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Stainless Steel Ball Valves: Their Applications and Advantages

Do you have experience working in any fluid processing industries? Then maybe you are already familiar with the various types of ball valves and their crucial role in these industries. Ball valves are part of the family of quarter-turn valves and are mostly designed with full bores. These bores allow the valve to stop the fluid flow completely when it is closed and does not hinder the flow when it is opened. 

Stainless steels are one of the most durable and resilient materials in process industries. They are resistant to extreme pressures and temperatures which makes them suitable for any kind of application. Stainless steel ball valves are, likewise, used in various applications but we are only going to look at the most typical ones here. 

But what are stainless steels and what makes them so special? Keep reading to know more.

What is Stainless Steel?

Stainless steels are fantastic materials that is why they are used in various applications. They are stronger than brass, cast and ductile iron, and copper with regard to temperature tolerances and pressure ratings. Stainless steel is comparable to carbon steel but beats it in terms of resistance to corrosion. Having mentioned this, stainless steel ball valves are demanded in applications operating in extreme pressures and temperatures and where corrosion is concerned.

Stainless steels are hard to beat but their major drawback is their high price compared to iron valves. But no need to worry as their efficiency is guaranteed due to their high quality. 

Advantages of Stainless Steel Ball Valves

#1 They Have High Shut Off Efficiency

The material choices for a ball valve utilized in piping systems directly impacts the system’s efficiency. Bearings made of steel allow not only a tight fit but also a secure one in the area of installation. This gives way to lower rates of leakages and higher efficiency.

Ball valves have high shut-off precision especially in stopping the flow of water and gasses even if they are not used for several years. This makes them very reliable in delivery services.

#2 They are Highly Resilient

Due to the extreme hardness of stainless steel ball valves, they have high resiliency. This is very significant in plumbing systems that require strong materials for coping with high pressures of water. 

Fittings made of steel adjust effectively in the water. While some of the other materials are not capable of handling continuous contact with water. 

Furthermore, stainless steels have much greater tensile strength compared to most materials. This makes the ball valves resistant to damages which affect the reliability and safety in delivery services.

#3 They are Durable

When it comes to durable materials, stainless steel ball valves are worth mentioning. Their capacity in handling pressure and temperature extremities is very high. Thus, making them the most ideal materials in varying environments. Furthermore, bearings made of stainless steel does not rust, reducing maintenance activities required and making them more durable.

#4 They are Resistant to Corrosions

Stainless steel alloys have outstanding corrosion and rust resistance. Since the valves are frequently in contact with water, you would want to choose valves capable of withstanding the wear and tear impact of water. In coastal areas, stainless steel materials are suitable choices of fittings because of high corrosion incidents.

#5 They Do Not Require Frequent Maintenance Services

When installed properly, stainless steel ball valves do not require frequent maintenance services. But still, they are able to perform very well. Partly due to their excellent resilience contributing to their high efficiency. Unlike the other materials, their failure rate is extremely low. Thus, reducing maintenance costs.

#6 They are Affordable

Stainless steel ball valves are one of the most affordable fittings that can be found in the market. Thus, the acquisition is made easier along with the installation in pipings. Once the valves are installed, you do not need to worry about checking them on a regular basis because they can operate well even for a long time. Additionally, you also do not need to bother with frequent replacements. This is a pretty good investment in the long run, right?

Applications for Stainless Steel Ball Valves

Now that we have discussed the advantages of stainless steel ball valves, let us find out some of the applications of these on the succeeding sections.

#1 Breweries

Let us take a look at brewing. Every brewery, since they deal with beverages, used stainless steel ball valves, not just for hygiene. These ball valves are commonly found on brewery kettles allowing the brewer to control the flow of liquid during transfers. 

 

Ball valves made of stainless steel are required since the wort directly contacts with the valve in the mashing stage when the beer is brewed. The wort is a highly corrosive substance that will cause iron ball valves to wear. Plastic valves can’t be used as they are not able to handle the high temperature inside the brewing system. So stainless steel ball valves are the best choice!

#2 Marine Environments

Desalination is common in applications located near sea waters. As you may know, the marine environment is full of corrosive and dangerous materials that can damage metals, especially that water is involved. In these applications, ball valves made of plastic are often preferred by many as they are more resistant to harsh chemicals and water than the majority of the metals.

 

The drawback of using plastic ball valves is that the ability to operate under extreme pressures and temperatures is lacking. As mentioned earlier, ball valves made from stainless steel are able to handle extreme conditions without difficulty. Furthermore, they can last longer in seawater given the proper maintenance.

#3 Petroleum Refining

Lastly, let us take a quick look at petroleum refining industries. As the crude oil refining process is a complex matter, we are not going to have an in-depth discussion of it. However, This is a good example of an application that only a ball valve made of stainless steel can do.

 

Crude petroleum is a highly corrosive substance as it can contain carbon dioxide, water, sulfur and other kinds of organisms. It will gradually break down metals in the long run. Stainless steel ball valves will be able to withstand the corrosion for a long time than other materials. So obviously, they are the best option.

Conclusion

Stainless steel continues to be the best choice in manufacturing fittings over the previous years. Stainless steel ball valves are excellent choices of fittings for gas and water piping systems. Did the article amaze you about the advantages of stainless steel ball valves? If it had, you can check out this China ball valve manufacturer in case you are interested.

About Erik

Erik
Erik is the owner and main editor of techmanik.com. He has been working in computers and information technology for more than 20 years. He’s a business analyst, developer and avid traveler.

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