Valves have long since been essential for controlling the flow of liquids and gases in pipes, whether in a home’s plumbing or in a factory or other commercial site. To this end, various models of valves can be found for doing different work, ranging from butterfly valves to a quarter-turn valve to a triple offset butterfly valve, and there are even more variants beyond that. High-temperature gases and oils may rupture a pipe or other system if allowed to flow unchecked, or items in a system may get flooded if a valve is missing or not operating correctly. What are the basics of butterfly valves? Can high performance butterfly valves get the job done?
Basics of Butterfly Valves
According to Cross Co, a butterfly valve is a valve that is based on a single disc that can rotate on a vertical rod, and the rotations of this disc will control the flow of liquids within the valve’s pipe. In short, it is a variable orifice, based on how butterfly valves change the size of the valve opening as the disc rotates. Three basic types of butterfly valves can be found: damper valves, resilient seated valves, and high performance butterfly valves.
In a damper butterfly valve, the disc is smaller than the diameter of the valve, meaning that at no time will the disc fully block flow of liquids through the valve. Instead, it will only slow down the flow of materials passing through, and such valves have their uses for controlling air or gas flow for low pressure applications. These types of butterfly valves may also be useful in air conditioning units or chimney flues.
Resilient butterfly valves, by contrast, will fully block flow or gases or liquids when the disc is in its default position, since there is a rubber ring found between the valve’s inner walls and the disc’s outer surface, so nothing can get through. Such butterfly valves are useful for high-pressure systems, and the seating for that rubber ring may be either a dovetail seat, a cartridge seat, or bonded seats.
High performance seated valves, meanwhile, uses a rigid metal seat that is narrower than the valve body itself. They also require pipe flange gaskets if they are installed between pipe flanges, and among all butterfly valve designs, these can handle the highest temperatures and pressures of their contents.
Such valves might sometimes work with intense heat or cold, or with corrosive chemicals such as in a chemical plant, and this means that such valves and the pipes connected to them cannot be made out of any metal. Rather, special alloys may be used for valves and pipes that work with chemicals, heat, or cold, and alloys can offer performance that regular metals like steel or titanium cannot offer. Alloy producers concoct various recipes for alloys based on the metals involved and their ratios, and different metals in an alloy give it different properties. Some alloys, for example, are used for pipes found in sea water, and this allows them to resist the corrosive effects of salt water. Meanwhile, butterfly valves and their pipes may be made out of particular alloys for handling very hot liquids or gases so that they do not warp or melt, and they may be made out of different alloys for extremely cold materials such as liquids nitrogen. And of course, if a valve and pipes are being used in a chemical plant, the right alloys will be used so that these pipes and valves do not corrode and leak due to constant exposure to those chemicals.
Workers at a chemical plant or anywhere else with extremes should have their pipes, valves, nozzles, and more checked over and replaced or repaired whenever needed so that expensive damage is not done by pipes or valves bursting or melting away during work. Crews can be hired to look over valves or pipes and recommend that they be replaced or fixed by a certain time, and professionals can get these repair or replacement jobs done when hired. The same may be true of metal bellows, flexible metal tubes that may carry very hot, very cold, or corrosive gases or liquids inside. Inspections and repairs can help prevent leaks and disaster.