Every process setup is created using different kinds of machinery, equipment, and devices. One such element used in a process setup is ‘Valves’. Valves are a fundamental component in all process setups and there can be no flow system setup without them.
WHAT ARE INDUSTRIAL VALVES
A valve is a mechanical device that regulates, controls, or directs the flow of liquid, gases, fluidized solids, or slurries in a piping system. It helps in controlling the flow by opening, blocking, or partially obstructing passageways. Industrial valves are used to handle high-pressure and are designed to last in harsh environments. The main function of industrial valves is to control, isolate, or divert the flow of liquids, and gases through pipes.
There are different kinds of valves with different physical properties, structures, and applications. Let us see some commonly used valves across all process industries.
BALL VALVES TO THROTTLE FLOW
Ball valves are flow control devices with rotating, perforated, hollow balls that regulate the flow of fluid through pipes. Ball valves are generally suitable for low-flow applications and are widely used to throttle gases and vapors in hydrocarbon processing systems. It needs only a quarter turn to turn on/off the flow. The process engineering needs generally define the size of the ball valve required to regulate the flow.
CHECK VALVES TO PREVENT BACKFLOW
Check valves are two-port industrial devices with two openings, one for fluid to flow into and the other for fluid to flow out. They rely on internal pressure for opening and closing, rather than outside action. The main function of a check valve is to prevent backflow; hence it is also called a non-return valve. Check valves are mostly applied in compressed air and gas systems and vacuum pumps. The check valves manufactured by McNeil Instruments help in reducing head loss of water. Know more now.
GATE VALVES FOR MINIMUM RESTRICTION IN FLOW
Gate valves are valves with discs that are gate or wedge-shaped and have a linear movement. This allows easy and effective shut-off/on mechanism. It removes barriers from the liquid’s path of travel. Therefore, it is used to either entirely start the flow or completely stop the flow of fluid. It can be used in bi-directional flow and where a minimum restriction is required. Few industries where gate valves are commonly used are Oil and Gas, manufacturing, automotive, and pharmaceuticals.
NEEDLE VALVES FOR LOW FLOW RATE IN EXTENDED PERIOD
A needle valve is a valve with a small port and a threaded needle-shaped plunger. Needle valves are often used in flow-metering applications, especially where a constant, low-flow rate is required for a long period, such as idle fuel flow in a carburettor.
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