Valve Types: Butterfly Valves and Ball Valves

Valves are used in a wide range of applications to control the flow of slurries, liquids, and gases. Among the most common valves in use today are butterfly valves and ball valves. Each type of valve has its own advantages and disadvantages, but each operates on similar underlying principles.

Butterfly valves are connected to a handle, gear operator, or actuator that turns a shaft connected to a metal disc inside of the valve by 90°. When the disc is turned in the direction of the flow, the valve is fully opened, allowing materials to move past the disc and down the pipe. Conversely, turning the disc so that it’s seated across the flow path will block the flow.

Ball valves are also connected to a handle or actuator that turns a valve shaft, but unlike butterfly valves, they contain a spherical ball with a hole drilled through it in one direction to block or release flow. Turning the drilled half of the ball toward the material releases the flow while turning the solid side of the ball toward the material blocks the flow.

Butterfly Valves: Applications and Advantages

Butterfly valves are most often used to regulate the flow of gases, liquids, or slurries. Because they can be designed with reference to specific pressure requirements and usage patterns, their applications are very broad. Some of the more common include:

  • Water, air, gas cooling
  • Fire protection
  • Food and beverage production
  • Chemical processing
  • Pharmaceutical manufacturing
  • Slurry services
  • Throttling
  • Vacuum services

 

Butterfly valves have a number of advantages over alternative flow management solutions, including:

  • Speed

Butterfly valves open quickly as compared to multi-turn valves. The ability to remotely control them also saves time, since users don’t need to travel to each valve location.

  • Affordability

Butterfly valves are less expensive than most other types of valves due being less material intensive.

  • Size

Because butterfly valve assemblies are smaller than other valves, they are ideal for applications with tight space requirements.

  • Throttle

Butterfly valves are well-suited to applications that require liquids, gases, or slurries to be throttled for sustained periods.

  • Low Maintenance

Butterfly valves tend to require little maintenance, and most have a long service life.

  • Easy installation

Butterfly valves are typically simpler to install than other valves.

  • Leak-proof

The speed of automation combined with the standard tight seal of a butterfly valve essentially eliminates wastage or leaks.

Ball Valves: Applications and Advantage

Ball valves are used in liquid and gas applications that require a tight seal. Like butterfly valves, they can be adapted to a wide variety of purposes. Because they offer increased control, ball valves have become increasingly popular in many industries. Their applications include:

  • Chemical processing
  • Life sciences
  • High-pressure
  • High-temperature
  • Food and beverage production
  • Measurement and control
  • Utilities
  • Water cooling
  • Drains and vents

 

Ball valves offer many advantages over manually operated ball or butterfly valves, including:

  • Speed

Ball valves can be opened and closed more quickly than multi-turn valves. The ability to remotely control them also saves time, since users don’t need to travel to each valve location.

  • Multi-port

Applications that require superior control can benefit from the control offered by multi-port automated ball valves.

  • Long Service Life

Ball valves are designed to withstand the strains of intense industrial applications. To extend product life, many valves also allow for component replacement during maintenance.

  • Simplicity

Automating ball valve control at a single control point simplifies operations and streamlines existing processes.

  • Leak-proof

The speed of automation combined with the standard tight seal of a ball valve essentially eliminates wastage or leaks.

  • Full Flow

With no obstructions in the flow, a ball valve offers higher flow rates than a butterfly valve.

 

The ability to control the flow of fluids or gases from a single control point can significantly improve efficiency throughout your operation. Automating ball valve or butterfly valves in your facility will enable you to optimize your time and streamline your processes, which will ultimately result in a positive impact on your bottom line.

With more than 20 years of experience in providing automated valves, BI-TORQ Valve Automation has the expertise needed to develop the perfect valve and actuator for any application,

Whether you’re searching for a standard catalog product or a customized solution, our technical sales staff stands ready to solve any challenges you might face.

To learn more about butterfly valves, automated ball valves, or our other products and services, please request a quote or contact us.