The oil and gas industry is recognized as one of the largest industries in the world. Its upstream and downstream operations go through rigorous processes. Therefore, it needs types of machinery that can withstand extreme wear because of high temperature and high-pressure operations.
Valves are machinelike tools utilized to regulate the flow and pressure of liquids, gases, or slurries. They are fundamental in the oil and gas piping system and come in an extensive variation in size, operation, function, and design. Below is a list of the commonly utilized valves in the oil and gas industry with their significant role.
An example of a three-way flanged ball valve.
Ball valves are quarter-turn motion valves that are composed of ball-shaped disks for flow regulations. If the valve is opened, holes inside the ball stay in line with the body inlet, letting the media to pass through. Generally, these valves are used for gases and liquids. They can be switched on and off easily, have a tight shutoff, and have low torque.
The balls are typically made of metal alloys, while the seats are made from soft materials such as Teflon. The association of materials signifies that they can function even at a high temperature of 400°C. The only shortcoming to these valves is the lack of throttling features available.
A sample of concentric double-flanged cast iron butterfly valve.
Similar to ball valves, butterfly valves are also quarter-turn motion valves. They are utilized to start, stop, and regulate the flow of media passing through the pipes. Also, they are easy to switch on and off, wherein they are usually equipped with gearboxes. A gearbox simplifies the butterfly valve utilization. However, one must be fast enough to maneuver the device.
Even though they have similar features with ball valves, they still have their distinct differences. Butterfly valves can be used for partial openings, but the ball valves cannot. Nevertheless, if an end-user is looking for compact, lightweight, and cost-friendly, then these valves are perfect. They can also cope fast from the low-pressure drop and high-pressure recovery.
If you are in pursuit of a trustworthy manufacturer, try Huamei butterfly valves. They are one of the leading manufacturers and suppliers of high-performance butterfly valves.
A typical industrial plug valve.
Plug valves use a cylindrical or tapered plug to start or stop the flow. In a switch on position, the plug passage is in one line with the inlet and outlet ports. If the plug is pivoted from the open position, the substantial part of the plug halts the port and stops the flow. These valves are easy to off, compact in size, and have minimal resistance flow. However, they do have reduced ports because of tapered plugs. Also, they need a massive force to actuate due to high friction.
Resilient seated gate valves.
Gate valves are intended to start or stop flow in a straight line, especially when the minimum flow restriction of liquid is necessary. When utilized, either these valves are fully opened or fully closed. When switched on, the disc of the gate is entirely removed, letting content to pass. While this gives gate valves decent shutoff properties and is bidirectional, they cannot be easily opened or closed. Besides, they are sensitive to vibration when open.
A sample image of an ARC valve.
ARC valves or ‘Automatic Recirculation Control’ valves are multifunctional. However, their primary purpose reflects on ensuring that a minimum flow is guaranteed through a centrifugal pump on the whole operation. If a centrifugal pump thrusts consistently, then it will suffer from overheating. The reason why it is essential to keep the minimum flow, if not, then dry valves convey permanent damage.
An industrial globe valve used in the oil and gas industry.
Globe valves are linear motion valves used for regulating flow, aside from switch on and off capacity. They are generally used for cooling water systems, shipping fuel oil, and turbine lube oil systems.
They have turned into one of the world’s most used types of valves since they are generally used for isolation and throttling services. They are popular because of good shutoff ability, and easy to automate the valve seats. The downside of globe valves is that they perform differently when there is a high-pressure drop. Besides, they require greater force or throttling flow to shutoff.
In summary, many types of valves can be utilized in the oil and gas industry. These are ball valves, butterfly valves, ARC valves, gate valves, globe valves, and plug valves. Each type has its advantage and disadvantage. If you are still not sure which valves you need, you can always discuss it with your valve manufacturer. They will help you decide what valve types are ideal for your application.