5 factors that influence the lifespan of ball valves

The inherent design of ball valves makes them perfect for on/off management of all kinds of media, but what precisely should you expect in terms of service life? A fast Google search for “ball valve lifespan” turns up a blanket response of one hundred,000 cycles. If solely the real answer was that straightforward.
The reality is that the lifespan of your ball valves is determined by a handful of things. Ball valves in high-cycle or high-pressure settings will need servicing or changing extra typically than these with rare operations — and that’s before factoring in any media-specific nuances.
You will see that almost all of ball valve suppliers do set ensures for the life expectancy of their products as a outcome of there are so many factors to consider first. Here’s a closer look at five that will impact the longevity of your ball valves.
1. Media
Ball valves are traditionally used for the on/off control of gases and liquids, including water, oil, air and chemicals.
Media with suspended particulates that are abrasive in nature can cause the valve seals to fail prematurely. This can come in the form of a leak or, depending on the severity of the media characteristics, the ball valve working torque may rise dramatically ultimately causing actuation failure.
Use ball valves just for the on/off control of liquids or gases. Avoid abrasive media.
A three-piece ball valve includes a primary body and two pipe connectors, that are threaded or welded to a pipe. The primary body may be easily eliminated for cleaning or repairs without eradicating the pipe connectors.
2. Materials
The right supplies for your ball valve will rely upon the sort of liquid or gasoline flowing by way of the valve. Some of the most common materials used to manufacture ball valves embody stainless-steel, PVC, brass and bronze.
The materials of each the valve body and the seals have to be appropriate with temperature and pressure rankings, as properly as the chemical make-up of the gasoline or liquid that can circulate via the valve.
Here’s a better take a look at material options:
Metals: Stainless steel, bronze and brass are highly durable and corrosion-resistant. Metal materials are the only option for high-temperature functions.
PVC: Polyvinyl chloride is a kind of plastic that provides more flexibility than metallic valves. However, PVC is not as durable as metallic options and isn’t designed for top temperatures (over 140°F) or high-pressure applications. PVC ball valves are most likely to have shorter lifespans than different options.
PTFE: Polytetrafluorethylene is used for many ball valve seals and is appropriate with nearly all forms of media. This materials has a high melting point, but functions with very high temperatures ought to use metallic or ceramic seals.
Elastomers: Elastomers corresponding to Viton and EPDM are additionally utilized in certain ball valve designs. When utilizing valves that include an elastomer, it is necessary to make certain that the material used is compatible with your software media.
One useful resource that’s commonly used for figuring out chemical compatibility is the Cole-Parmer Chemical Compatibility Database. This is an effective tool for figuring out primary chemical compatibility between the valve components and the application media.
Where the supplies come from is simply as important. Some resellers may supply ball valves from manufacturers around the world, so there may be always the risk of design inconsistencies or functionality issues. Valves from home manufacturers usually supply extra dependable and long-lasting merchandise.
Plastic ball valves are economical but shouldn’t be utilized in high-temperature settings and have a tendency to have shorter lifespans in comparability with steel choices. Pressurized gases should be used with steel valves for maximum security. It is essential to make sure that both the valve body and seal supplies are secure for use with the media that might be flowing through the valve.
Ball valve manufacturing parts
three. Temperature & pressure ratings
When determining suitability, you will want to contemplate each the valve media pressure and temperature, commonly known as pressure/temperature score. In general, because the media strain increases, the media temperature should decrease, and vise versa.
The pressure/temperature rating will affect the proper supplies, valve design and valve seal materials that must be used. This, combined with cycle frequency, are all elements which have a significant have an result on on the lifespan of a ball valve. A ball valve utilized in an software that is close to the pressure/temperature rating may last years if the valve is cycled (turned on or off) sometimes. The same valve in the same application may need frequent replacement if the valve is cycled typically.
The nearer your specific valve media is to the upper limits of the valve pressure/temperature ranking, the less cycles (on/off) the ball valve will yield. If you continue to have questions, attain out to the ball valve manufacturer for advice.
4. Actuation
There is more than one method to energy a ball valve. Manual ball valves are managed by turning a lever or handle on high of the valve. Since these valves must be powered by an operator, they are not the right alternative for high-cycle purposes or for valves located in hard-to-reach locations.
Actuated ball valves can be automated and managed remotely via the addition of a power source. You will probably see the following options:
Pneumatic actuated ball valves are utilized in environments with entry to compressed air. They present quick cycle instances and excessive sturdiness.
Electric actuated ball valves ought to be used in purposes that require low cycle speeds or those with no entry to compressed air. The slower index instances can help forestall water hammer in high-pressure applications. You may additionally see these referred to as “motorized ball valves.”
Hydraulic actuated ball valves function on related rules as pneumatics but provide more torque output. เกจวัดแรงดันแบบแห้ง are usually more expensive than different actuator options and may require extra components for proper functioning.
Although pneumatic actuators are the most sturdy choices, in most functions all actuator sorts (pneumatic, electrical, hydraulic) will lengthy outlast the ball valve they function. Regardless of the actuator that’s chosen, it’ll doubtless final the lifespan of a quantity of valves.
Electric actuated ball valves, also referred to as motorized ball valves or rotary ball valves, are the preferred alternative for ball valve automation. These products use an electric motor to function the ball valve and control the flow of media.
5. Maintenance
With an actuated ball valve, the valve seals are almost at all times the first element to fail, usually in the type of a leak either from the stem seal or seats noted by downstream leakage when the valve is within the off position. For this cause, it’s common to aim to restore the valve by replacing the delicate seals.
If you’re planning to take care of the valve in your utility, it could be very important select a valve that’s designed for serviceability, similar to a three-piece ball valve. These valves are designed in order that the middle section and seals of the valve could be easily and safely changed. One-piece and two-piece ball valves aren’t designed to be taken aside and must be changed quite than repaired. The excellent news is that the alternative ball valve value is a small percentage of the overall value of the actuated ball valve assembly. Depending on the brand and quality of the actuator, one actuator will host several ball valves before needing substitute.
An actuator will usually final the lifespan of a number of ball valves, so you should expect to exchange the ball valve more frequently than the actuator. In purposes where the valve might be subjected to excessive put on and tear, a three-piece ball valve ought to be thought-about to allow for serviceability of the valve.
Ultimately, wear and tear are anticipated irrespective of the media or software. But with correct set up and the right material development, you’ll be able to maximize the time your ball valves spend in service and, in flip, get the most bang in your buck.
George Packard is VP of marketing at Gemini Valve. Hemanages the creation of digital marketing mediums to facilitate the best user expertise with the company’s services and products. With previous expertise in gross sales, Packard mentors company customer help representatives and is involved in product gross sales, assist and post-sales comply with up.
Gemini Valve

Scroll to Top