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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This article is about the flow control device. For the game developer, see Valve
Corporation. For the electronic component, see Vacuum tube. For other uses, see
Valve (disambiguation).

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These water valves are operated by handles.

A valve is a device that regulates, directs or controls the flow of a fluid (gases,
liquids, fluidized solids, or slurries) by opening, closing, or partially
obstructing various passageways. Valves are technically fittings, but are usually
discussed as a separate category. In an open valve, fluid flows in a direction from
higher pressure to lower pressure. The word is derived from the Latin valva, the
moving part of a door, in turn from volvere, to turn, roll.
The simplest, and very ancient, valve is simply a freely hinged flap which drops to
obstruct fluid (gas or liquid) flow in one direction, but is pushed open by flow in
the opposite direction. This is called a check valve, as it prevents or "checks"
the flow in one direction. Modern control valves may regulate pressure or flow
downstream and operate on sophisticated automation systems.
Valves have many uses, including controlling water for irrigation, industrial uses
for controlling processes, residential uses such as on/off and pressure control to
dish and clothes washers and taps in the home. Even aerosols have a tiny valve
built in. Valves are also used in the military and transport sectors.
Contents [hide]
1 Valves everywhere
2 Variation
3 Types
4 Components
4.1 Body
4.2 Bonnet
4.3 Ports
4.4 Handle or actuator
4.5 Disc
4.6 Seat
4.7 Stem
4.8 Gaskets
4.9 Valve balls
4.10 Spring
4.11 Trim
5 Valve operating positions
5.1 Two-port valves
5.2 Three-port valves
5.3 Four-port valves
6 Control
7 Other considerations
8 Images
9 See also
10 References
11 External links
Valves everywhere
Valves are found in virtually every industrial process, including water and sewage
processing, mining, power generation, processing of oil, gas and petroleum, food
manufacturing, chemical and plastic manufacturing and many other fields.
People in developed nations use valves in their daily lives, including plumbing
valves, such as taps for tap water, gas control valves on cookers, small valves
fitted to washing machines and dishwashers, safety devices fitted to hot water
systems, and poppet valves in car engines.
In nature there are valves, for example one-way valves in veins controlling the
blood circulation, and heart valves controlling the flow of blood in the chambers
of the heart and maintaining the correct pumping action.
Valves may be operated manually, either by a handle, lever, pedal or wheel. Valves
may also be automatic, driven by changes in pressure, temperature, or flow. These
changes may act upon a diaphragm or a piston which in turn activates the valve,
examples of this type of valve found commonly are safety valves fitted to hot water
systems or boilers.
More complex control systems using valves requiring automatic control based on an
external input (i.e., regulating flow through a pipe to a changing set point)
require an actuator. An actuator will stroke the valve depending on its input and
set-up, allowing the valve to be positioned accurately, and allowing control over a
variety of requirements.
Valves vary widely in form and application. Sizes[ambiguous] typically range from
0.1 mm to 60 cm. Special valves can have a diameter exceeding 5 meters.[which?]
Valve costs range from simple inexpensive disposable valves to specialized valves
which cost thousands of US dollars per inch of the diameter of the valve.
Disposable valves may be found in common household items including mini-pump
dispensers and aerosol cans.
A common use of the term valve refers to the poppet valves found in the vast
majority of modern internal combustion engines such as those in most fossil fuel
powered vehicles which are used to control the intake of the fuel-air mixture and
allow exhaust gas venting.
Main article: List of valves
Valves are quite diverse and may be classified into a number of basic types. Valves
may also be classified by how they are actuated:
Solenoid valve

Cross-sectional diagram of an open globe valve. 1. body

2. ports
3. seat
4. stem
5. disc when valve is open
6. handle or handwheel when valve is open
7. bonnet
8. packing
9. gland nut
10. fluid flow when valve is open
11. position of disc if valve were shut
12. position of handle or handwheel if valve were shut
The main parts of the most usual type of valve are the body and the bonnet. These
two parts form the casing that holds the fluid going through the valve.
The valve's body is the outer casing of most or all of the valve that contains the
internal parts or trim. The bonnet is the part of the encasing through which the
stem (see below) passes and that forms a guide and seal for the stem. The bonnet
typically screws into or is bolted to the valve body.
Valve bodies are usually metallic or plastic. Brass, bronze, gunmetal, cast iron,
steel, alloy steels and stainless steels are very common.[citation needed] Seawater
applications, like desalination plants, often use duplex valves, as well as super
duplex valves, due to their corrosion resistant properties, particularly against
warm seawater. Alloy 20 valves are typically used in sulphuric acid plants, whilst
monel valves are used in hydrofluoric acid (HF Acid) plants. Hastelloy valves are
often used in high temperature applications, such as nuclear plants, whilst inconel
valves are often used in hydrogen applications. Plastic bodies are used for
relatively low pressures and temperatures. PVC, PP, PVDF and glass-reinforced nylon
are common plastics used for valve bodies.[citation needed]
A bonnet acts as a cover on the valve body. It is commonly semi-permanently screwed
into the valve body or bolted onto it. During manufacture of the valve, the
internal parts are put into the body and then the bonnet is attached to hold
everything together inside. To access internal parts of a valve, a user would take
off the bonnet, usually for maintenance. Many valves do not have bonnets; for
example, plug valves usually do not have bonnets. Many ball valves do not have
bonnets since the valve body is put together in a different style, such as being
screwed together at the middle of the valve body.