Ball valves are suitable for installation in piping systems with connections at the same pressure load and corresponding connections or between flanges of the same pressure load and the same flange connection. And high pressure ball valves are designed to control fluid in full open and full close position.
1. What is a High Pressure Ball Valve?
High pressure ball valves are designed to control fluid in full open and full close position. Ball Valves are suitable for installation in piping systems with connections at the same pressure load and corresponding connections or between flanges of the same pressure load and the same flange connection.It provides unrestricted flow of fluids and a way to shut off that flow using the attached handle. They are connected through robust stem and anti-blowout stem and are built to contain a different volume of pressure when the valve is the closed position.
2. How Does a High Pressure Ball Valve Work?
High-pressure ball valves work in the same as most ball valves. They are quarter-turn valves that help regulate the flow of liquids, gasses, slurries, and corrosive fluids. High-pressure ball valves are sometimes accompanied by a swing check located within the ball to give the valve a check valve feature. Here is a diagram of a typical high-pressure ball valve with swing-check.
High-pressure ball valves are typically used in the water industry which is why they are also known as hydraulic ball valves. High-pressure hydraulic ball valves help you manage the flow of fluid flowing through a pipeline at pressures greater than 3000 psi.
To open the valve, you need to move the actuator to 90 degrees. As the actuator is rotated, it will move the stem, which in turn will rotate the ball. The ball will rotate just enough so that the hollow side of the ball is in line with the pipeline. The water will flow, unrestricted through the valve to the other end of the pipeline. And to stop the flow, you will rotate the actuator again, making sure to complete the 90-degree angle. This will rotate the ball so that the hollow side or bore is perpendicular to the pipeline. This will stop the flow as the pressure from the onstream causes the ball and seats to form a firm seal.
High pressure ball valves are hydraulic ball valves that used to control, restrict or shut off liquids and gases in the system line. It is a quarter-turn ball valve which uses a floating ball to control the flow. The flow will go through when the hollow ball is in line with it and close when pivoted the handle by 90˚ rotation.High pressure ball valves are commonly used in construction and agricultural, fire protection, marine & offshore, oil & gas, and process industry. Due to its difficulty to clean, they are not recommended for the purpose of food and beverages, and pharmaceutical.
4. Types of High Pressure Ball Valves
(1) Top Entry High Pressure Ball Valves
This is a high pressure ball valve in which the ball is assembled from the top side. This type of high pressure ball valve design makes it possible to do maintenance on the ball and seats without disconnecting the valve from the pipeline. The high-pressure top-entry ball valve can be cleaned while it is still connected to the main pipeline. In most cases, top-entry high pressure ball valves are made using the casting method which necessitates a non-destructive test to check defects from the casting process. Top entry high pressure ball valves have minimal connections which reduces the possibilities of leakage.
(2) Side Entry High Pressure Ball Valves
The side-entry high pressure ball valve is a ball valve in which the ball is assembled from its side part. In most cases, the valve body of the side entry high pressure ball valve is in two or three parts. The parts of this side entry ball valve are connected using bolts and nuts. A strong material like steel is used to make the valve body of a side-entry high pressure ball valve. Side-entry high pressure ball valves are easy to assemble. The trim components of this high-pressure ball are properly aligned.
(3) Two-way High Pressure Ball Valves
This is a high pressure ball valve that has two ports one for the inlet and the other one for the outlet. This type of high pressure ball valve allows fluid to flow straight from the inlet port to the outlet port through the ball. This helps to reduce pressure drop as there is no change in direction of flow. A two-way high pressure ball valve is suitable for on/off applications working on fluids and slurries.
(4) Three-way High Pressure Ball Valves
A Three-way high pressure ball valve is a valve with three ports. This high pressure ball valve design uses a T or L formation. With this design, a high-pressure 3 way ball valve is capable of different fluid flow manipulations like mixing or diverting fluid flow. When the actuator or handle of this high pressure ball valve is turned on, it turns the ball to align the bore on the ball with the inlet and outlet valve ports. The three-way high pressure ball valve with L shape configuration allows fluid flow through 90o angle from one port to another port (fluid diversion). A Three-way high pressure ball valve with a T-shape configuration .allows fluid flow from one port to another (fluid diversion) and it also allows fluid flow from two ports to mix and then ejected to the pipeline.
(5) Flanged End High Pressure Ball Valves
Flanged end high pressure ball valves are one-piece or two-piece ball valves that have flanged ends with holes for bolts to connect the valve to the pipeline. This type of high pressure ball valve can easily be installed or removed from the piping system easily. These valves are made of strong metallic materials that can help them stand the high pressure and high temperatures associated with the fluid flow as well as slurries.
(6) Trunnion High Pressure Ball Valves
This is a high pressure ball valve that has the ball supported by an additional shaft called a trunnion. The trunnion holds the valve ball in its position and reduces ball movement to its axis. The ball in this trunnion ball valve moves only if the stem or shaft turns. Trunnion high pressure ball valves also have seats loaded with spring. The springs are activated by inlet fluid pressure towards the valve ball held by the trunnion which helps to create a tight seal. Trunnion high pressure ball valves operate efficiently in wide levels of pressure. Trunnion high pressure ball valves operate easier with a small actuator or lower operating torque.
5. Applications of High Pressure Ball Valves
High-pressure ball valve provides tighter shut-offs and are easy to use. They are also suitable for critical operations and can handle corrosive materials without getting damaged. High-pressure carbon steel ball valves are used in many different industries to manage various applications.
(1) In the oil and gas industry, high-pressure ball valves are used to manage high-pressure operations in extreme temperatures. As they can handle both cryogenic and high-temperature operations, ball valves can manage many different operations in an oil and gas factory unit.
(2) High-pressure ball valves made of stainless steel or carbon steel are corrosion and abrasion-resistant, making them perfect for managing operations with sensitive mediums. For example, SIO API-6D High-Pressure Ball Valve is used frequently in the pharmaceutical, food, and cosmetic industry. All these industries require leak-proof, durable, high-pressure ball valves to regulate the flow of sensitive and corrosive mediums.
(3) 2-way and 3-way high-pressure ball valves are commonly used in the hydraulic, cosmetic, pharmaceutical, and food industry to manage high-pressure operations. These ball valves can handle the flow of medium in different directions while ensuring tight shut-offs so that there is no mixing or leaking of the different fluids or gasses.
6. Advantages of High Pressure Ball Valves
(1) They can withstand high temperatures and work in fluids and slurries.
(2) Resistant to corrosion and abrasion.
(3) High pressure ball valves are suitable for a wide range of pressure applications.
(4) Easy to operate.
(5) These valves are efficient as they do not need lubrication and provide a tight seal free from leakage.
High pressure ball valves designs such as the top entry type are easy to clean and repair.
7. Disadvantages of High Pressure Ball Valves
(1) High pressure ball valves are more expensive relative to other valves.
(2) Some designs of high pressure ball valves are difficult to clean which restricts their use in food, beverages, and pharmaceutical applications.
(3) High pressure ball valves are susceptible to wear and tear especially when used for throttling applications.
High pressure ball valves are strong valves made of strong metallic materials such as stainless steel, carbon steel, and cast iron among other materials. Used in mining, oil and gas industries, chemical industries, construction, fire protection, and steam power plants, marine and offshore applications among others.