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Valve Selection

Valves isolate, switch, and control fluid

flow in piping systems.
Can be operated manually (using levers
or gear operators) or remotely (using
electric, pneumatic, electro-pneumatic,
and electro-hydraulic powered actuators).
Manual valves are usually used only if
they will be operated infrequently or no
power source is available.

Basic Valve Types

Isolation valves: on/off valves
 Typically operated as fully open or fully closed
 Designed to have a tight reliable seal during shut-off
and minimal flow restriction when open
Switching valves: converge or divert flow in a
piping system
Control valves: used to modulate flow (i.e.,
vary flow by opening or closing by a certain

Isolation Valves
Ball valve
 a ball with a hole through
one diameter that can be
rotated to align with the
flow or block it
 They provide quick, tight
shutoff, high capacity,
and require only a ¼ turn
to operate
 Can be actuated with
pneumatic and electric

Isolation Valves
Plug valve
 Similar to a ball valve except that a cylinder
is used instead of a sphere
 More expensive but more rugged than a ball
 Require more torque to turn but still easy to
 Can be used as a three-way valve, too

Isolation Valves
Butterfly valves
 Can be used for both general
and severe applications
 Liners help to provide tight
 The most economical valves per
comparable capacity and easily
actuated with pneumatic and
electric actuators

Isolation Valves
Diaphragm valves
 Very simple
 Plunger and handwheel often used to apply
pressure to diaphragm to form seal; may be
actuated pneumatically and electrically
 Often used for corrosive, slurry, and sanitary

Isolation Valves
Float valves
 Control liquid level and prevent tank overfilling
 Operated mechanically by a float that rests on top of
the liquid; as the level rises, it pushes the float up
and closes the valve
Gate valves
 A sliding disk slides up and down in and out of the
 Good for high pressure drop and high temperature
applications where operation is infrequent
 Manual operation or else multi-turn electric
actuators are most common

Isolation Valves
Globe valves
 A conical plug moves in and out of the fluid
 Can be used for shutoff as well as throttling (flow
restriction to cause a drop in pressure) in high
pressure drop and temperature applications
 Available in globe, angle, and y-patterns
 Manual operation or else multi-turn electric
actuators are most common
 Easier to repair but more pressure drop than a gate
or plug valve
 See Figure 2-32 in Burmeister.

Isolation Valves
Solenoid valve
 Electrically operated
 Valve plug is held in place by a spring

 When power is applied, the current draw

through the coil generates an
electromagnetic force that opposes the
spring and changes the plug position.
 When power is taken away, the spring
returns the plug to its normal position

Switching Valves
Converge and divert flow in a piping
Usually 3-way valves used because they
can take the place of 2 2-way valves
3-way valves are usually ball, plug, or
globe design
2 butterfly valves mounted on a pipe tee
will also work and is cost-effective for
large pipes

Control valves
Valves listed earlier can be used to modulate
flow, but some work better than others
Diaphragm valves work well to throttle flow
Proportional solenoid valves are economical
Reciprocating globe valves, are rugged,
expensive, and very accurate (<2% accuracy).
They can be noisy.
Rotary globe valves
 similar to reciprocating but with more capacity and
greater possible turndown
 Low cost and good accuracy makes them a
common choice for flow control

Other valve types

Many other valve types are out there to fit
specific applications. For example:
 Steam traps
 Pressure-relief valves

 Capillary tubes

 Thermostatic expansion valve

Pressure/Temperature Rating
Manufacturers should list the pressure and
temperature ratings for their valves.
Ratings will be unique to the specific valve materials,
including the type of seal and end connections.
Plastic is good for low-pressure applications where
corrosion may be a concern.
Brass and bronze are also quite resistant to corrosion
Iron is cheap but must be coated or lined if corrosive
fluids are used.
Carbon steel and stainless steel are also used.
Plastic seals aren’t as good as elastomeric (rubbers)
but are better for harsh chemicals

End Connections
Threaded ends are cheap but can be
stripped and leak; use these where this
isn’t a worry
Welded ends provide no leaks and are
cheap initially, but if there are problems
the valve must be cut out.
Flanged ends are the most expensive but
are the best from an installation and
removal standpoint.

Valve Standards
ANSI – American National Standards Institute
API – American Petroleum Institute
ASME – American Society of Mechanical
AWWA – American Water Works Association
MAA – Manufacturers Standardization Society
of the Valves and Fittings Industry
BSI – British Standards Institution

Loss Coefficients
Head loss
∆h = KV
2 gc
ft lbm
g c = 32.174 (English)
lb f s 2

g c = 1 m kg
N s2
You can find values of K in Hodge and Taylor
pp 14-18 (in your course packet).