A Beginner’s Guide to the Different Types of Ball Valves

A Beginner's Guide to the Different Types of Ball Valves

Finding the right types of ball valves for your next project requires knowing your options.

Here is everything you need to know about choosing a ball valve and which one is right for you.

Table of Contents

What Is a Ball Valve?

Ball valves are mechanical devices that control, guide, direct, and modulate the flow of various substances such as gas, liquids, pressure, and so on.

There are several sorts of ball valves, each with its own design for the specific application, but the basic ball valve parts are the same for all of them.

Ball valves can be categorized based on a variety of characteristics, which we will explore below.

Different Ball Valves

Number of Ports: Ball valves are simply classified by the number of ports they have. There are two ports on a conventional ball valve (1 outlet and 1 inlet). A 3-way port can have one inlet and two outlets, or two inlets and one outlet.

Design: Trunnion mounted or floating ball valves

Seat Type: Metal or Teflon

Body Assembly: Unibody, two pieces, or three-piece

Ball Access: Top or side entry

Bore Size: Reduced bore, V-notch, or full bore

Most Popular Types of Ball Valves

Here are six basic ball valves:

  1. Full Port Ball Valve
  2. Standard Port Ball Valve
  3. V-Port Ball Valve
  4. Multi-Port Ball Valve
  5. Reduced Port Ball Valve
  6. Trunnion Ball Valve

Split body, single body, top entry, and welded are all examples of general body types for ball valves based on their purpose and application.

So what are their characteristics, and how should we apply them?

Specifications of Ball Valve Types

Choosing the proper ball valve type depends on the application.

Different specifications should be considered, including pressure, size, temperature, amount of ports, body material, end connections, and configurations.

Full Port Ball Valve

The hole in the full port valve is the same size as the pipeline, and the bigger ball reduces friction loss.

These are usually used for throttling applications in various systems with high flow and low drops in pressure.

Standard Port Ball Valve

The standard port ball valve has a smaller port and ball than the full port ball valve. Due to the pipe size, it has some reduced flow.

These are great for systems with a high flow coefficient.

V-port Ball Valve

The shape of the seat or the shape of the ball is represented by the V in the v-port ball valve.

You can better manage opening and closing with a V ball valve. This sort of flow has a linear flow characteristic.

Multi-Port Ball Valve

Ball valves with three or four ways and an L to T-shaped hole in the center are known as multi-port ball valves.

T valves connect any two ports, while the L valve connects the central port to the side ports.

Reduced-Port Ball Valve

Reduced-port ball valves, otherwise known as Rb valves, have a flow area that is smaller than the pipe and a flow through the valve that is one pipe size smaller than the valve’s pipe size.

Trunnion Ball Valve

The trunnion ball valve is a quarter-turn valve with a hollow, perforated, and fixed ball that controls the flow.

Although the trunnion comes in a wide range of diameters and pressure categories, it is not suitable for throttling.

Choosing Which Ball Valve Is Right for You

When making your selection, keep in mind that these types of ball valves have their own sets of pros and cons.

Whether one is a better choice than the other depends on where you want to use it and how it will be used.