size and weight, and compared to ball valves, the cost to replace or repair is usually less. Butterfly valves are limited based on their application as they have an obstructed port, as part of the disc always faces the flow even when fully opened and they are not typically utilized in heavy slurry applications as a knife gate or severe service ball valve is preferred. Butterfly valves are also versatile products that can be used in both isolation and light control/throttling services.


Resilient seated valves are concentric with the pipeline, as the disc is held in the center of the valve. This valve type is position seated, with continuous disc-to-seat interference. Ratings are commonly in cold working pressure (CWP) rather than class rating but fit between ASME Class 125 and Class 150 flanges. Resilient seated valves are often designed below ASME pressure class ratings, thus more cost effective for low pressure applications. Stem sealing consists of a primary seal (seat flat to disc hub), secondary seal (stem diameter larger than a hole in seat) and tertiary seal (upper stem seal).

Typical body materials include ductile iron, cast iron, carbon steel, aluminum, stainless steel and aluminum bronze. Typical seat materials include EPDM, Buna-N, PTFE, natural rubber and more. Resilient seated butterfly valves are mostly used for isolation and control applications including HVAC, chemical and petrochemical, food and beverage, power generation, water and wastewater, oil and gas, mining and dry bulk handling. They are selected based on compatibility with the media running through the pipeline and flow conditions.


Lined butterfly valves are also concentric with the pipeline and designed to be utilized with harsh chemical media: These polymer-lined products offer longer life in media with higher levels of acids. Options include PTFE-lined and PFA-lined valves, both used in the petrochemical, food and beverage industry with corrosive media. One of the main differences between the liners is that in steam engine prototypes PFA liners remain flexible in contrast to PTFE liners over time based on the way they are manufactured. PFA is melted and chemically bonded while PTFE is sintered. Melting and chemically bonding creates a denser material and minimizes air pockets, resulting in flexibility and tight shutoff over long-term use for harsher chemical applications. The PTFE lined butterfly valve is typically used in water, brine, pulp stock and weak acid applications. The disc material can also vary based on application, between stainless steel, or lined stainless steel with PTFE, PFA and UHMWPE (ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene).


High performance butterfly valves (also called double offset) have two offsets: The first offset of stem is off center to or behind the disc seating face, followed by the second offset, which shifts the stem off centerline of the pipeline. This double offset creates camming action, moving the disc away from the seat rather than across it, reducing rubbing between the disc and seat as seen in concentric and single offset valves.

The double offset is commonly used for isolation and control applications, as well as higher cycle applications when compared to a concentric design. Most applications are made for higher temperature and pressure than resilient-seated valves. The seats are designed to provide reaction force (contact stress) to disc when in the closed position. This contact stress creates the seal with the disc edge. These designs can be pressure dependent, while others use interference fit provided by a seat energizer for that pressure range. Common body materials include carbon steel, stainless steel and aluminum bronze. Common seat materials include PTFE, reinforced PTFE, TFM, UHMWPE and Inconel.

Additional seat designs for specific application can also include fully metal seated and fire safe (both soft and metal seat). The metal seated design can withstand higher temperature capabilities up to 900°F in dirty service, abrasive service and control applications with hot and dirty service. The fire-safe seated design is used in services at risk for fire, using a soft seated material for isolation while still providing a constant metal-to-metal backup seal to the disc in the event of a fire. The intent of the valve design in these applications is to provide isolation to prevent feeding the flames.

The double offset design can be configured for cryogenic applications; they are most often used in industrial gas applications such as argon, helium, hydrogen, nitrogen and oxygen. The choice of materials is based on the service, focusing on toughness and impact strength of the pressure boundary materials at process temperature. The standards for these applications include strict material specifications along with cleaning requirements for safety and operation of the valves while in service.


