Ball Valves – Different Types, Applications, And Characteristics

Ball valves, also referred to as pig vales or pig ball valves are an essential component of an oil and gas piping system. With so many different varieties of ball valves on offer, you must choose the right valve types for your projects. Get to know the features and applications of ball valves.

Characteristics Of Ball Valves

In India, there are numerous plants and other facilities that produce and collect gas and oil. These facilities require ball valves for different applications throughout the processes to control the flow of gas and oil. The different applications are segregated into upstream, midstream and downstream applications.

  • In upstream applications, ball valves are used to regulate the flow of oil and gas.
  • In midstream applications, they are used to protect the equipment.
  • In downstream applications, ball valves are used in the refining oil process.

The components of ball valves include the body, the seat, the ball and the steam. Each of these components comes in various styles, paving the way to different types of ball valves that can be used for different purposes. The ball valve can be metal seated or soft seated. It comes in four different body styles: welded styles, single body, top entry, and split body. Based on the number of seats and ports, a ball valve can be unidirectional, bidirectional and multi-directional. It includes Three-way Ball Valves, Ball Float Valves, Mounted Ball Valves, and Split Body Ball Valves.

Different Types Of Ball Valves

The different types of ball valves based on the body type include:

  • Full Port Ball Valves

A full port ball valve has a fuller ball and a large valve body. With a ball size the same as the pipeline, it causes very little friction and facilitates an unrestricted flow of materials.

  • Standard Port Valves

Standard port valves are the most common type of valves that are inexpensive compared to other valves. The valve is smaller compared to the full port type and hence has a small ball. These valves are used to restrict the flow of materials through the pipeline. The flow will typically be smaller than the pipe size.

  • The V Port Ball Valves

As the name indicates, a V port ball valve has a V-shaped seat. Due to this unique shape, these valves cannot be used just about anywhere. These valves are used for more secure operations where the flow can easily be closed and opened in different directions. The small end of the V will open first to stabilise and control the flow.

  • Trunnion Ball Valves

The trunnion ball valve has a different mechanism of attaching itself to the pipeline. It anchors the valve at the bottom and top of the pipeline. These are larger and higher-intensity valves used for high-pressure applications. It does not fit all types of projects.

  • Manually Operated Valves

Manually operated valves can be closed easily than other types of valves. It can be an advantage at times but has potential risk in terms of water hammer. These valves will have an actuator and a positioner. An actuator is a motor-operated or pneumatic device that will automatically turn off/on the flow control. The positioner will turn the control signal to the actuator position.

Applications Of Ball Valves

As we discussed, ball valves have different variations and hence have varied purposes in the oil and gas industry. Let us take a look at some of the applications of ball valves:

  • Ball valves are used as bubble tight shut off valves or off/on stop-valves to control, regulate and refine different fluids.
  • They find its application in all kinds of air, vapour and hydrocarbon systems.
  • The instrument tubing process makes use of ball valves to connect different instruments.
  • Metal-seated ball valves are used in high pressure and high-temperature applications.

Some of the benefits of using ball valves include:

  • Ball valves are cost-effective and easy to operate.
  • With bubble-tight sealing, it is easy to open and close a ball valve.
  • It is easy to find the right match as they have different types of configurations.
  • Ball valves are compact, lightweight compared to gate valves of the same size and rating.

As the leading industrial valve manufacturers in India, we produce and supply high standard industry graded ball valves and petroleum equipment. We maintain high product quality and consistency. Contact us today and learn more about our products.