Ball Valves

Curtiss-Wright Valves Division offers Ball Valves as part of its offering to the power and oil & petrochemical processing industries, which it has maintained for the past 20 years. Ball valves are available in the following specifications:

  • One-piece
  • Two-piece
  • three-piece

Sizes vary between ¾” and 16” in carbon steel, stainless steel, and other alloys. The pieces are available with flanged and flangeless connections and for spring diaphragm or cylinder actuators.

View our range of Ball Valves below:


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Ball Valves: Purpose, Functionality & Application

Ball valves are a type of valve that controls the flow of liquid or gas in a pipeline; it does this via a spherical perforated ball that pivots inside the pipe between two seats. There are two main types of operation: manual or automated. Manual ball valves are open when the ball's bore is in line with the flow and close when it is pivoted 90-degrees by the valve handle. The handle aligns with the flow when open and is perpendicular to it when it is closed, quickly showing a visual confirmation of the valve status. It can also be set at half-turn or quarter-turn positions to reduce or increase fluid flow level and pressure. Automated ball valves are controlled with an electric or pneumatic actuator. Connected directly to the valve stem, the ball valve can be shut off or switched on remotely, unlike a manual version that needs a handle.
 

BENEFITS:

  • Long life expectancy 
  • Maintenance-free
  • Compact design
  • Durable & reliable operation
  • Performs well after many cycles
  • Seals close securely even after long periods of disuse. 
  • Available in different materials: brass, stainless steel, carbon steel and plastic
  • Available in numerous valve housing specifications: one-piece, two-piece and three-piece
  • Available in numerous connections: compression, push-fitting and threaded
Ball valves are primarily valuable for fluid shut-off and control applications that need to avoid losing pressure, such as oil and gas production facilities.  

Types of Ball Valves

While all carry the same working function, many different types of ball valves are unique in their characteristics and are best suited to various process applications. 
 

THREADED BALL VALVES

Coming with a wide range of options, threaded ball valves are the most common. They can include up to four ports which can be female or male threaded, even a combination of the two. They also have an extensive operating range when used in high-pressure and temperature applications.
 

HYDRAULIC BALL VALVES

Specially designed for hydraulic and heating systems, these valves are typically made from stainless steel and can operate at high pressure and heating oil resistance. In addition, the seats inside the valves consist of polyoxymethylene (POM), which is suitable for high pressure and low-temperature applications.
 

FLANGED BALL VALVES

Ports on a flanged ball valve connect to a piping system via flanges, and they offer a high flow rate as they usually have a full-bore design. Therefore, dependent on your application, a flanged ball valve is suitable for high pressure. Still, it's advisable to check the flange compression class too, which reveals the most elevated pressure it can hold. They can be designed with two, three, or four ports and consist of iron, steel, or stainless steel.
 

VENTED BALL VALVES

Although similar to the more standard threaded ball valves, a bore in the ball and valve body (vented design) differs by the outlet port venting to the environment in a closed position. When the valve closes, the holes align with the outlet port and release the pressure. As a result, it works well in compressed air applications where depressurization is needed.

Types of Ball Valve Housing

At Curtiss Wright, we offer the three most commonly used designs: one-piece, two-piece, and three-piece ball valve housings. The valve operating function is the same, but the main differences are how the valve assembles and the opportunity for maintenance or repair.
 

One-piece ball valve

Typically used low demand applications, one-piece ball valves are cheaper than others. The ball is enclosed via pressing or welding and cannot be opened for cleaning or maintenance either. 
 

Two-piece ball valve

Two-piece ball valves connect via a threaded connection. To disassemble for cleaning, servicing and inspection, the valve has to be removed entirely from the pipeline.
 

Three-piece ball valve

Three-piece ball valves are generally more expensive, and the parts connect with bolts. They have an L-shaped or T-shaped bore and can be serviced without removing the valve

BALL VALVE APPLICATIONS

Ball valves are suitable for a range of industry applications, including:

  • Gas and liquid applications 
  • Power Generation
  • Chemical/Petrochemical
  • Feedwater systems
  • Steam service
  • Nuclear power plants

FURTHER INFORMATION

The Curtiss-Wright Valves Division has locations across the world, including Europe, The USA, and Asia. Along with an extensive distributor network and after-sales support partners.

 

To find out further information on any product or service, read the related documents which feature assemblies and capabilities, to contact your local sales office directly click here or use our online form, which can be found here.


FAQ

What is the purpose of a ball valve?

Ball valves use a metal ball with a hole bored through the center, sandwiched between two seats to control flow. Used in many hydrocarbon process applications, ball valves can throttle gases and vapors and are especially useful for low-flow situations.

A ball valve is a shut-off valve that uses the rotation of a metal ball with a hole through the center surrounded by two seats to control the flow of gas or liquid. For example, by rotating the ball 90 degrees around its axis, the fluid or gas can flow through or is shut off.

Which valve is better for on-off control?

There are different styles of on-off valves, including ball, plug, and butterfly valves.

  1. A butterfly valve is for flow regulation.
  2. A ball valve involves on/off control without pressure drop.
  3. A plug valve involves pressure drop during on/ off control.

What is the difference between a ball valve and a gate valve?

The main difference between a ball and gate valve is in the valve operation. 

  • A gate valve moves a disk up and down to open/close the valve.
  • A ball valve rotates a ball 90 degrees (quarter turn) to open/close the valve.

What is the difference between a ball valve and a gate valve?

The main difference between a ball and a gate valve is in the valve operation. 

A gate valve moves a disk up and down to open/close the valve.
A ball valve rotates a ball 90 degrees (quarter turn) to open/close the valve.

What are the types of ball valves?

There are four common types of ball valves, each with its characteristics that suit different applications. 

  • Threaded ball valves
  • Hydraulic ball valves
  • Flanged ball valves
  • Vented ball valves

Where are ball valves used?

Ball valves are especially useful in low-flow situations and applications that require on or off as the key positions. Used predominantly in industrial applications, they can support up to 1,000 bar pressure (100 MPa, or 15,000 psi) and temperatures up to 400°C (752°F). But, of course, this is all dependant on the material and design used. Some of the more common applications include nuclear power plants, gas and liquid applications, and feedwater systems.

What are ball valves made from?

Depending on its application, ball valves are made from numerous types of material. As the component comprises many different parts, the housing material is often made from brass, stainless steel, or PVC (PolyVinyl Chloride). In addition, the ball is usually constructed from chrome-plated steel, chrome-plated brass, stainless steel, or PVC, and the seats are often made of Teflon.