Triple offset valves share the first and second offset concept with high performance butterfly valves and include an additional third offset, with the seating surfaces using an inclined conical surface. This third offset enables the sealing element (seal ring) to only engage the seating surface in the final

degree of closing (and immediately disengaging from the valve seat upon opening) resulting in no rubbing between the sealing components. This valve type is torque-seated, meaning torque is applied to load the sealing elements and provide the shutoff performance. The seal ring can either be laminated layers of metal and graphite or a solid metal sheet, both of which are field replaceable. The valve seat can either be bolted in (field replaceable) or integral to the valve body. Triple offset valves are inherently fire safe and applicable to pressure classes from Class 150 up to Class 1500. This design can be used in a broad temperature range of -320°F to 1,500°F in varying configurations due to the metal-to-metal sealing.

Common body materials include carbon steel, stainless steel and aluminum bronze while common seat materials include 316 stainless steel hard-faced, nickel aluminum bronze, Stellite and duplex stainless steel. Common seal materials include laminated duplex stainless, Monel, XM-19 or Inconel metal layers with either graphite or PTFE, and solid metal options include duplex stainless steel, Inconel or XM-19. Main applications for the triple offset valves include steam-distribution, petrochemicals, tank farms, terminals, and switching.

The triple offset valve configured for cryogenic service, allow for temperature as low as -420°F; it is used in LNG, liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen service, to name a few. Extended bonnets keep the stem packing from the extreme cold temperatures.

The higher temperature designs, up to 1,500°F, use a solid seal ring and a bonnet to dissipate heat transfer to the packing and actuation. This design is mostly used in turbines, molten salt and hot air applications.


Butterfly valves have multiple options for end connection types, including wafer (flangeless), lug, double flanged and buttweld end. Some options allow for ease of maintenance, some are suited for dead-end service and some designs have weight and cost reduction implications compared to each other.

  • Wafer valves are designed to be installed between flanges, with a short face-to-face dimension in relation to the pipeline diameter. These valves cannot be used for dead-end service, which requires additional isolation valves when shut down for maintenance. Wafer options are lighter and cheaper than lug style and often used in lower pressure applications.
  • Lug valves are designed to be bolted to one or both flanges using fasteners threaded into lug protrusions on the valve body, with a short face-to-face dimension in relation to the pipeline diameter. These valves can also be used in dead-end service depending on seat design but may be de-rated and can be heavier than wafer style.
  • Double flanged valves are designed with flanges on both ends of the body to secure the valve to mating flanges on the pipe with bolts or studs and nuts. They can be used in dead-end service; however, some valve types may be de-rated.
  • Buttweld end valves are designed with bevels (weld preparation) on each face to match thickness and bevel on the pipe. The two ends are butted to the pipeline and welded, used in applications where dismantling is not common, or a potential leak path between flange bolting is a concern.


Many types of actuators can control the opening and closing characteristics of a butterfly valve. The actuator provides the torque required to properly open and close the valve during service. The following types of actuators are paired with butterfly valves:

butterfly valves:

  • Manual valve operation is the simplest form of actuation. It uses a wheel or lever to control the position of the stem and disc. Manual operators are also very inexpensive and typically are used with smaller sized valves that have a lower torque requirement. These are especially suitable in applications where power is not present to operate the valve. The speed of manual operators is somewhat slow, so they would not be used in emergency shut-off applications.
  • Electric valve actuators contain a gearbox that can adjust motor speed, raising or lowering the torque. The electric actuators are easy to maintain, are relatively simple to install and are fairly quiet during operation. The position of the valve is based on the voltage or current signal input and can contain limit switches that stop the actuator when fully closed or fully open. Electric actuators are used where there is a stable power supply.
  • Rack and pinion actuators contain springs within a chamber that operate from the entry and exit of compressed air. These types of pneumatic actuators can be single or double acting, are compact in design, relatively inexpensive and lightweight. They have quicker reaction times, allowing for their use in throttling services; they need an external supply of compressed air.
  • Scotch yoke actuators can be operated with compressed air or with hydraulic fluid. These consist of a crank and piston in a hollow cylinder. Pressure is applied to one side, and the resulting force moves the piston linearly to rotate the stem and disc. These actuators can be designed with modules for ease of maintenance by just removing one section of the actuator instead of the entire assembly. The scotch yoke is larger and more costly than the rack and pinion, but output creates much higher torque for larger sized valves. The scotch yoke also can be paired with control accessories for use in quick acting or soft closing applications.
  • Hydraulic valve actuators use hydraulic force supplied by a fluid to control the position of the disc and stem. They are available in either single or double acting. Single acting works by the absence of fluid pressure, keeping the valve in the closed position; as pressure builds up, the fluid pushes the piston towards the valve to open. The double-acting type contains a hydraulic pump that changes the direction of the fluid to open and close the valve. These actuators are used for the very large or heavy-duty valves that require a large torque to operate; they also can be used with solenoids to better control position.


