7 Must-Ask Questions while Selecting the Perfect Ball Valve

Industrial ball valves control the flow and ensure your industrial processes’ smooth operation and safety. They are highly durable, reliable, and easy to use. ̧

However, industries face challenges when selecting the optimal ball valve for their specific application. Let’s look at the key questions you should ask before choosing ball valves.

Also Read: Key Factors to Consider When Selecting High-Pressure Valves

Seven Essential Questions to Ask Before You Buy Industrial Ball Valves

1. What type of media will flow through the ball valve?

The nature of the fluid type (liquid, gas, or semi-solid) passing through the pipeline greatly influences the industrial valve selection. Different media have varying ike corrosive, abrasive, and viscosity. This analysis will guide engineers in selecting ball valves of ideal material to be compatible with the media to prevent leaks, damages, or malfunction properties, such as corrosive, abrasive, and viscosity. This analysis will guide engineers in selecting ball valves of the ideal material to be compatible with the media to prevent leaks, damages, or malfunctions.

2. What is the right actuation method for the ball valve?

How you actuate (close and open) valves will influence their efficiency. Therefore, it is vital to understand the various types of ball valve actuation.

There are different types of ball valve actuation, such as:

  • Pneumatic ball valve: These valves use compressed air to open and close the ball. They are ideal for applications where large opening and closing forces are required.
  • Electric ball valve: Such valves use an electric motor to open and close the ball and are highly useful where precise control is required.
  • Hydraulic ball valve: Here, a pressurized hydraulic fluid opens and closes the ball where large forces are required.
  • Manual ball valve: These valves are operated by a handle and are often used in low-pressure systems.

In this regard, you have to consider these things:

  • Frequency of operation
  • Energy availability and complexity
  • Actuation operations
  • Control and reliability

For instance, pneumatic actuators are needed for frequent and fast operations, whereas electric actuators are ideal for a reliable power supply. Similarly, hydraulic ball valves are best suited for high-pressure applications where frequent operations are needed, and manual ones are the ideal bet for low-pressure applications that require occasional manual control.

3. What are the maximum and minimum temp & pressure ratings of the fluid passing through the pipeline?

Ball valves also have temperature and pressure ratings. The minimum and maximum values indicate the temperature and pressure range of the working fluid that valves can handle.

Why is adhering to these values important?

  • High-temperature variation can cause non-uniform expansion and contraction, leading to cracks.
  • Minimum and maximum values indicate the valve’s temperature and pressure range.
  • Excessive fluid pressure can break the seal and cause premature wear, leaks, and safety hazards.
4. What are the estimated annual cycles?

The number of times you open and close the valve in a year is known as its annual cycle rating. Ball valves are rated for a specific number of cycles. Using a valve over its annual cycle rating may hamper its durability. If you use ball valves to understand their cycle requirements, they can work for tens of thousands of operations without any performance issues.

5. How are you going to use the ball valve?

Different ball valves are available on the market depending on the nature of their operation.

  • Shut-off vs. flow direction control:

Standard ball valves can completely restrict the fluid flow. However, specialized ball valves are also available if you need directional control.

  • Multi-directional flow (3-way ball valves):

Three-way ball valves offer even more control by splitting the flow from a single source to two destinations.

6. How do you choose the right material for the ball valve?

The media flowing through the valve should be compatible with the materials of the valve’s body and internal components (ball, seat). Incompatible materials can corrode or weaken the seal, leading to safety hazards or malfunctions. Consider stronger options like Monel, Inconel, or alloys containing molybdenum, chromium, or nickel for highly corrosive fluids.

7. What certifications should the valve have?

It’s imperative to select ball valves with the right certifications relevant to the fluid type and application within your facility. Depending on your application, your ball valve and its actuator might require certifications from:

  • ANSI (American National Standards Institute): verifies pressure and temperature ratings for pipe flanges for safe operations within desired limits
  • NEMA (National Electrical Manufacturers Association): sets design standards for electric ball valves for reliable performance
  • NSF International: offers guidelines for selecting ball valves in food, beverage, and pharmaceutical production facilities to safeguard public health

Also Read: How to Choose the Right Valve for your Industrial Requirement?

Looking for an ideal supplier for high-quality industrial ball valves for your specific applications?

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