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Ball Valve Advantages and Disadvantages
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Ball Valve Advantages and Disadvantages

    A while back we gave you an  introduction to ball valves  and their uses and benefits. They’re versatile components that can be used in a wide range of industrial applications, and they’re popular thanks to their strength, durability and affordability.

    In this piece, we’re taking a look at ball valve advantages and disadvantages, as we delve a little deeper into understanding these components.

    Ball valve design

    Ball valves were first created in the 1950s, and gained widespread use in a range of sectors, from chemical and petroleum to papermaking and even water treatment plants. This simple component consists of a ball that sits inside a pipe. The ball has a hole in the centre, and this allows liquid and gas to pass through it when the hole is lined up with the pipe. When the ball turns and the hole is no longer flush with the pipe, movement of substances cease.

    Ball valves – especially the newer plastic variety – have been designed to withstand high temperatures and pressures. Moreover, their durability means they’re able to maintain and/or regulate extreme volumes and pressures, as well as high velocity flows.

    That said, there are some drawbacks to the design of the ball valve. They can get jammed in one position if they’re used for the wrong application, like slurries. Therefore, it’s important to ensure that the substance you’re wanting to regulate will not cause your ball valves to get stuck in place. Ball valves are also not recommended for sustained throttling.

    This clever video depicts  how ball valves work.

    Ball valve repair and ball valve replacement

    When people talk about ball valve advantages and disadvantages, one of the major pros that comes up is the fact that they’re highly durable. Ball valves are recognised for their ability to provide many years of reliable service, particularly the plastic variety, which are obviously not prone to rusting like their metal counterparts.

    Of course, as with any component that is under constant strain, damage can occur. Another great advantage of  some types of  ball valves is that they’re very simple to repair. Thanks to their basic design, you can easily access seals and seats to fix them as and when you need to. Repairs can take place fairly quickly and without intense workmanship.

    It’s also worth noting that ball valves, thanks to the regulating elements’ design, makes it easy for the component to function without having to worry about side loads, which are often a problem when using butterfly or globe valves. This means that ball valves are less prone to damage than other kinds of valves.

    Learn more about  types of valves  and which to choose for your next project.

    In some cases, it’s necessary to replace the ball valve altogether. As they’re affordable and long-lasting, this is a job that shouldn’t cost a fortune or be required too often.

    Ball valve sizes

    Ball valves come in a variety of sizes to suit as many uses as possible. In some instances, they’re even colour-coded, so you immediately know which one to use for your application. Usually, ball valves start from 0.5cm in size, and they can be as large as 121cm.

    In summary: ball valve advantages and disadvantages

    Before you make your final decision, let’s wrap up the pros and cons of ball valves so you can make an informed choice.

    Ball valves come in a variety of sizes to suit as many uses as possible. In some instances, they’re even colour-coded, so you immediately know which one to use for your application. Usually, ball valves start from 0.5cm in size, and they can be as large as 121cm.

    Before you make your final decision, let’s wrap up the pros and cons of ball valves so you can make an informed choice.

    Advantages of ball valves

            Efficiency:  Ball valves don’t need any lubrication, and offer a bubble-tight seal with low torque.
       
            Affordability: They can often be purchased at a considerably lower cost than comparable products for the same job.
       
            Durability:  They offer a long service life and, when used under the right conditions, will provide many years of reliable use. Ball valves are less prone to damage than other kinds of valves, and the plastic variety aren’t susceptible to corrosion.
       
            Easy to use:  Ball valves are relatively quick and easy to install, and plastic ball valves are light and easy to handle.
       
            Versatile:  They’re appropriate for a wide range of industrial applications where it’s necessary to regulate the flow of liquids or gases.
       
            Strong:  Ball valves can maintain and regulate high pressure, high volume and a high flow of temperature.
       
            Simple to repair:  Easily access the seats when a valve requires fixing.
       
    Disadvantages of ball valves:

            Poor throttling characteristics:  In a throttling position, the partially exposed seat may be prone to erosion as a result of high velocity flows. They’re therefore not recommended for sustained throttling applications.
       
            Wear and tear:  When used to regulate the wrong types of fluids, such as slurries, ball valves can stick in position and become jammed due to suspended particles being trapped. This can cause the valve to wear, or to become damaged or stuck.
       
