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What are Valves? What are ball valve?

As a general definition, valves are devices used to control, regulate and open/close the flow and/or the pressure of a pipeline and/or a piping system. Valves are highly critical and expensive components and one of the determining factors of pipelines reliability, safety, and performance.

There are many different types of valves, most often used in combination, which perform specific functions within the piping system or the pipeline. Today let’s talk about what’s the ball valve?


Ball valves have a spherical disc that is able to modulate the flow of a fluid in the pipeline. The ball inside the valve has a hole through which the flow passes as the hole is aligned with the two ends of the device. Otherwise, when the hole is in a perpendicular position to the ends, the flow is interrupted. The lever of the valve is aligned to the position of the ball, so the open/close status is clearly visible. The two main types are the floating ball and the trunnion mounted type. Both types can be either side or top entry. Three-way ball valves and wafer ball valves are also available on the market. The key norm for ball valves is API 6D and BS 5351 (forged type). Ball valves, as well as butterfly valves and plug valves, belong to the quarter turn family. Stainless steel ball valves are used for corrosive pipeline applications. A specific type is the so-called “double block and bleed ball valves ” (DBB): they feature a double seating surface that seals the pressure on both sides of the device.


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