Butterfly valves have many national and international standards that dictate the design criteria, such as wall thickness, face-to-face length, mounting patterns, flange drilling, fugitive emission and more. Below are some of the common standards for the many types of butterfly valve designs.

Common Standards for Valve Design


Butterfly valves offer a unique value proposition based on their weight, footprint, and cost effectiveness.  They provide a variety of options from seat material, sealing designs, and range of temperature and pressure ratings.  Butterfly valves offer one of the largest valve markets behind ball and gate valves.  They continue to grow based on the flexibility of automation, lower torque and improved fugitive emissions performance compared to linear valves.



How long does a cast steel gate valve last?

How long does a cast steel gate valve last?

How many years is the service life of cast steel gate valve? Generally, at normal temperature, the medium is water and there is no high-strength hydraulic impact. Most cast steel gate valves can be used for 3 years and 5 years. The contract signed between the manufacturer and the customer states that the warranty period is one year, so it is necessary to eliminate the situation that the customer changes the working conditions at will. Cast steel gate valve can be used under the working condition of about 300 degrees

Generally, at normal temperature, the medium is water and there is no high-strength hydraulic impact. Most cast steel gate valves can be used for 3 years and 5 years. The contract signed between the manufacturer and the customer states that the warranty period is one year, so it is necessary to eliminate the situation that the customer changes the working conditions at will.
Can cast steel gate valve be used under the working condition of about 300 degrees?


The abrasion resistance of the first-class valve is 2000 times, while that of the first-class valve is 4000 times. The service life of gate valves varies from country to country. It is stipulated to be 30 ~ 40 years in Japan, while it is stipulated to be 40 years in the United States and France.
working principle
Most gate valves are forced sealed, that is, when the valve is closed, the gate shall be forced to the valve seat by external force to ensure the tightness of the sealing surface. The gate of the gate valve moves in a straight line with the valve stem, which is also called rising stem gate valve. Generally, there are trapezoidal threads on the lifting rod. Through the nut at the top of the valve and the guide groove on the valve body, the rotary motion is changed into linear motion, that is, the operating torque is changed into operating thrust.
1. The gate valve is only used to fully open and close the medium on various pipelines or equipment, and is not allowed to be used for throttling.
2. For the gate valve with hand wheel or handle, the auxiliary lever shall not be added during operation (if the seal is not tight, the sealing surface or other parts shall be inspected and repaired). Turn the hand wheel and handle clockwise to close, otherwise it will open. The gate valve with transmission mechanism shall be used according to the provisions of the product operation manual.

1.How long do valves last shut?

You can expect a shut-off valve to last about 10 to 25 years, with an average of 20 years. But, if they are not “exercised” every year or two, there is good chance a valve will be freeze prematurely in the open position just when you really need it to close for a plumbing emergency or repair.
2.When should a gate valve be replaced?
These problems are typically caused by mineral buildup, so you should fully close and open your gate valves every few months to clear potential problems. If your gate valve has severe pitting or corrosion, you will need to replace it.
3.How do you fix a gate valve that doesn’t close?

he first step if a gate valve will not close completely

If the handle of the valve does not turn freely then loosen the packing nut just above the valve body and around the stem of the valve. Loosening it just one turn should be fine – just remember to tighten it back up when you are done.