4 min read
18 Oct

Choosing the best ball valves for your needs is important since ball valves don't need to be changed very often. In other words, it needs to be perfect the first time you use it. It's not that easy to choose the best ball valve, however. In this post, we'll explain the most important factors to consider when picking a ball valve. We will begin by reviewing the basics of ball valves and their uses.

Basics of Ball Valves 

Residential plumbing and industrial processes use ball valves as one of the most common types of valves. The trunnion-mounted ball valve is typically used as a simple on/off valve. Therefore, shutoff valves, isolation valves, and stop valves are all called shutoff valves. They are operated by rotating a sphere-shaped obstructer or "ball" 90 degrees (quarter turn). When rotated 90 degrees, a hole in the ball allows the flow to pass through in one direction but stops it in the other.

It is visually apparent that flow can pass through a valve if the handle is parallel to the valve body. By turning the valve 90 degrees, the flow stops. This valve body is no longer able to allow flow through it. Due to its perpendicular position to the valve body, the handle indicates that the valve is closed. The valve can be reopened by simply sliding it back into alignment with the valve body.  The ball valve works in this way in all cases.

A locking handle can be added to a ball valve as an option. If you hit the valve accidentally and it opens or closes without your permission, this is important. Cattle and livestock will accidentally open or close outdoor applications when they come into contact with them. Several formats of ball valves are available, so if you need one, you can get it.

Applications of Ball Valves

When a tight shut-off is required, the ball valve is used. Wide-duty valves can handle gas and liquids, as well as liquids with suspended solids. The use of ball valves is common in ships, fire safety protection systems, and chlorine manufacturers. Because they can't be cleaned easily, they shouldn't be used in pharmaceutical, bioprocessing, or food applications. Applications involving chemicals and non-sterile materials may be exempt.  

Features of Ball Valves

Manufacturers of ball valves offer a range of features to suit a wide range of applications.

Swing Check 

In the same way as a check valve, a swing check performs the same function. The system is kept from backing up with media.

Valve Stops

There is only a 90° rotation limit on the stopper.

Position Indicators 

Piston indicators are located on top of the ball to indicate the direction of flow. Multiport ball valves particularly benefit from it.

Standard Face-to-Face Dimensions 

Based on these dimensions, it is possible to retrofit and replace the ball in line with most other valves that meet ASMS standards.  

Anti-Static Design

When the elastomer seat rubs against the valve, static electricity is prevented from developing. Static electricity can cause a fire, particularly when flammable liquids are present.


Ball valves with metal seats provide backup protection against fire. It is important to do this if the system's temperature rises to a point where the seal melts or softens. A seal is formed whenever the metal seat rests across the seal.

Buying Guide of Ball Valves 

A ball valve can be chosen based on its class, performance specifications, and additional features.

Method of Control

The ball valve is characterized by a disc-shaped closure element. The valve is opened by turning the actuator a quarter turn. The ball's hole needs to be aligned parallel to the flow for media to pass through it. Upon closing the valve, the ball rotates so that the hole is perpendicular to the flow, thereby blocking the flow of media.  

Valve Function 

A ball valve is best suited to applications involving fast stop/start operations. With quick-acting valves, the handle is turned 90 degrees to activate the valve. Operation time can be minimized with a quarter turn, as well as leakage due to wear.

Ball valves can be used for throttling if high levels of accuracy are not required. Throttling causes the partially exposed seat to erode as a result of high-velocity flow and pressure. The valve will inevitably leak over time due to wear. A manual ball valve can be automated and made to move faster in response to a changing signal, thereby reducing leakage.


Media such as gas and liquid can be handled very well by ball valves. This valve type can handle chemicals such as dry chlorine, hydrofluoric acid, hydrochloric acid, and oxygen. Since slurry tends to solidify in the cavities around the seats and ball, transporting slurry is not recommended. Due to the increased operating torque, the valve may break. According to most manufacturers, media trace solids should not exceed 3%.


A floating ball valve can be mounted on a trunnion or it can be a trunnion-mounted design. Depending on their type, the ball fits into the valve in a particular way. In addition to body styles and configuration, classes are further divided into subcategories.

Floating Ball Valves

There are several types of ball valves, but floating ball valves are the most common. This type of ball is not permanently attached to the stem, so there is a lot of freedom. A seal is created when the ball is pushed back against the downstream seat by the pressure upstream.

Trunnion-Mounted Ball Valves 

Balls in trunnion ball valves are secured with a pin to prevent them from dislodging. This design can benefit high-speed systems. There are special segmented balls on trunnion valves. The ball is supported by a shaft on one side and a shaft or post on the other. Shafts can be integral to balls or can be separate. 

Technical Specifications

The performance requirements of a valve must be accurately calculated for it to function correctly in a system.


You can use a ball valve to stop and start media flow as well as throttle or regulate its movement within a system. The shape of the valve determines the direction in which the flow can pass. There are one to four ports in the valve. There are two types of ports on the ball: T-shaped and L-shaped.

In a T-shaped ball, fluid can flow in two directions simultaneously, or one direction can flow while the other is closed.

There can only be one direction of flow at a time in an L-shape. Ports of this type are commonly used as diverter valves. It is possible to direct flow to either side of the valve by controlling the center port, but it cannot be directed to both sides simultaneously. Because the ball has a smooth surface, ball valves are tightly sealed.

The following calculations can be used to determine the flow characteristics. It is important to take into account the flow properties of the given and desired valve when selecting one.


A valve's rangeability is defined as its ability to control a flow rate from maximum to minimum. Based on the geometry and actuator of a valve, its rangeability can be calculated easily. The valve has a rangeability of 20:1 since it is not accurate at 5% of strokes (100% divided by 5%). As the rangeability increases, the valve can be adjusted to operate at a wider range of flow rates.

Due to the limited range of flow rates in most systems, the valve doesn't need to have the highest rangeability. V-notched ball valves have a maximum rangeability of 200:1, while globe valves have a maximum rangeability of 100:1. In general, an increase in rangeability indicates a decrease in sensitivity when the valve is close to being closed and a rise in sensitivity when it is open.  

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