What Is a Floating Ball Valve and How Does It Work?

A floating ball valve does not sound like something you would come across often. But if you are working in industrial control systems, you are bound to encounter this mechanism sooner or later.

In essence, a ball valve is a manual hydraulic valve that seals can be rotated.

If you are still wondering what a floating ball valve is and how it works, then you’ve come to the right place. That’s because, in this article, we’ve prepared everything you need to know about this mechanism.

Let’s begin!

Understanding the Basics of a Floating Ball Valve

A floating ball valve is a type of quarter-turn valve, which means it can be opened or closed with just a 90-degree rotation of the handle or lever. The key components of a floating ball valve include a hollow ball, a stem, and a seat. Let’s break down their functions.

The Hollow Ball

The most distinctive part of a floating ball valve is the hollow ball, typically made of metal or plastic. This ball has a hole through its center, allowing it to pivot in the valve body. When the valve is in the open position, the hole aligns with the flow path, allowing the fluid to pass through. In the closed position, the hole is perpendicular to the flow, obstructing it.

The Stem

Connected to the ball is a stem that passes through the valve body and connects to the handle or actuator on the outside. Turning the handle or actuator rotates the valve stem, which, in turn, rotates the ball to open or close the valve. The stem ensures that the ball rotates smoothly and precisely.

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The Seat

The seat is a sealing mechanism that forms a tight seal around the ball when the valve is in the closed position. It prevents any fluid from escaping when the valve shut. The seat typically made of materials that can withstand the pressures and temperatures of the intended application.

How a Floating Ball Valve Works

A floating ball valve derives its name from the fact that the ball within the valve “floats” or moves with the flow of the fluid. Here’s how a floating ball valve works:

Open Position

When the valve is in the open position, the stem and ball rotated 90 degrees. The hole in the ball aligns with the pipeline, allowing the fluid or gas to flow freely through the bore. This is when you can enjoy a warm shower or cook a delicious meal.

Closed Position

To stop the flow, the valve turned to the closed position. The ball rotates 90 degrees, causing the bore to be perpendicular to the pipeline. This blocks the flow entirely, preventing any liquids or gases from passing through. No more water from your faucet, and no more gas from your stove!

Sealing Mechanism

The tight seal created when the ball presses against the seats. This design ensures a leak-proof closure, making floating ball valves ideal for critical applications.

Floating ball valves commonly used in a wide range of industries, including oil and gas, petrochemical, water treatment, and more, where reliable liquid flow control essential. 

Keeping the Flow in Check

In conclusion, floating ball valves provide a reliable and efficient way to control the flow of fluids in various industries. With a simplistic design and efficient operation, they offer numerous benefits, such as high durability and low maintenance. If you need a reliable valve solution, consider using a floating ball valve for your next project.

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