A ball valve is a shut-off valve that controls a liquid or gas flow using a rotary ball having a bore. By rotating the ball 90 degrees around its axis, the medium can flow through or is blocked. They are characterized by a long service life and provide a reliable sealing over the life span, even when the valve is not in use for a long time.
A ball valve consists of a valve body in which a large sphere with a central hole equal to the pipe's inside diameter is mounted. As the ball is rotated in the fully open position, the valve provides the through conduit or full bore required for the fluid and scrapers or pigs' unrestricted flow.
Ball valves are similar to plug valves but use a ball-shaped seating element. They require manual or power operators in large sizes and at high operating pressures to overcome the active torque. They are equipped with soft seats that conform readily to the ball's surface and have a metal-to-metal secondary seal. If the valve is left partially open for an extended period under a high-pressure drop across the ball, the soft seat may become damaged and may lock the ball in position. Ball valves are best fitted for stopping and starting flow but may be used for moderate throttling. Compared with other valves with related ratings, ball valves are relatively small and light.
Ball valves can be used in different applications and markets, such as transmission and storage, gas processing, industrial, and many more. Ball valves provide reliable leak protection, mainly beneficial in gas applications, and exhibit low-pressure drop and fast opening and closing. A collection of construction materials, trim options, and designs make these valves excessively versatile.