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When trying to control flow in industrial applications, you want to choose the best quality of valves and fittings. This will keep the piping secure and maintain them all in a leak-free state for years.
Even when choosing high quality material, there is a range of types of valves that are available. You should select the ones which best match your requirements.
Most commonly used valves are ball and gate valves. Both these valves are suitable for restricting and controlling flow. However, ball valves are a better option.
Let’s learn a bit about the two valves to see how one is better than the other.
Ball valves and gate valves—form and function
Gate valves are designed to have a flat gate closure. This closure slides in and out, or moves up and down, in order to open or shut the valve. These valves only have on and off settings. Hence, they can’t be used for flow regulation, but only for restricting it.
Owing to their structure, gate valves are more susceptible to corrosion. Over time, this may lead leaks or even stoppage. The corroded gates will fall in the line, blocking the flow.
Ball valves, instead, have a round closure element. The closure also has a hole which lines up with the flow, resulting in the opening of valve. The solid side of this ball is turned towards the flow in order o close the valve.
The ball itself helps prevent corrosion in these valves, as it has a protective chromium outer layer. This makes ball valves last longer than gate valves.
Which valve is better at sealing?
Ball valves seal considerably tighter as they have a 100% shut off mechanism. On the other hand, gate valves are prone to leaks. It is because the design includes many more channels which can potentially leak. This gives the fluid running in the line more avenues to leak out from.
Is there a price difference?
Considering that valves are not particularly expensive, there is not much difference between prices of the two valves—or other valves for that matter.
However, ball valves cost slightly more than the gate valves; this is comparable to the quality you achieve with these valves.
Even if small savings are made by opting for gate valves, they would eventually cost more as you’ll need to change them sooner. Hence, to avoid future troubles and blockage issues, ball valves are a more cost-effective option.
Conclusively, ball valves are superior to gate valves because of a number of reasons. They last longer, are more leak-proof and have a lesser rate of failure. Furthermore, ball valves are easier to use and adapt for various industrial applications.