    If you’ve decided that ball valves are right for your project, you need to find the right size and type.

    Start by exploring the range available at Plastinternational. We offer durable plastic ball valves, in ? inch, 3/8 inch, ? inch, 3/4 inch and 1 inch sizes. We’ll help you select the right components for your project, and we’ll be able to match them with the fittings you need.

    We also offer a ? inch Ball-o-Stop shut-off valve, which is 100% rust-resistant, and offers a secure and reliable seal when you need to shut off your water for repairs.

    Is There a Difference Between a Sieve and a Strainer?

    The words "sieve" and "strainer" are often used interchangeably in conversation (and sometimes even look alike) but in practice, they are intended for very different tasks. What's the difference between these two  kitchen tools  and what tasks are each intended for?

    A  sieve—also known as a sifter—is typically a basket made of a metal fine-mesh weave with a handle attached. Its job is to aerate and separate dry ingredients like flour,  cocoa powder, and powdered sugar, which will lead to a lighter and more tender crumb in baked goods. It is particularly useful in delicate cakes like a  sponge cake, which uses clump-prone  cake flour.

    A strainer separates any particles that are present in a liquid, catching them in the basket to create a smooth sauce,  juice, or purée from the mixture. The most obvious way to tell whether you are technically sifting or straining is to look at the mesh basket at the end of the task: If there are any bits of food left hanging around, like in the picture above, then you've just strained something!

    While these two tools were created for different tasks, reality begs us to ask the question: Does a home cook  really  need both? Whether it is due to space,  budget, or you simply prefer to keep a more minimal range of kitchen tools on hand, buying both isn't a must. A strainer will be the most versatile of the two, but be sure to purchase one that is lined with a coarser mesh (not large perforated holes) so that it can function as a sieve if needed. The finer the mesh, the harder it will be to use as a strainer since larger particles will get clogged more easily.

    If you are an avid baker of cakes, cookies, and  quick breads, then it would be worth it to have a dedicated fine-mesh sieve for sifting dry ingredients, and then a strainer with a coarser mesh for everything else.

    Check valves for water supply and wastewater treatment

    What is a check valve?

    Check valves are generally installed in pipelines to prevent backflow. A check valve is basically a one-way valve, in which the flow can run freely one way, but if the flow turns the valve will close to protect the piping, other valves, pumps etc. If the flow turns and no check valve is installed, water hammer can occur. Water hammer often occur with an extreme force and will easily damage a pipeline or components.

    Where are check valves used?

    Check valves are used in many different applications. For example they are often placed on the outlet side of a pump, to protect the pump from backflow. Centrifugal pumps, the most common type of water pumps, are not self-priming, and therefore check valves are essential for keeping water in the pipes. Also, check valves are very often used in HVAC-systems (Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning-systems). HVAC-systems are e.g. used in large buildings, where a coolant is pumped many storeys up. The check valves are here installed to make sure that the coolant is not flushing back down.

    Considerations when choosing a check valve

    When choosing a check valve it is important to make a cost-benefit analysis of the specific system. Often focus is to reduce cost and at the same time obtain the lowest possible pressure loss, but when it comes to check valves a higher safety equals a higher pressure loss. So in order to make sure the check valve protects the system properly, each system has to be assessed individually, and factors such as the risk of water hammer, acceptable pressure loss, and the financial consequence of installing a check valve with a too high safety margin against water hammer have to be considered. Please go to  How to choose the right check valve  for more details.

    Different types of check valves

    There are various types  of check valves available for water and  wastewater applications. They work in different ways but serve the same purpose.  AVK offers a wide range of swing check valves, ball check valves, tilted disc check valves, slanted seat check valves, nozzle check valves and silent check valves.  The most common types of check valves for water and wastewater are swing check valves and ball check valves:

            Swing check valves:  A swing check valve is mounted with a disc that swings on a hinge or shaft. The disc swings off the seat to allow forward flow and when the flow is stopped, the disc swings back onto the seat to block reverse flow. The weight of the disc and the return flow has an impact on the shut-off characteristics of the valve.
       
            Ball check valves:  A ball check valve functions by means of a ball that moves up and down inside the valve. The seat is machined to fit the ball, and the chamber is conically shaped to guide the ball into the seat to seal and stop a reverse flow.


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