Why Pneumatic Actuated Ball Valves are Better Than Manually Operated Ball Valves?
Ball valves are the most common types of valves used in industries and for domestic water and gas supply needs. The reason behind the popularity of ball valves is their simple design with less moving parts due to which there are very easy to use, more robust and hence cheaper.
Why Ball Valves are So Common?
This is the most common question which pops into the head while considering the ball valves. There are a lot of reasons behind the popularity and extensive use of ball valves. Some of them are described below:
1. Ease of Operation
The ball valves belong to the family of valves known as the quarter-turn valves like the plug valves and the butterfly valves. These valves are known as quarter-turn valves because in order to open or shut the valve you just have to turn the valve disc for a quarter of a circle or 90 degrees. A lever mounted on the top of the valve body is used to turn the valve on or off. Well, in some places in industries the valves are pneumatically actuated because the site of the valve is not suitable for human intervention or the usage is so high that it is more economical to actuate the walls using air.
2. Simple and Robust design
The construction of a ball valve is very simple based on very few moving parts. It makes it very robust and gives freedom from lubrication. That is why it needs very little maintenance.
Due to simple construction, the ball valves are relatively cheaper as compared to other types.
How do Ball Valves Work?
Now, let’s have a look at how these valves work. The working mechanism of the ball valves is very simple and easy to understand.
The ball valves are mainly applied for main water shutoffs and branch line shutoffs. These valves are meant for the complete shut and open positions and not for throttling purposes. In simple words, it permits the flow across a pipeline. The three major components of a ball valve are the body that houses a ball placed in a seat and a lever which is used to move this ball inside the body in order to control the valve.
In appearance, the valve is open when the lever is parallel to the flow line and is closed when it is perpendicular to the flow line. The ball is a solid sphere usually made up of stainless steel with an orifice inside for the passage of the fluid. The orifice may be the same or smaller in diameter to the pipeline to which the wall is connected. A rectangular-shaped groove is machined on the top of the valve. The stem is fixed to this groove at one end and bolted to the lever on the other end.
The ball rests on a seat which is made up of a relatively softer material like Teflon or a stiff rubbery material. This enables the ball to make a tight seal with the seat.
The Need for Pneumatic Actuation
The industrialists have always been looking for ways to reduce the cost of production and thus increase their profits. Human resources are the most critical part of any organization and it requires a lot of capital to have the right human resources. So the businessmen have to pay huge amounts to the workers and operators.
The advancement in technology has made it possible to reduce the human resource by replacing it with machines that require a decent one-time investment but save huge sums of money in the process. This concept led to the introduction of pneumatically actuated valves replacing the manual ones that required human operators.
The pneumatic actuated ball valve works on the same principle as a normal ball valve differing in the way that air is used to actuate the valve instead of manually operating the valve.
In the pneumatic actuated ball valves the pressurized air is used to rotate the ball inside the valve. The compressed air is allowed in the pneumatic actuator where it exerts pressure on the diaphragm or a piston which moves the valve stem.
The pneumatic actuated ball valves by tameson are widely used in the industries because they reduce the manpower requirement of the industry thus reducing the operational costs.
Another major reason behind their extensive use is that they eliminate the chances of error which are obvious in the case of a human operator.