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Valves have existed for a very long time now and used in various industries. The valve got invented when the need to start and stop fluid flow arisen. Today valves are used to stop/ control flow in t he pipelines for solid, liquid and gaseous states. The major use of valves is in chemical process industries, power plants, cross-country pipelines, oil and gas installations, pharmaceutical industries and sewage system. All the valves are designed to control the flow. However some throttle the flow, while others perform on-off duties. The valve can be operated manually, remotely or automatically. They come in a variety of materials ranging from steels to exotic alloys, non-ferrous metals, plastics, glass and ceramic. Selecting right type of valve for the duty as well as cost effective design, is an involved process. This article reviews the different types of valves commonly used in industries and factors to be considered while selecting the most appropriate and cost effective valve for the duty. Material of construction and various design standards concerning valves and piping system receive specific attention.


Manual valves may be grouped according to the way the closure member moves onto the seat. Accordingly valves have been divided into 4 groups. Closing down valves Slide Valves Rotary valves Flex body valves Non Return Valves : : : : : A stopper like closure member is moved to and from the seat in the direction of seat axis. A gate like closure member is moved across the flow passage. A plug or disc or ball like closure member is rotated within the flow passage, around an axis normal to the flow stream. The closure member flexes the valve body. These valves automatically open with forward flow and closes with reverse flow.

Each valve group represents a number of distinct types of valves, which use the same method of flow regulation, but differ in the shape of the closure member.

The following valves come under each category. Closing Down Valves : Globe Valve Standard Pattern Angle Pattern Oblique Pattern Flush Bottom Three Way Piston Valve Needle valve Sliding Valves: Wedge Gate Valve Wedge gate with plain hollow wedge Wedge gate with plain solid wedge Wedge gate with flexible wedge Wedge gate with two piece wedge Parallel gate valve Converging diverging flow passage Knife gate Conduit gate Rotary Valve : Plug Valve: Lubricated tapered) plug (cylindrical/ Standard Pattern Flush Bottom

Non lubricated plug (Cylindrical/ Tapered) Two port/ Multi port valve Ball Valve Full Bore/ Reduced bore Floating Ball/ Trunion supported ball Two port/ Multi Port design Butterfly valve Wafer type/ Lug type/ Flanged Swing thru disc/ angle seated disc/ step seated disc Non eccentric/ double eccentric/ triple eccentric disc Flex Body Valves : Pinch Valve Diaphragm Valve Open/ enclosed type Weir type Straight through Self Draining

Non Return Valves :

Lift Check

Piston type disc Angle pattern Piston type disc Ball type Lift check with stop valve

Swing check

Plain disc Tilt disc Double disc

Diaphragm check



The majority of valves used in industry are one of the four i.e. gate, globe, quarter turn (plug, ball, butterfly) and check valves. However other kinds of valves are used for specific applications. All the valves consist of the same basic components. The body contains the fluids, which moves along the flow path of the valve. The movement of the fluid is manipulated by a device, such as disc, plate, and ball, which is inserted into the flow path. A stem moves the flow-changing device with either linear or rotary motion. All the joints of the valve are sealed with suitable seals to prevent external leakage.


Gate Valve
A gate valve consists of a body and an internal wedged shaped plate. When the valve is closed, the plate is wedged between the seats, totally blocking the flow. In the open position the plate is completely removed from the flow path. Gate valves are used exclusively for on-off operation where opening up or shutting off the flow is relatively infrequent. Gate valves have two sealing surfaces, one of each side of the gate. In the closed position, the seals traps liquid in a cavity bounded by the body and two sealing surfaces. If liquid temperature rises, the fluid will expand and its pressure will increase. If not vented, the liquid will leak internally or externally. To avoid such leakage, manufacturers make a positive vent, a small drilled hole in the upstream seat. Such vents make valve a one way valve. The one way flow direction of the valve must be marked on its exterior to prevent installation in the wrong direction. A variation of the gate valve, the knife gate, employs a gate with a flat leading edge rather than a tapered one. With no wedging action to provide a tight seal, flexible elastomeric or plastic sealing surfaces must be used. One more variety is parallel slide valve. In parallel slide gate valve, the shape of the closure is not wedge shaped but parallel. These valves offer low resistance to flow. These are generally used in high-pressure application. Application: Duty: Stopping and starting flow Infrequent operation Service: Gases and Liquids Fluids with solids in suspension (Parallel slide) Slurries, fibres, powders, granules (Knife gate)

