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Key components and features of a floating ball valve

2023-10-17

A floating ball valve is a type of quarter-turn valve used to control the flow of a fluid (typically a liquid or gas) in a pipeline. It is called a "floating" ball valve because the ball inside the valve is not fixed in place; instead, it is free to move within the valve body, allowing it to maintain contact with the sealing surfaces and provide a reliable shut-off when the valve is closed. Floating ball valves are commonly used in a wide range of industrial applications due to their simplicity, durability, and ease of maintenance.

Here are the key components and features of a floating ball valve:

1. Valve Body: The valve body is typically made of metal and provides the main structure of the valve. It contains the inlet and outlet ports, as well as the internal components of the valve.

2. Ball: The ball is the central component of the floating ball valve. It is usually made of a solid material, such as stainless steel or brass, and is designed with a hole through its center. The size and shape of the ball determine the flow capacity of the valve.

3. Stem: The stem is connected to the ball and extends through the valve body to the exterior, where it is attached to the valve's operating mechanism. When the operator is turned or actuated, it rotates the stem and, consequently, the ball inside the valve.

4. Seats and Sealing Surfaces: Floating ball valves have two seats or sealing surfaces, one on the inlet side and one on the outlet side. These seats are typically made of soft materials, such as PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene) or other elastomers, which provide a reliable seal when the valve is in the closed position. The ball comes into contact with these seats when the valve is closed to prevent fluid flow.

5. Body Cavity: The space between the valve body and the ball, known as the body cavity or cavity relief, is where the ball "floats." This design allows the ball to move slightly in response to pressure changes in the pipeline, helping it to maintain contact with the seats for a better seal.

6. End Connections: Floating ball valves come with various end connections, including threaded, flanged, and welded connections, to suit different installation requirements.

Key Features and Benefits of Floating Ball Valves:

- Quick and quarter-turn operation for fast opening and closing.

- Reliable sealing, even at high pressures and temperatures.

- Suitable for a wide range of applications, including oil and gas, petrochemical, water treatment, and general industrial processes.

- Durability and resistance to wear and corrosion.

- Ease of maintenance, as the valve can often be disassembled for repairs or seat replacement without removing it from the pipeline.

Floating ball valves are commonly used in situations where reliable and tight shut-off is required, such as in isolation and control applications. They are available in various sizes and pressure ratings to accommodate different industrial and commercial needs. Proper sizing, material selection, and maintenance are essential to ensure the long-term performance of floating ball valves in a given application.

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