Understanding Different Types of Valves: A Guide for Engineers

Type of Valve

In engineering and fluid control systems, understanding the various types of valves is essential for ensuring efficient and precise regulation of fluids. 

Valves play a pivotal role in ensuring the controlled movement of fluids, making them indispensable tools for engineers. This guide serves as a beacon of knowledge, illuminating the vast landscape of valves and their multifaceted functions. 

As engineers, who play a role in process design and instrumentation, comprehending the intricacies of these essential components is mandatory, allowing us to properly scheming and overseeing systems with unrivalled efficiency and reliability. Without further ado, read the full explanation below!

What Are Valves and How Do They Work?

Valves are integral components in engineering and industry, acting as the traffic controllers of fluids, whether liquids, gases, or even powders. Imagine them as the essential gatekeepers, interminably managing the flow of substances within pipelines and systems. 

Their primary function is to either permit or restrict the passage of fluids, with varying degrees of control in between. The operation of valves is relatively straightforward. They work by opening and closing to regulate the flow of fluids. 

When a valve is open, it allows the fluid to pass through freely; when it’s closed, it blocks the flow entirely. This simple on-off mechanism is the foundation, but many valves offer more nuanced control. Some valves can partially open or modulate to adjust the flow rate, providing precise fluid volume management.

Valves come in various types, each built to specific applications. For instance, gate valves are steady and typically used for fully opening or closing the flow. In contrast, globe valves offer fine-tuned control over flow rate and pressure. 

Understanding the unique characteristics and functions of various valve types is crucial for engineers and operators, as it allows them to select the suitable valve for the job, ensuring the efficient and reliable operation of systems and processes.

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Valve Opening Methods

Even though they have similar goals, their opening methods may vary. The way a valve opens and closes its disc determines how quickly the valve can operate and how much control you have over the flow.

According to the opening methods, valves are divided into three categories:

  • Multi-turn valves: These valves are like a piston. If you move the handle, then the plate, plug, or membrane will move into the path of the pipe to block access. Depending on the valves, these can have lower or higher differentials, allowing you to open or close them at different speeds.
  • Quarter-turn valves: These kinds of valves offer complete motion with just a 90-degree turn of the handle, making them perfect for situations where quick and effortless opening or closing is more crucial than precise control.

In addition to the mechanical motion of a valve, it’s essential to consider the actuation method. Generally, valves are divided into three main categories in most instances:

  • Manual valves: These valves are controlled by hand, so they use hand levels, handwheels, chains, or gear wheels.
  • Actuated valves: These valves are usually connected to hydraulic systems, electric motors, or pneumatic systems. This type of valve allows automation for large-scale or high-precision applications.
  • Automatic valves: Some valves are triggered when a specific flow condition is fulfilled. For example, check valves can close automatically during backflow, and pressure relief valves activate upon detecting an over-pressure situation.

10 Common Types Of Valves and Their Operations

Let’s delve into the ten common types of valves used in piping and gain a deeper understanding of how each one operates.

1. Gate Valve

Gate Valve
Source: Contromatic.co.id

The most commonly-used type of valve is gate valve. Gate valves work by using a flat or wedge-shaped gate that moves up and down to control the flow of fluids. When the gate is lifted, it creates a clear passage for the fluid, allowing it to flow freely. Lowering the gate shuts off the flow by blocking the path entirely. Gate valves are often used in applications where there is a need for full flow or complete shutoff.

In industrial contexts, such as those in Contromatic, forged steel gate valves from reputable manufacturers like Bonney Forge are often preferred due to their durability, resistance to high pressures and temperatures, and reliable performance, ensuring the efficient and safe regulation of fluids in demanding environments.

2. Check Valve

Check Valve
Source: Contromatic.co.id

Check valves function as one-way valves, allowing fluid to flow in only one direction. They operate automatically, opening when fluid flows in the correct direction and closing when there is an attempt at reverse flow. 

This ensures that the fluid moves in the intended direction without any backflow. If you need robust check valves, try using the steel check valves offered by Bonney Forge. Its resistance to various fluids does not prevent steel check valves from working optimally.

3. Bypass Valve

Bypass Valve
Source: Contromatic.co.id

Bypass valves provide an alternate route for fluid within a system by diverting a portion of the flow. Operators can divert or regulate the flow by adjusting the valve, offering flexibility for system maintenance and adjustments. 