Vacuum and Cryogenic


Globe Valve
Globe valve achieves the same level of tightness as a gate valve and can be used for shut-off conditions. However globe valves are mainly used for throttling flow. The flow changing component or plug of a globe valve has a circular cross-section but its overall shape ranges from conical to cylindrical or a variety of other forms. It engages a circular seat, which can be of the same or a different alloy. Each plug shape produces unique flow characteristics which generates volumetric change in the flow relative to the amount the valve is open. Rather than having a plug, true flow control valves utilise a cage composed of several pieces that move relative to one another. Such devices also reduce noise during pressure let down. Application: Duty: Controlling flow Stopping and Starting flow Frequent valve operation Service: Gases and Liquids essentially free of solids Vacuum Cryogenic


Piston Valve
Piston valves are closing down type valves in which piston shaped closure member intrudes into or withdraws from the seat bore. In these valves seat seal is achieved between the lateral faces of the piston and the seat bore. When the valve is being opened, flow can not start until the piston has been completely withdrawn from the seat bore. When the valve is being closed, the piston tends to wipe away any solids, which might have deposited themselves on the seat. Piston valve may thus handle fluids having solid in suspension. In case of damage to the seating, the seat and the piston can be replaced in situ. Like globe valve, piston valve also offers good flow control. If sensitive flow control is desired, piston may be fitted with needle shaped extension. Application: Duty: Controlling flow Stopping and Starting flow Service: Gases and Liquids Fluids with solids in suspension Vacuum


Check Valves
Check valves (non-return valve) are used in piping system to prevent back flow. The seal element of a check valve takes many shapes; all of them designed to be completely out of flow path during normal operation and to immediately stop flow when back flow pushes the

element closed. The most common sealing elements are swing, poppet and ball. In absence of flow, check valve should shut by itself. To achieve this valve must be oriented so gravity forces the sealing element to close position e.g. swing check valve has sealing surface slightly inclined to be horizontal so when it is mounted in horizontal pipe, and when insufficient flow condition occurs, the element pushes against seat due to gravity swing and ball type valves can be used in horizontal or vertical pipe (when flow is upwards) whereas poppet type valve can only be mounted in horizontal pipe. Double disc check valve is another type, which is very commonly used. These type of valves works with low pressure and flow. The closing of this type of valve is with the help of springs. Springs are added to all types of check valves to assist in closing. However the trade off needs to be done between stronger spring generating higher force during close position viz. a viz. more fluid pressure is required to open it and larger pressure drop. This plays an important role in low-pressure application. Another type of check valve is stop check. It is a globe valve whose stem is not attached to the plug. When steam is turned fully inward, it pushes a plug against the seat, creating a closed globe valve, but when the stem retracts, the plug is free to rise out of the flow path. Back flow also pushes the plug against the seat, resulting in check valve behaviour.


