Butterfly valves have become a ubiquitous component in industrial piping systems due to their versatility and economical design. Often referred to as a wafer, lug, or flanged butterfly valve depending on installation style, this type of valve provides flow control for many process applications. In this article, we will explore the advantages of butterfly valves along with common high-performance variants used in industries worldwide.
Introduce About butterfly valves
At the core of a butterfly valve is a circular disc mounted to a center shaft that rotates perpendicular to pipeline flow. In the open position, the disc lays flat allowing full flow through the valve body. Closing the valve rotates the disc 90-degrees to an off-plane position blocking flow. This straightforward design results in lower cost compared to gate or ball valves while providing effective shut-off in a compact package.
The most basic butterfly valve variant is the lug style where the valve body is sandwiched between pipeline flanges held together with bolting. This creates a low-profile “wafer” installation ideal for inserting or removing valves without disrupting piping. Flanged butterfly valves install directly onto flanges like regular fittings, offering sealing advantages for higher pressure applications.
High-performance butterfly valves
High-performance butterfly valves optimized for critical service introduce enhanced features. Triple-offset butterfly valves improve sealing ability by utilizing three offset sealing points between the disc and body instead of a single point. This prevents leakage even at high differential pressures. The offset butterfly orientation also reduces friction for lighter actuation torque requirements.
For applications handling corrosive chemicals, butterfly valves with bodies constructed entirely from exotic materials like Hastelloy, titanium or nickel alloys provide superior corrosion resistance. Liner kits allow standard valves to compensate for pipeline erosion. Fully-lined valves equipped with replaceable linings offer a more cost-effective solution than full exotic construction.
Butterfly valves serve virtually all major process industries.
Oil and gas pipelines employ heavy-duty versions rated for high-temperature and high-pressure services. Power plants rely on large butterfly valves to direct steam or water flows for turbine and cooling systems. Municipal water treatment uses corrosion-resistant models. Chemical plants demand tight-shutoff valves suited for accurately metering slurries and viscous substances.
Selecting the proper butterfly valve design requires considering application variables such as pressure rating, temperature exposure, media compatibility, expected cycle life, actuation method and installation space constraints. With a dizzying array of materials, trim components and customization options available, manufacturers work closely with end users to arrive at precisely specified butterfly valves optimized for even the most demanding conditions.
Butterfly valves have earned their prominent role in industrial flow control
Thanks to flexible designs that deliver economical yet robust solutions. Whether basic wafer valves or advanced high-performance variants, their modular nature accommodates wide-ranging specifications. Superior sealing, corrosion resistance, pressure capabilities and versatility make butterfly valves an go-to choice across major process industries worldwide. Continued engineering refinements promise to extend their application range even further.
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