These valves are essential for managing the flow in complex systems effectively. Furthermore, the bypass valve usually has the same features as the control valve, in terms of valve and seat.

4. Pinch Valve

Pinch Valve
Source: Contromatic.co.id

Pinch valves control the flow of fluids by pinching or squeezing a flexible tube. When the tube is compressed, it closes off the passage, stopping the flow. Releasing the tube allows the fluid to pass through again. These valves are particularly useful when handling abrasive or corrosive fluids. 

Pinch valve usually applied for medium fluid which is abrasive, corrosive or granular. These valves are cost-effective, reliable, and easy to use, making them desirable in various industrial applications. If you all wanna take a look more for what we have, kindly seek our Flowrox Pinch Valve.

5. Ball Valve

Ball Valve
Source: Contromatic.co.id

Ball valve is typically a shut off valve that controls the flow of a liquid or gas by rotating the ball a quarter turn (90 degrees) around its axis, the medium can flow through or is blocked. When the bore aligns with the pipe, fluid can pass through; when the ball is turned perpendicular, it blocks the flow completely. 

Ball valves are designed to meet the requirements of the process industries with improved process safety and efficiency. Contromatic as the sole agent of ValmetTM could introduce you to our wide range of ball valves.

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6. Globe Valve

Globe Valve
Source: Contromatic.co.id

Globe valves have a globe-shaped body with a plug or disc that moves up and down to regulate flow. When the plug is raised, the flow path opens, allowing fluid to pass. Lowering the plug restricts the flow, providing precise control over flow rate and pressure. Globe valves are often preferred in applications where accuracy is crucial. 

For those seeking reliable and robust steel globe valves, Bonney Forge offers a range of high-quality options available through Contromatic. These valves from Bonney Forge are engineered to withstand extreme conditions and ensure long-lasting performance in critical industrial processes, making them a trusted choice for fluid control solutions.

7. Plug Valve

Plug Valve
Source: Contromatic.co.id

Plug valves operate using a cylindrical or tapered plug that can be rotated to control flow. When the plug aligns with the pipe, fluid flows freely, and when it’s turned to block the path, the flow is stopped. These versatile valves are commonly used in chemical and petrochemical industries.

8. Butterfly Valve

Butterfly Valve
Source: Contromatic.co.id

Butterfly valves are kind of quarter-turn rotational motion valves that are used in pipelines to shut-off flow. Butterfly valves employ a circular disc, often referred to as the butterfly, which rotates to control the flow. 

When the disc is parallel to the pipe, fluid flows easily. Rotating the disc perpendicular to the pipe blocks the flow. These valves are lightweight and are particularly suitable for applications with high flow rates.

9. Solenoid Valve

Solenoid Valve
Source: Contromatic.co.id

Solenoid valves are electromechanical devices that use an electric current to control the opening and closing of the valve. When an electrical signal is applied, it activates a solenoid, which in turn either opens or closes the valve. 

The specific purpose of a solenoid valve is expressed by its circuit function. Solenoid valves are commonly used in automation and control systems, offering precise and rapid control over fluid flow. The product range we could offer is ASCO Emerson the worldwide leader in the design and manufacture of quality solenoid valves.

10. Diaphragm Valve

Diaphragm Valve
Source: Contromatic.co.id

Diaphragm valves use a flexible diaphragm to regulate flow. When the diaphragm flexes, it either seals off the passage, blocking the flow, or allows fluid to pass through. These valves are ideal for applications where minimizing fluid contact with valve components is essential, making them suitable for use in industries such as pharmaceuticals and food processing.

If you search for different types of valves to meet your engineering needs, look no further than Contromatic. We offer a range of exceptional valve solutions, including those from Bonney Forge and Smith, renowned for their reliability and effectiveness in diverse industries. 

Whether your project demands precision, durability, or versatility, Contromatic has valve solutions that can elevate your engineering endeavours to the highest standards of excellence. Visit our website today and discover the valve solutions that will take your systems to the next level. Don’t compromise on quality; choose Contromatic for all your valve requirements!

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  • https://www.theengineerspost.com/flow-control-valves/
  • https://www.linquip.com/blog/control-valve-parts/
  • https://www.emerson.com/documents/automation/control-valve-handbook-en-3661206.pdf
  • https://www.unifiedalloys.com/blog/valves-101

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