Ball Valve/ Plug Valve

Ball valves and plug valves are quarter turn valves. The cylindrically shaped plug or ball has a hole or a port, through which the fluid passes. Turning the plug or ball by 90 oC will stop the flow. Small diameter ball valves have a floating ball so the downstream seat becomes the main seal. Larger ball valves have a trunion-mounted ball and the seats are spring loaded to move them into contract with the ball. Sealing the movable seats requires elastomeric O rings which must compatible with the fluid. Ball valves and plug valves come in full port as well as reduced port. In most of the applications reduced port valves are acceptable. Ball and plug valves also trap a volume of liquid when closed. Plug valve relieves pressure through a small hole drilled on the upstream side of the closed port. Some ball valves use self-relieving seats, while some incorporates a small hole in the ball or seat. Again pressure-relieving design makes valve unidirectional and it is a must to mark flow direction. Most of the ball valves are having soft seating materials like plastic - PTFE seats are very common but they can be used only upto 175 oC. In case temperature condition is above 175 oC, valve should have metal or graphite seals. Ball and plug valves are also available in more than two port designs. They are used for flow diversions. In plug and ball valve, seats and packing made of polymeric material such as PTFE can electrically insulate the plug and the valve stem from the valve body. Under this condition, friction due to flowing fluid can produce a spark. If the fluid handled by valve is flammable, the valve must be provided with an antistatic device, which achieves electrical continuity between plug/ ball, stem and the valve body. Plug/ Ball valves handling a flammable fluids are required to remain essentially fluid tight in a fire even after full disintegration of all polymeric seals. To achieve this, valves are provided with emergency seat seals. These consist normally of a sharp edged or chamfered secondary metal seat in close proximity to the ball/ plug so that it can float against the metal seat after soft seating rings have disintegrated.

Application: Duty: Stopping and starting flow Moderate throttling Flow diversion Service: Gases and Liquids Non abrasive slurries Vacuum Abrasive slurries (Lubricated plug valve) Sticky fluids (eccentric and lift plug valves) Sanitary service in Pharma and food industry (Plug valves) Cryogenic (Ball valve)


Butterfly Valves
An alternate to g ate valve for an on-off service is butterfly valve. Again these valves are quarter turn valves. These valves have wafer, wafer-lug or flanged design. The major advantage of using this valve for on-off duty is its compact design and less weight making it very cost effective. Butterfly valve of wafer type sandwiches between the standard flanges. The valve has a circular disc, which blocks the flow path when it is at 90o to the flow. When it is turned parallel to the flow, it is in fully open condition. All recent designs off set the axis of the disc in both two and three dimensions called double and triple offset. These valves close with less relative motion and thus produce less wear to the disc and seat. Butterfly valves are normally restricted to pressure class 150 # and 300 #. Application: Duty: Stopping and starting flow Controlling flow Service: Gases, Liquids Slurries, Powders, Granules Sanitary handling for Pharma and food industry Vacuum


The method by which the closure member regulates the flow and the configuration of the flow path through the valve impart a certain flow characteristic to the valve, which is taken into account when selecting a valve for a given duty condition.


Valves For Stopping And Starting Flow

These valves are selected for low resistance. Such valves are slide valves, rotary valves and flex body valves. Closings down valves are not used as they offer higher flow resistance.


Valves For Control Of Flow Rate

These valves are selected for easy adjustment of the flow rate. Closing down valves are the most suitable valves. Rotary and flex body valves also offer good throttling control, but only over a restricted valve opening range.


Valves For Diverting Flow

These valves have three or more ports depending on the flow diversion requirement. Valve which can be used for such duty are ball and plug valves.


Valves For Fluids With Solids In Suspension

If fluid carries solids in suspension, the best valve should have a closure member, which slides, across the seat with a wiping motion. Knife gate is one such type.


Valve End Connections

Valve shall be provided with the end connection suitable for the connected piping or equipment. Most common end connections are threaded, butt welded, socket welded, flanged. Normally following end connections are recommended, Gate Valve, Globe valve, Check Valve, Piston Valve, Ball Valve, Plug Valve: Carbon steel: Upto 1 Socket weld, Screwed (If required for instrument connection) 2 and above Stainless Steel Upto 1 2 and above Flanged, Butt-welded (For high pressure) Butt welded or Flanged, Screwed (If required for instrument connection) Flanged, Butt-welded (For high pressure) Note: Soft seated valves like ball and plug valves, when specified with socket weld or butt weld ends, the same shall be procured with factory fitted100 mm long pipe/ nipples welded on either side. This is required to prevent damage to soft seat during welding at site. Butterfly valves, duel plate check valves: They are generally procured as wafer type, which can be sandwiched between two flanges. However in case of large diameter or end of line application, the same shall be procured as lug type so that valve remains in position when one side flange is removed. Flanged end connections are used when it is to be directly mounted to equipment.


