Industrial Expert Explain You About Ball Valves

Aug 10, 2023 | News

Ball valves are a type of valve used to control the flow of liquids, gases, and slurries in a piping system. They consist of a hollow, perforated ball that sits inside a valve body. When the valve handle is turned to open the valve, the ball rotates so that the hole becomes aligned with the inlet and outlet ports, allowing fluid to flow through. When closed, the hole becomes perpendicular to the ports, blocking flow. Ball valves are used in many industrial applications thanks to their efficient on/off control, full bore design, and tight sealing capabilities.

There are a few main types of ball valves, including full bore, reduced bore, trunnion mounted, floating ball, and top entry. They come in sizes ranging from 1/8″ to 72″ and pressure classes from 150 to 4500 psi. Ball valve bodies are made from materials like brass, stainless steel, carbon steel, and other alloys for corrosion resistance. Seats and seals are usually teflon, nylon, delrin, viton, or other elastomers.

EX900 Series Ball Type Joint 1

China Ball Valves

China has become one of the world’s largest manufacturers and exporters of industrial valves and piping components. This includes a full range of ball valves in carbon steel, stainless steel, bronze, brass, aluminum, cast iron, and other materials. There are over 5000 valve and pipe fitting factories throughout China producing these products.

The main benefits of China ball valves include:

  1. Price – Labor costs are lower in China, so pricing is very competitive. Valves can be 20-50% cheaper than European and American brands.
  2. Custom options – Chinese factories are willing to customize valves to your exact requirements. This includes non-standard materials and dimensions.
  3. Range of types – Chinese factories make every type of ball valve such as standard port, full port, reduced port, flanged, threaded, high pressure, cryogenic, aseptic, and more.
  4. International standards – Many manufacturers comply with API, ANSI, BS, DIN, and other standards and can provide the required certification.
  5. Large production capacity – Highly efficient factories can produce huge volumes of valves to suit large projects and bulk orders.

When sourcing from China, it’s recommended to use an established manufacturer who can provide quality and performance guarantees. There are some low quality valves on the market, so purchasing through a trusted supply chain is key.

Ball Check Valves From China Market

A ball check valve is a specialized type of check valve which uses a ball to block reverse flow. It acts similar to swing check valves with the added benefit of full bore and minimal pressure loss. Ball check valves consist of a free floating ball inside which sits on a seat when flow stops. Flow entering the valve lifts the ball off the seat and holds it against a stop. If flow tries to reverse, the ball is pushed onto the seat, closing the valve. This prevents backflow without the use of springs or moving parts.

Key benefits of ball check valves include:

  1. Full bore design – The ball retracts to the side during forward flow, leaving the entire pipe bore open. This reduces pressure loss compared to other check valves.
  2. Straightforward operation – There are no flappers, springs, or moving parts. The ball simply seats and unseats automatically based on flow.
  3. Tight sealing – The spherical ball provides a complete seal when fully seated on the valve body. This prevents leaks.
  4. Low maintenance – Without springs and moving parts, these valves require very little maintenance.
  5. Compact design – Ball check valves fit into tight spaces and have a small footprint compared to swing and lift checks.
  6. Low slam and surging – The ball closes more gently than a swing check, reducing water hammer.

Ball check valves are commonly used in water systems, chemical handling, HVAC, steam lines, and other non-critical backflow protection applications. They come in sizes from 1/4″ to 12″ NPS in steel, brass, plastic, and stainless steel. Always follow the pressure and temperature limits when selecting these valves.

Ball Valves As Brass Materials

Brass ball valves offer excellent corrosion resistance, machinability, and strength. The main types of brass alloys used include:

  1. 85-5-5-5 brass: 85% copper, 5% zinc, 5% lead, 5% tin – The most common and inexpensive brass for ball valves. Good strength and corrosion resistance. The lead improves machinability.
  2. Ecos brass: 99% copper, 1% silicon – A more eco-friendly lead-free brass alloy that machines well. It offers excellent corrosion resistance.
  3. 230 brass: 70% copper, 30% zinc – A strong brass alloy with high zinc content. It has good corrosion resistance in water services. The lower copper content reduces cost.
  4. Naval brass: 60% copper, 39% zinc, 1% tin – This high strength alloy resists dezincification and is suited for high pressure lines. It has excellent corrosion resistance in salt water environments.
  5. 360 brass: 60% copper, 40% zinc – The highest zinc brass alloy. It has the highest strength but lower corrosion resistance than other brasses.

The main benefits of brass ball valves include:

  1. Corrosion resistant – Forms a protective patina layer and resists weathering and chemical corrosion. Good for water and chemical services.
  2. Biofouling resistance – The smooth surface inhibits microbial growth and buildup compared to iron valves.
  3. Machinable – Easy to machine and thread for adding end connections. Allows economical manufacture.
  4. Strong – Brass has good tensile strength and pressure rating. Suitable for pressures up to 3000 psi.
  5. Non-sparking – The copper in brass makes it non-sparking. Useful in flammable gas lines and hazardous areas.

Brass ball valves are an excellent choice for commercial plumbing systems, marine applications, HVAC, gas handling, and general industrial uses. They provide long service life and reliable operation.