Valve Selection
Valves isolate, switch, and control fluid
flow in piping systems.
Can be operated manually (using levers
or gear operators) or remotely (using
electric, pneumatic, electro-pneumatic,
and electro-hydraulic powered actuators).
Manual valves are usually used only if
they will be operated infrequently or no
power source is available.
Basic Valve Types
Isolation valves: on/off valves
Typically operated as fully open or fully closed
Designed to have a tight reliable seal during shut-off
and minimal flow restriction when open
Switching valves: converge or divert flow in a
piping system
Control valves: used to modulate flow (i.e.,
vary flow by opening or closing by a certain
Isolation Valves
Ball valve
a ball with a hole through
one diameter that can be
rotated to align with the
flow or block it
They provide quick, tight
shutoff, high capacity,
and require only a ¼ turn
to operate
Can be actuated with
pneumatic and electric
Isolation Valves
Plug valve
Similar to a ball valve except that a cylinder
is used instead of a sphere
More expensive but more rugged than a ball
Require more torque to turn but still easy to
Can be used as a three-way valve, too
Isolation Valves
Butterfly valves
Can be used for both general
and severe applications
Liners help to provide tight
The most economical valves per
comparable capacity and easily
actuated with pneumatic and
electric actuators
Isolation Valves
Diaphragm valves
Very simple
Plunger and handwheel often used to apply
pressure to diaphragm to form seal; may be
actuated pneumatically and electrically
Often used for corrosive, slurry, and sanitary
Isolation Valves
Float valves
Control liquid level and prevent tank overfilling
Operated mechanically by a float that rests on top of
the liquid; as the level rises, it pushes the float up
and closes the valve
Gate valves
A sliding disk slides up and down in and out of the
Good for high pressure drop and high temperature
applications where operation is infrequent
Manual operation or else multi-turn electric
actuators are most common
Isolation Valves
Globe valves
A conical plug moves in and out of the fluid
Can be used for shutoff as well as throttling (flow
restriction to cause a drop in pressure) in high
pressure drop and temperature applications
Available in globe, angle, and y-patterns
Manual operation or else multi-turn electric
actuators are most common
Easier to repair but more pressure drop than a gate
or plug valve
See Figure 2-32 in Burmeister.
Isolation Valves
Solenoid valve
Electrically operated
Valve plug is held in place by a spring
When power is applied, the current draw
through the coil generates an
electromagnetic force that opposes the
spring and changes the plug position.
When power is taken away, the spring
returns the plug to its normal position
Switching Valves
Converge and divert flow in a piping
Usually 3-way valves used because they
can take the place of 2 2-way valves
3-way valves are usually ball, plug, or
globe design
2 butterfly valves mounted on a pipe tee
will also work and is cost-effective for
large pipes
Control valves
Valves listed earlier can be used to modulate
flow, but some work better than others
Diaphragm valves work well to throttle flow
Proportional solenoid valves are economical
Reciprocating globe valves, are rugged,
expensive, and very accurate (<2% accuracy).
They can be noisy.
Rotary globe valves
similar to reciprocating but with more capacity and
greater possible turndown
Low cost and good accuracy makes them a
common choice for flow control
Other valve types
Many other valve types are out there to fit
specific applications. For example:
Steam traps
Pressure-relief valves
Capillary tubes
Thermostatic expansion valve
Pressure/Temperature Rating
Manufacturers should list the pressure and
temperature ratings for their valves.
Ratings will be unique to the specific valve materials,
including the type of seal and end connections.
Plastic is good for low-pressure applications where
corrosion may be a concern.
Brass and bronze are also quite resistant to corrosion
Iron is cheap but must be coated or lined if corrosive
fluids are used.
Carbon steel and stainless steel are also used.
Plastic seals aren’t as good as elastomeric (rubbers)
but are better for harsh chemicals
End Connections
Threaded ends are cheap but can be
stripped and leak; use these where this
isn’t a worry
Welded ends provide no leaks and are
cheap initially, but if there are problems
the valve must be cut out.
Flanged ends are the most expensive but
are the best from an installation and
removal standpoint.
Valve Standards
ANSI – American National Standards Institute
API – American Petroleum Institute
ASME – American Society of Mechanical
AWWA – American Water Works Association
MAA – Manufacturers Standardization Society
of the Valves and Fittings Industry
BSI – British Standards Institution
Loss Coefficients
Head loss
You can find values of K in Hodge and Taylor
pp 14-18 (in your course packet).

32.174 (English)

ft lb
lb s
m kg
N s
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