Valve Rating
The rating of the valve depends upon the pressure temperature combination it is subjected to. ASME, BS and other country standards specify the valve rating for various conditions. Generally flanged valve rating is set based on standard flange rating. The welding end valves rating also correspond to rating of flanges. In case where plastic/ rubber or any soft material is used as one of the components of the valve, its pressure temperature rating gets limited to the materials temperature limitation. Hence in valves like ball and plug it is important to specify pressure temperature condition.


Valve Seating
Valve seating is the most important thing in valve design. Seating are the portion of the seat and closure member, which contact each other for closure. Seating materials are selected for

the resistance to erosion, corrosion and abrasion. Generally three types of seating are provided: Metal seating: The list of seating materials and their combinations frequently used in steel valve are available in API 600. This type of seating is very common in gate, globe, check valves The leakage passage between metal seating can be closed by injecting sealant in between after valve is closed. Lubricated plug valve is one of the example of this One or both seating surfaces consist of soft material like plastic or rubber. It provided high degree of tightness. But the limitation is it can not be used above certain temperature. Ball, Plug and Butterfly valve are common examples of soft seated valves.

Sealing with Sealant

Soft seating:


Valve Leakage Criterion

The maximum permissible leakage for the application is known as leakage criterion. API 598 to be referred to for leakage criteria for manual valve. Leakage criteria shall be observed when specifically asked by process.


Valves Standards
Refer to Annxure 1 for commonly used valve standards.


Valve Selection Chart

This chart can be used for selection of valve for the duty condition. The MOC of the valve shall be based on the fluid it is subject to, pressure temperature conditions. The seating material shall be based on above guidelines. The best approach is to consult vendor catalogue for selection, however selection of material is solely responsibility of the buyer based on fluid properties and condition. The selection requires knowledge of available valve types, their variations, cost, past performance of vendor etc.

Valve Selection Chart

Valve Group Closing Down Globe : Straight Pattern Angle Pattern Oblique Pattern Multipurpose Pattern Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Special Special Special Special Type Mode of Flow Regulation On-Off Throttling Diverting Free of Solids Fluid Solids in Suspension non-abrasive Abrasive Sticky Sanitary

Piston Sliding Parallel Gate : Conventional Conduit Gate Knife

Yes Yes Yes Special

Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

Wedge Gate : With bottom cavity Without bottom (rubber sealed) cavity Yes Yes Moderate Yes Yes Yes

Valve Selection Chart

Valve Group Rotating Plug : Ball Butterfly Flexing Pinch Diaphragm : Weir Type Straight-through Non-lubricated Lubricated Eccentric Plug Lift Plug Type

Mode of Flow Regulation On-Off Throttling Diverting Free of Solids

Fluid Solids in Suspension non-abrasive Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Abrasive Sticky Sanitary

Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

Moderate Moderate

Yes Yes Yes

Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes


Moderate Yes Yes Yes Moderate

Yes Special Special


Valve body and trim material shall be specified based on the fluid properties and pressure/ temperature rating. Generally valves are available in following material of construction. Metal valves: Small bore valves: Large bore valves: Small bore valves: Forged carbon steel stainless steel, Alloy steel Cast carbon steel, stainless steel, Alloy steel Bronze, brass, gunmetal etc.

