Ball valves are among the most popular valves available today, so you are probably familiar with them. Typically, a ball valve is a quarter-turn valve with a perforated ball in the middle that controls the flow. It is known that these valves are durable and offer excellent shut-off, but they do not offer very precise control. Let's talk about when using a ball valve as a control valve makes sense.
Though ball valves aren't the best device for controlling flow, they are still commonly used due to their cost-effectiveness. You can use a ball valve in an application that doesn't require precise adjustment and control. A ball valve, for example, should be able to keep a large tank filled at a certain level within a few inches.
As with any equipment, you need to consider all process conditions when selecting a valve. The type of product or material, the size of the piping, the flow rate, etc. are among these factors. You might not want to use a ball valve if you're trying to control an expensive material you're worried about losing.
A ball valve is not very precise because its adjustment is not proportional to the amount of flow provided by the open hole. There is also 'slop' or 'play' between the stem and ball, which prevents precise control. Finally, the amount of torque required to adjust ball valves does not allow for fine adjustment near the "closed" and "open" positions.
The globe valve will be more precise than the ball valve when you need precise control over your application. For control valves, globe valves are the industry standard because they are good at regulating flow, whereas ball valves are better for on/off control without pressure drop.
You might want to consider various types of ball valves depending on the application if you must use a ball valve to control your process. Certain scenarios require a trunnion or v-port ball valve that performs better and allows more precise adjustment.
The ball of a trunnion ball valve is mechanically anchored at the top and bottom as well. A splined or keyed stem connection eliminates any play between the ball and stem. A V notch ball valve has a V-shaped ball instead of the standard round hole. The tapered opening allows for more linear flow because it allows for more control.
What are V-Port Ball Valves and how do they work?
What are ball valves?
In addition to being members of the quarter-turn valve family, ball valves offer reliable sealing and are ideal for gas applications requiring tight shutoff. The possibility of constant wear on the seats makes them less suitable for throttling applications. Usually constructed of steel, nickel-plated versions can also be found that are more durable.
Ball valves have a spherical closure unit that controls the flow on/off. There is a port (or bore) running through the center of the sphere, and when it is aligned with the pipeline the port is open and fluid will be able to flow through it. If the valve is rotated 90 degrees, the bore is perpendicular to the flow path, closing the valve and preventing fluid from passing through.
Ball valve types
Two-way ball valves permit linear flow from inlet to outlet and are the most common type. Three-way and four-way ball valves, on the other hand, allow for flow to be directed in multiple directions including 90-degree angles. There are four main body styles: fully welded, three-piece (side or end entry), split-body, and top entry. Each type of valve works the same. There are three basic types of bores for ball valves: full port, reduced port (standard port), and v-port.
What are V-Port Ball valves?
There are two types of V-Port Ball Valves: a 'V-shaped seat or a 'V-shaped ball. Orifices can be opened and closed in a more controlled manner, with a more linear flow characteristic. Because the flow velocities need to be controlled depending on the application, this type of valve is also known as a control valve.
How do V-Port Ball valves work?
If a v-port valve is closed, the small end of the 'v' opens first when it opens. In this way, flow control can remain stable. The higher velocities of fluids might damage standard valves, thus calling for more robust construction. Despite being a control valve, v-port valves are not as accurate as globe valves, pressure regulating valves, balancing valves, or needle valves.
Applications using V Port Ball valves?
There are many applications and markets for ball valves. Transmission and storage, gas processing, and industrial are some examples. Water treatment, food processing, acid transfer, agriculture, bleach chemicals, leaching acids, waste processing, and pharmaceuticals are other common applications for V-Port Ball valves.
Advantages of V-Ball Valves
There are many applications and markets for ball valves, but V-port ball valves can also serve as control valves when necessary. Generally, the primary differentiator is a contoured V-port in the ball, available with an angle of 15°, 30°, 45°, 60°, or 90°, which produces an equal percentage flow characteristic for better control. Compared to larger and more expensive control valves, V-ball valves offer a variety of advantages in flow control applications.
Low Pressure Drop
The V-port design allows the material to flow straight through the valve, minimizing pressure drop across it. Also, V-ball valves have higher flow coefficients (Cv) than other control valve types of a similar size, so a smaller V-ball valve can achieve the same flow rates as a larger control valve.
Bubble Tight Shut-Off
In addition to modulating flow, V-port ball valves use the floating ball principle to provide a bubble-tight shut-off. Upstream pressure pushes the ball against the downstream seat when the valve is closed, enhancing the seal. The ability to control or shut off the bi-directional flow is especially useful in gas applications. Other control valves often require additional shut-off valves; V-ball valves eliminate the need for these additional valves, thereby saving the user money and reducing the number of components in the system.
Precise Flow Control
Machined V-ball valves are available with 60° and 90° V openings, offering equal percentage flow characteristics. The ball can be rotated anywhere between 0° and 90° to achieve desired flow rates. With these valves, you can also use smaller actuators, which increases response time.
High Shut-Off Pressure
These valves have a quarter-turn (90°) ball rotation, allowing them to operate and shut off at much higher pressures. Smaller, lower torque actuators can be used, resulting in cost savings and higher efficiency in the user's application.
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