A ball valve is used to control the flow of a liquid through a pipe. It consists of a spherical shaped stopper that has a hollow section running through it. It can be turned a quarter way and back. When the hollow is parallel to the pipe, the liquid flows through, when the hollow is turned 90 degrees to the pipe, it is blocked and no liquid runs through. One of the most common applications of ball valves is in water taps. The ball is controlled by a handle on top of the valve, which protrudes outside the pipe. This is used to turn the tap on and off. There are three main types of ball valves.
This is a kid of ball valve in which the hollow section or bore is the same size as the pipe in diameter. This means that the ball is housed in an expanded section, which is larger than the pipe itself. When this ball is turned, the liquid flows through in the same volume as it does in the pipe. This means that there is little turbulence since the valve allows for a full flow of the liquid. However, it is expensive since the housing is bigger than the pipe, so it is built separately then screwed onto the pipe.
In this valve, the bore is smaller in diameter than the pipe. It thus allows for only part of the liquid flowing in the pipe to get through. This causes turbulence and friction as the liquid gets through. As a result, it increases the velocity of the liquid as pressure mounts on the bore. It is cheaper, since it can be built into the pipe without any external protrusion.
This kind of valve has a v-shaped bore instead of a cylindrical one. This means that if the valve is partly open, the liquid gets through one corner of the V. In this way, the flow amount is efficiently controlled. It also has the effect of the reduced bore, since the reduced space increases the velocity of the liquid. It is quite useful where controlling the liquid flow is a priority.
Advantages of the Ball Valve
The ball maintains its shape thus it can be used for a long time with little maintenance. Even if it is not used for some time, it still remains efficient when reused. This makes it a reliable and durable valve type.
One of the main disadvantages is that a liquid like water tends to expand in freezing conditions. This results in the water held around the edges of the ball expanding, thus damaging it.
The ball valve is one of the most efficient and reliable liquid flow control mechanisms. It has three main types, the full bore, reduced bore and v-port. The full bore allows the liquid to flow through with no turbulence, but requires a housing larger than the pipe. The reduced bore causes turbulence and increases liquid velocity. The V-port is quite useful when the flow of liquid needs to be varied.