At BI-TORQ Valve Automation, our extensive experience with a broad range of valve and actuator manufacturers enables us to identify and provide automated valves for nearly any application and industry. Some of the primary industries we work with include chemical processing, plastic manufacturing, food and beverage, oil and gas, and OEM machinery. Since our founding in 1981, we’ve grown to serve commercial, industrial, and municipal customers around the world.
Our highly skilled technical staff has compiled this list of terms used in our industry to help buyers make more informed purchasing decisions.
- ANSI flange – The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) lays out strict manufacturing standards for flanges and flanged fittings made from cast or forged materials. Some of the factors covered in ANSI B16.5 guidelines include dimensions, tolerances, pressure/temperature ratings, markings, and testing.
- API 607 – The American Petroleum Institute (API) requires valves used in petrochemical applications to pass a fire safety test. API 607 tests the resistance of soft-seated quarter-turn valves under specific fire conditions.
- Ball valve – Control a flow using a hollow ball with a bore in its center. When open, the bore lines up with the pipe and allows fluid to pass through. When the valve is closed, the solid side of the ball blocks fluid from passing.
- Bi-directional valve – Block or facilitate the flow of fluid in both directions, as in ball valves or standard butterfly valves.
- Bracket and coupler – Used to mount actuators onto valves. Depending on the specific valve and actuator designs, the brackets and couplers may be made from an extensive range of materials and vary widely in form.
- Butterfly valve – Quarter-turn valves that contain a metal disc that turns 90 degrees to allow or stop fluid flow. While open, fluid flows past the disc on either side. When closed, the disc seats tightly into a resilient seat to block flow.
- Duty cycle/cycle time – The time an actuator is active versus the amount of time it is not. Selecting the right valve/actuator combo for your application timing is critical.
- Electric actuator – Any actuator that uses an external electrical power source to power the mechanical motion required to create movement in the valve.
- Fire-safe valve – Safely contain flammable process liquids and gases when the primary valve seat burns away in a fire. Fire safe valves utilized a secondary metal seat to seal and stop flow.
- Flow – The movement of any liquid, gas, or other media within a pipeline or process piping system. Valves are used to turn flow on or off at specific points in a system.
- Fusible link valve – Fails closed as a safety measure in systems that handle combustible, flammable, or otherwise hazardous materials. When the unit reaches a preset temperature, the fusible link releases the potential energy held in a spring to close the valve and stop flow.
- L-Port – A flow configuration of a three-way valve. The ball in an L-Port valve is drilled on two sides at 90 degrees, facilitating 90-degree process flow or diverting applications.
- Limit switch – Sends a signal that provides electrical confirmation of the position of a valve. Can be used on manual valves with a mounting kit, but they are typically internal on an electric actuator or mounted on the top of pneumatically actuated valves.
- Line blind – Allows for permanent shut-off of a piping system through use of a plate and drive.
- Media – The fluid or materials that flow through a valve in a piping system.
- Modulating service – Automated valves that rely on control and feedback signals to the actuator to facilitate opening and closing, allowing very precise control of a process system’s flow rate.
- National Pipe Thread – The National Pipe Thread (NPT) is considered the U.S. standard for threaded pipes and components. Most valves in the U.S. under four inches in diameter will be sized according to NPT standards, while valves larger than four inches tend to be flanged.
- Open/close service – Basic valve automation. The valve is simply actuated to open or close as opposed to modulating service.
- Pneumatic actuator – Relies on pressure from a gas chamber to transfer energy to a rack and pinion, which then cause rotation in the valve shaft that opens or closes the valve. Pneumatic actuators are preferred in explosive environments because they mitigate the risk of sparks or fires.
- Position indicator – a visual device to show the position of a valve for a quick glance.
- Pressure – The combination of force within a given area, acting in all directions with equal power. Pressure is typically measured in pounds per square inch (PSI) in the US.
- Rack and pinion – A system in which a circular toothed gear called a pinion is used to engage a linear toothed gear called a rack. Pneumatic actuators commonly use two racks with a single pinion.
- Resilient seated valve – Refers to the valves that use a soft seat to provide a seal against a ball or disc. It is opposite of a metal seated valve that used a metal-to-metal seal.
- Namur Solenoid – An electro-mechanical accessory that provides electrical control to a pneumatic valve. It uses an industry standard interface so that it can be mounted directly to the actuator.
- Throttling valve – Any manual valve defined by discs that can be fully open, fully closed, or move to positions in between to precisely regulate the flow of media.
- T-Port – Another three-way valve configuration, a T-Port valve operates similarly to the L-Port valve (see L-Port above), but the ball is drilled all the way through on one side. This facilitates flow between either side port and the center port, or flow between the center port and both side ports simultaneously. This configuration can be used for bypass flow.
- Stem extension – Used to extend the hand wheel or actuator of a valve that is buried or difficult to reach, facilitating easier operator access.
- Valve automation – Adds a control system and actuator to the valve to allow automatic and remote input without the need for direct operator interaction. Automated valves may be pneumatic, hydraulic, or electric.
Valve and Actuator Solutions From BI-TORQ
For nearly 40 years, BI-TORQ Valve Automation has served commercial, industrial, and municipal clients in a variety of industries. Our experienced, technical-minded sales consultants and designers can help you identify the perfect automated valve solutions for your operation. For more information about BI-TORQ and the solutions we offer, please contact us today.