Small/ Large bore valves: Cast Iron Non Metallic valves: Small/ Large bore valves: Plastics: PP, PVDF, PVC Glass Lined: Glass Lined, PTFE lined, PVDF lined, PP Lined, Rubber Lined Ceramic

Acknowledgement: Valve selection Handbook Chemical Engineering Journal Hydrocarbon processing journal By R. W. Zappe

Piping Handbook By Sabin Crocker


ANSI B16.10 ANSI B16.25 ANSI B16.33 ANSI B16.34 ANSI B16.38 API STD 593 API STD 604 API STD 606 API SPEC 6D API RP 6F API STD 595 API STD 598 API STD 599 API STD 600 API STD 602 API STD 607 API STD 609 AWWA C500 AWWA C504 MSS-SP-42 MSS-SP-45 MSS-SP-61 MSS-SP-67 MSS-SP-68 MSS-SP-70 MSS-SP-71 Face To Face And End To End Dimensions Of Ferrous Valves Buttwelding Ends Small Manually Operated Metallic Gas Valves For Gas Distribution Systems Steel Valves, Flanged And Butt Welding End Large Manually Operated Metallic Gas Valves For Gas Distribution Systems Ductile Iron Plug Valves, Flanged Ends Ductile Iron Gate Valves, Flanged Ends Compact Carbon Steel Gate Valves (Extended Body) Specification For Pipeline Valves, End Closure, Connectors and Swivels Fire Test For Valves Cast Iron Gate Valves, Flanged Ends Valve Inspection and Test Steel Plug Valves, Flanged or Butt-Welding Ends Steel Gate Valves, Flanged or Butt-Welding Ends Compact Carbon Steel Gate Valves Fire Test For Soft Seated Butterfly Valves, Lug Type And Wafer Type Gate Valve, 3 Inch Through 48 Inch for Water and Sewage System Rubber Seated Butterfly Valves Class 150 Corrosion Resistant Gate, Globe Bypass and Drain Connection Standard Pressure Testing Of Steel Valves Butterfly Valves High Pressure Offset Seat Butterfly Valves Cast Iron Gate Valves, Flanged and Threaded Ends Cast Iron Swing Check Valves, Flanged And Threaded Ends

MSS-SP-72 MSS-SP-73 MSS-SP-78 MSS-SP-80 MSS-SP-82 MSS-SP-84 MSS-SP-85 MSS-SP-88 MSS-SP-91 MSS-SP-92 MSS-SP-96 MSS-SP-98 BS-10 BS 1414 BS 1868 BS 1873 BS 1952 BS 1953 BS 2080

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BS 3952 BS 4090 BS 5150 BS 5151 BS 5152 BS 5153

BS 5154 BS 5155 BS 5156 BS 5157 BS 5158 BS 5159 BS 5160 BS 5163 BS 5353 BS 5417 BS 5351 BS 5352 BS 6755 IS 778

Copper Alloy Globe, Globe Stop And Check, Check And Gate Valves (Including Parallel Slide Type) For General Purposes Cast Iron And Carbon Steel Butterfly Valves For General Purpose Screw Down Diaphragm Valves For General Purposes Steel Parallel Slide Gate Valves For General Purposes Cast Iron And Cast Steel Plug Valves For General Purposes Cast Iron Carbon Steel Ball Valves For General Purpose Specification For Flanges Steel Globe Valves, Globe Stop And Check Valves, And Lift Tupe Check Calves For General Purposes Double Flanged Cast Iron Wedge Gate Valves For Water Works Purposes Specification For Plug Valves Testing Of General Purposes Industrial Valves Steel Ball Valves For The Petroleum, Petrochemical And Allied Industries Steel Wedge Gate, Globe And Check Valves 50 Mm And Smaller For The Petroleum, Petrochemical And Allied Industries Inspection And Testing Of Steel Valves For The Petroleum, Petrochemical And Allied Industries Specification For Copper Alloy Gate, Globe And Check Valves For Water Works Purposes