Ball valves design and structure under the microscope

Technical progress is expanding the horisons of inventors and manufacturers of equipment, but at the same time confronts them with new challenges. That’s what happened with Orseal, a prominent UK-based manufacturer of ball valves and high-tech industrial industrial ball valves. The fact is that the principle of operation of the ball valve is not new – the history of this unit goes back to almost a hundred of years.

So how does the design of an item that does not lose its relevance for so long look like? The body of the ball valve represents, in fact, the pipe included in the pipeline infrastructure. Inside the housing there’s a locking element of spherical shape, rotatable up to 90°. The axis of the spherical lock has a through-hole; in most models, its diameter coincides with the diameter of the body (the so-called full bore valve). Ball valve or tube, surrounded by the sealing seats (ring), creating leaks and ensure smooth rotation of the ball. Operation mechanism of a ball valve can be either manual (in the simplest units) and automated. In the first case, a handle, in the second – the electric drive.

This simple design makes a good seal and minimum hydraulic losses, which is very important when transporting oil, gas and other hazardous industries. But the first ball valves could not boast of any of the absolute density of the closing passage, nor easy management. And only in recent years, after the advent of modern materials such as synthetic rubber and fluoropolymers it became possible to raise the production of ball valves to a new level.

The advantages of ball valves

Constructive simplicity and principle of operation is based on the basic physical laws, minimizing the likelihood of irregularities in the operation of the device. The system operates smoothly, because all the processes are coordinated and do not imply the possibility of failures.

The high degree of tightness of stop and control valves. Ball tube is attached to the O-rings. The pipe diameter of 200 mm is sufficient for creating a pressure inside the faucet. Ball valves 200 mm diameter include not only support, but also protrusion to minimise energy costs.

The compact size of the ball valve allows it to be deployed in urban piping network water and gas. If you want to reduce the size of still and/or torque control valve, you can order and install the so-called tapered ball valve.

Minimum hydraulic losses. In the fully open position tap liquid medium flows therethrough in the same way as through any other part of the pipeline. This means that the energy density is practically not lost due to friction.

Management of small diameter ball valve can be manual or automated. Large industrial ball valves are controlled by an electric pneumatic and / or hydraulic drive, including using the fluid as control medium.

Rotating locking stopper of 90° or less occurs rapidly and smoothly, due to plastic materials from which O-rings are made of. The hole passes ball plugs liquids and gases without the formation of breakout and/or stagnation zones.

These valuable properties allow the use of ball valves is in contrast to other types of valves, during transportation of specific environments and products, including contaminated, viscous, heterogeneous, consisting of two or more phases.

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Cassandra Nelson

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