Ball Valve vs Gate Valve: Which is Better?

Author: venusgeng

Aug. 10, 2022




Tags: Mechanical Parts & Fabrication Services

Gate Valves vs. Ball Valves - Valves in a properly functioning piping system are one of the most critical components. Valves control the flow of liquid by allowing it to start and stop, and they must operate adequately to avoid leaks and unwanted flow. While there are many other types of valves available, ball and gate valves are two of the most popular. Ball and gate valves perform essentially the same function. However, they have significantly different construction features. This is all you need to know about these two types of valves.


What is a gate valve?


A gate valve is the most common valve in a water supply system. It is a linear motion isolation valve that has the ability to stop or allow flow. These valves should not be used to regulate flow; they should be used to open completely or close completely, as partial opening can cause injury. The name "gate valve" comes from the fact that the closing portion slides into the flowing fluid to produce closure, thus acting as a gate. Gate valves are used to isolate specific portions of the water network for maintenance, repair and new installation operations, as well as to reroute the flow of water throughout the pipeline.


API Flanged Rising Stem Gate Valve

API Flanged Rising Stem Gate Valve


Gate valves are typically used on larger pipe diameters, from 2 inches to the largest pipes, because they are simpler to construct than other larger size valves. Gate valves are available in a wide range of sizes, materials, temperature and pressure ratings, and gate and bonnet designs. Electric and pneumatic actuator gate valves are available, but manual gate valves are more cost effective due to their infrequent use.


The gate valve is one of the most frequently used valves today because of its simple design and ability to be used in a variety of low pressure drop applications. The gate valve is designed as a full-pass valve. This means that the valve port is the same size as the inside diameter of the connecting pipe. A full bore gate valve allows fluid to flow without blockage and does not cause a pressure drop in the pipeline. This also allows for the use of pipe cleaners to clean the pipe.


For more information on gate valves, please visit this link.


Ball Valve

Ball Valve

What is a ball valve?


A ball valve, as the name implies, uses a rotatable ball with a hole to control the flow of liquids and gases from one opening to the next. By rotating the ball a quarter turn (90 degrees) about its axis, the medium can flow through or be stopped. These valves regulate flow by allowing openings to be opened, blocked, or partially opened. Ball valves are the best choice for gases because they have a stronger seal. They can withstand pressures up to 700 bar and temperatures up to 350°C. They are typically available in sizes ranging from 0.5 cm to 30 cm. Because of their simple construction, they are easy to use and maintain.


Ball valves are reliable, close safely even after long rest periods, and are durable enough to work after many cycles. They have a higher resistance to contaminated media than most other valve types and ensure a good seal even when the media is not clean. These characteristics make them an excellent choice for shutoff and control applications where gate and globe valves are often chosen, but they lack the fine control of these alternatives in throttling applications.


For more information about Ball Valves visit this link.

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DIN Flanged Ball Valve

DIN Flanged Ball Valve


Key Differences Between Ball and Gate Valves


Before asking the question "are ball valves better than gate valves", we need to determine what the main differences between the two are. The first thing to remember is that they both essentially serve the same function, which is why they are so closely comparable.


The main differences between ball valves and gate valves are the quality of construction and the way they are marked. A gate valve opens by lifting a round or rectangular gate out of the fluid path, while a ball valve has a stem and a horizontally rotating ball. This is why ball valves are often referred to as rotary valves.


Gate valves have a sealing surface that separates the gate from the seat. As such, they are typically used when a straight flow of fluid and minimal restriction is required. Because ball valves are a form of angle travel valve, they act differently. They use a hollow ball to control flow. The valve opens when the hole in the ball is in line with the flow rate. Closed when the valve handle is rotated 90 degrees, the valve handle lies flat, flush with the flow when open and vertical when closed. This makes it easy to visually confirm the status of the valve.


Light Type Gate Valve

Light Type Gate Valve

Is a ball valve better than a gate valve?


To settle the ball valve vs. gate valve debate, we spoke to Youyi Machinery Tech, a leading industrial valve distributor, who carries both valve types. They say that the advantage of ball valves over gate valves is that they have a tighter seal, so they are more leak-proof than gate valves. This is due to their 100% closing characteristics. They are also easier to use, have lower failure rates and last longer than gate valves.


The durability of ball valves makes them ideal for shutoff applications. They consistently perform well after many cycles and have the reliability and ability to close safely even after extended periods of non-use. For these reasons, they are often preferred over gate and globe valves.


For more information on ball or gate valves or any of the other products they stock, please visit the Youyi Machinery Tech website.


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