In homes, schools, businesses and factories, valves are essential in the functionality and safe control of water, gas and other chemical systems. The advantages of the 2-piece stainless steel (SS) ball valve stand out, thanks to the combination of a simple design and a reliable material.
The 2-Piece Ball Valve’s Design
How a ball valve operates demonstrates its advantages over many other shutoff valve designs. Ball valves with lever handles make it readily apparent when there is flow in the system with visually obvious parallel-on and perpendicular-off positions. Valves with wheel handles, on the other hand, must be double-checked to ensure the status of the valve and flow.
Being able to easily identify if a valve is open or not greatly reduces the risk of accidents when working on equipment hooked up to piping systems. As a result, ball valves are advantageous as main shutoff valves, especially for hot water, volatile chemicals and combustible or high temperature gases.
Other ball valve uses include just about any application where a system needs an on/off function. Inside the body of the valve, the ball sits in a seat, which is usually made up of a nonmetal material that creates a proper seal. The metal ball therefore does not grind against metal and corrosion build-up cannot stick the ball to its seat. A ball valve could go untouched for years and still operate on or off with minimal effort. Many household and industrial applications require infrequent use, thus making SS ball valves a prudent choice.
The 2-piece SS ball valve is much like a Goldilocks option when compared to 1-piece and 3-piece ball valves. Unlike the 1-piece ball valve, the ball in the 2-piece valve is slightly larger than the fluid flow’s path, allowing good flow rates and making it more reliable against leaks. A 3-piece ball valve can be taken apart to be thoroughly cleaned or repaired but it is more expensive. Depending on the application, premium 3-piece ball valves may not be necessary since cost-effective 2-piece SS ball valves will do just as well.
The Superior Quality of Stainless Steel
Although the design alone offers several advantages over other valve options, the 2-piece ball valve is still dependent on the quality of its materials of construction. More and more, stainless steel ball valves are replacing brass ones across all industries. Brass wears out much more quickly than stainless steel and causes contamination that stainless steel does not.
SS Ball valves are now also very price competitive with brass ball valves.
Valves come in many combinations of design and materials. The combination of the simple 2-piece ball valve design with high quality stainless steel produces a valve that is both versatile and reliable.