Ball valves are used in a variety of industries such as manufacturing, oil, and gas, automotive, marine, agricultural and heavy truck. Applications may vary but include operations for processing, transferring, pneumatic circuits, cooling, and measuring such as
• Fuel line shutoffs for gasoline and diesel equipment
• Air service lines
• Water service lines on capital equipment
• Plant design plumbing requiring total shutoff capability
To select the right type of valve for your application, it helps to understand what a ball valve is and the differences between the key types: full port or standard port ball valves.
The full port valve design
A full port or sometimes called full bore, ball valve has a straight flow path where there is not a reduction of flow as it travels through the valve. In other words, the internal diameter of the pipe or tubing at the inlet and outlet of the valve has the same diameter as the interior of the ball valve. The diameter remains constant and does not narrow as it passes through the valve.
The standard port valve design
A standard port also has a straight flow path, but there is a flow restriction that produces a pressure drop as the flow passes through the valve. Basically, the valve inlet and outlet connections are the same sizes as the tubing or pipe, but the interior component (the ball), which fits within the valve, has a smaller bore (hole) than the pipe or tube that it is connected to, therefore producing the pressure drop due to the flow restriction.
How do you determine if you need a full port ball valve or if a standard port will suffice?
Some applications require a full port ball valve due to a characteristic of their application; for example, if low flow resistance is needed. In the case of a pump suction pipe where a pressure drop can impact the performance of a pump, a full port valve may be the best choice to maintain flow.
Yet, unless your application requires a full port, the standard port is the default valve for most functions. It provides the most cost-effective way to control the flow in many applications. Concurrently, where so often space constraints are an issue, their relatively compact design gets the job done with a smaller ball valve body, so long as a pressure drop or flow turbulence is acceptable in your system.
Parker's V525P industrial ball valve solution
Parker Fluid System Connectors Division offers a wide range of industrial standard port ball valves in a variety of materials, configurations, and handle options to meet your application needs. Our new V525P standard port ball valve offers the superior quality of a Parker industrial ball valve that you are accustomed to, and a cost-effective solution when a full port valve is not necessary.
Parker offers the widest range of brass fittings and valves. From extruded, forged, plated, and composite materials, we make connections to bring increased efficiencies and higher productivity.
Choosing industrial versus commercial
A final note on choosing industrial and commercial ball valves. Your best choice should be designed and manufactured to provide years of service at an economical price. Ultimately, those valves will deliver increased performance over any lightweight throwaway valves.
For more information about our industrial ball valves or the rest of our vast offering of valves and fittings, please contact Parker Fluid System Connectors Division at (269) 694-9411 or locate a distributor near you.
Article contributed by Samantha Smith, marketing services manager, Fluid System Connectors Division.
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