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9 Popular Types of Industrial Valves: Pros, Cons & Applications of Each

According to a market study, the global industrial valves market is predicted to exceed a whopping $77 billion by 2022. The demand for industrial valves is expected to rise steadily, as these valves are used across a wide range of sectors including automation, industry 4.0, commercial construction and many more. With rapid industrialisation, the growth of technological innovations and commercial construction there is a pressing need for reliable and high-quality industrial valves in all industries.
In this guide, we walk you through the popular types of industrial valves, highlighting the pros and cons of each, so that you can make a smart purchase decision.

1. Ball Valve

ball-valve

What is it?
It’s a rotational valve that has a ball-shaped disk to start or stop fluid flow. The distinct feature of this valve is the hollow, ball-shaped disk that regulates fluid flow. It’s one of the fastest valves and requires only a quarter turn to close or open.

Pros Cons
Minimal leakage
Not suitable to be used as a throttling valve
No wear and tear if used properly
Not suitable for highly viscous fluids as it causes sedimentation
Low maintenance cost
Could lead to surge pressure due to rapid opening and closing of the valve
Easy turn on/off
Easy to operate
Minimal pressure drops

Applications
Ball valves are primarily used in low-pressure settings and high-temperature applications that require bubble-tight sealing.

2. Butterfly Valve

butterfly-valve

What is it?
It’s a rotary motion valve that starts, stops and regulates fluid flow. They are easy to operate and come with a 90° rotation handle that moves the disk from fully open to fully closed with a single swift move. What makes it distinct from other valves is that it has a flat or concave disc that attaches to the valve’s stem.

Pros Cons
Easy to install
Strong fluid pressure can affect the disc movement
Compact lightweight design
Limited throttling
Easy to operate
Minimal pressure drops

Applications
They are primarily used in gas and water applications, where there is a need to isolate the flow of the fluid. They are best suited for cryogenic, slurries and vacuum services.

3. Check Valve

check-valve

What is it?
As the name implies, these valves prevent the reversal of fluid in piping systems. These valves are opened by the pressure of the fluid. On reversal of the flow, the valve gets closed. They rely on the pressure of the fluid for opening and closing, instead of external action. They prevent backflow of the fluid.

Pros Cons
Simple design
Not suitable for throttling
Operates automatically without human intervention
The disc may get stuck in the open position
Prevents backflow
Primarily used as a backup system

Applications
Check valves are primarily used to prevent backflows. They are mostly used in chemical and power plants, feed pumps in steam boilers, water pumps and compressors.

4. Gate Valve

gate-valve

What is it?
It derives its name from the appearance of gate-like disc structure in the flow stream. It’s a linear motion valve that starts or stops fluid flow. However, it doesn’t help in throttling or regulating the flow.

Pros Cons
Can be used for bi-directional flows
Not suitable for throttling
Suitable for pipes with large diameters
Heavy flow intensity could damage the disc or gate
Simple design
No flow resistance since the gate doesn’t obstruct the flow

Applications
They are suitable for all applications that require on/off function. They are mostly used in slurries, neutral liquids and other wastewater applications.

5. Globe Valve

globe-valve

What is it?
It’s another linear valve that stops, starts and regulates fluid flow. It resembles a plug-type disc and it moves up to allow the flow of media. It’s a great choice for applications that do not require high-pressure drops.

Pros Cons
Provides better shutting control compared to a gate valve
Not suitable for high-pressure applications
Doesn't show signs of wear and tear, even when used frequently
Easy to repair as it's easy to disassemble

Applications
They are primarily used for applications where leakage is a major concern. These valves prevent leakage and are used in chemical feed systems, feedwater systems, and extraction drain systems.

6. Needle Valve

needle-valve

What is it?
It’s used to fine-tune the amount of fluid flow. It has a long, tapered needle-like point that act as the disc. The design of this valve permits minute increase or decrease of fluid flow.

Pros Cons
Can control fluid media effectively
Requires several turns to completely close or open the valve
Requires minimal mechanical force to seal the opening
Used only in sophisticated shut-off applications
Ideal for vacuum services and other systems that require precise fluid flow

Applications
They are mostly used in calibration applications that require precise flow of fluids.

7. Pinch Valve

pinch-valve

What is it?
It’s the simplest of valve designs. It works just like a pinch cock used in laboratories to control the flow of fluids. It’s also known as the clamp valve and is great to start, stop or throttle fluids.

Pros Cons
Simple design – has no internal moving parts
Not suitable for high-pressure applications
Prevents media contamination
Works only with liquids and not gases
Ideal for viscous fluids, slurries and even corrosive media
Low maintenance

Applications
They offer unrestricted fluid flow. They are used in a variety of industrial applications like cement handling, chemicals processing, wastewater treatment and several others.

8. Plug Valve

plug-valve

What is it?
It’s a rotational valve that is used to start or stop fluid motion. The shape of the valve resembles a plug. When open, the passage in the plug aligns with the inlet and outlet ports. To stop the flow, the valve handle should be turned to a 90-degree position.

Pros Cons
Easy to maintain
Not suitable for throttling
Simple to operate
Requires power
Minimal pressure drops
High friction
Offers a tight seal
Requires only a quarter turn to open or close

Applications
You can spot these valves in several applications like slurries, gas pipelines, sewage systems and more.

9. Pressure Relief Valve

pressure-relief-valve

What is it?
It’s a valve that limits or releases pressure from the pipelines. The main purpose of this valve is to protect the equipment when there is an over exposure to pressure.

Pros Cons
Cost-effective
The spring mechanism of this valve is not suited for corrosive materials
Suitable for high pressure and high temperature applications
Back pressure could impact the function of the valve
Can handle all gases and liquids

Applications
They are primarily used in boiler applications and pressure vessels.

Wrapping Up

The valves mentioned above are the 9 popular types of industrial valves used in leading industries. By understanding the pros and cons of each, you can find the right valves for your industrial requirements. For the best industrial valves suppliers in India, reach out to EuroIndustriel. We connect you with the top industrial valve suppliers in India, helping you find the best products at the best prices.

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