In an industrial system, and in any piping system, valves are used to restrict, stop or control the flow of fluid. With up to 70 to 80% of water consumption, industry represents one of the largest water consumers across the globe and is thus one of the most demanding users of various types of valves. Without an efficient water distribution and treatment, nothing would work in branches of industry such as power generation, steel making, mining, paper and many others. Industries need cost-effective solutions for drinking water, cooling water, fire-fighting systems and waste water treatment. Valves are required for Back up water, Cooling water, Ash slurry and miscellaneous applications in industries like power, steel, mining and process. Besides, big industrial colonies have their own drinking water supply system having separate water treatment plants.
More specifically, some industrial valves are used to:
- Control the cooling rates of water through cooling lines to regulate the temperature.
- Restrict flow for system balancing.
- Prevent reverse flow (check valves).
- Automatically stop the flow in the event of a system failure.
When considering available valves for an industrial system, evaluation depends on both the short term and long term performance of a valve. Depending on the application, one valve may outperform another and provide a superior service life. The choice is often based on several factors, including the :
- Type of service or medium
- Expected frequency of operation
- Size of the line
- Cost of ownership (includes how often must maintenance is required for the seats and o-rings)
- Budget of project
In any case, the main options for industrial piping systems:
- Gate valves
Gate valves are designed to be positioned either on or off, which means they shouldn’t be used to adjust the pressure of the water flow because that will cause them to wear down too quickly. Gate valves work well within systems of high temperature and pressure. They often are utilized within manufacturing systems, pharmaceutical systems, gas and oil applications, and automotive and marine systems. While smaller gate valves may be cost-effective, larger ones can be costly.
- Butterfly valves
Butterfly valves are used to isolate or regulate the flow of water. They offer a cost-effective option in larger sizes because they are lighter and more compact than some other valves. In a cooling circuit for industrial water, isolation or control valves are typically used. In systems with large-diameter pipes, that often means that high-performance butterfly valves are used.
- Check valves
Check valves, also known as non-return valves, are designed to prevent backflow in piping systems. This ensures that the system operates properly, and that damage is prevented from happening. It allows the liquid to flow fully unobstructed in one direction, and automatically closes as the pressure is reduced or reversed.
- Knife gate valves
Knife gate valves work similarly to gate valves, but the gate has a knife edge that has the ability to cut through accumulated solids such as scale, slurries and surface build ups. They work well in high-flow systems, effectively handling abrasive slurries or sludge applications. Knife gate valves are not recommended for low-pressure applications. They are not able to provide bubble-tight shutoff or cavity formation, which means they are not useful in high-purity applications.
Because a system relies on valves to control flow and often restrict it in times of need, valve selection is crucial. With dozens of types, materials, manufacturers and models to choose from, start by assessing each on the basis of simplicity, efficiency and safety. And you get all these and more at SIGMAFLOW.