5 Most Common Types of Petrochemical Valves

Valves are used in a variety of industry types in order to control flow and pressure of liquid, gas, oil, vapor, etc. They effectively control the piping system, which is especially critical when working with chemicals and extreme pressure/temperature as you do in the petrochemical industry.

Petroleum is used for a number of applications in everything from creating plastics to rubber, and the petrochemical industry works at refining these products as well as fiber raw and natural gas materials.

While there are many types of valves out there, this article is going to detail five of the most common petrochemical valves. We’ll detail how the valve works and what it does for the petrochemical industry.

1. Plug Valve

This cylindrical or cone-shaped valve works to either allow or stop (aka “plug”) the flow. It switches between the “open” and “plugged” position via rotation.

In the open position, the internal hollow passages are open and allow the liquid and/or chemicals to flow. In the “plugged” position, the valve is rotated to block the hollow internal passages and stop flow. Check out this video to see a visual of how this works.

Since they are high-capacity valves that can handle high temperatures and function best in low-pressure applications, they are often used in petroleum pipelines.

2. Globe Valves

Globe valves work only in one direction, so you must make sure to install them correctly. They can be used to stop and start flow with high precision, which effectively regulates many pipe systems. These type of valves are often used for oil, fuel, and chemical control and transport in the petrochemical industry.

They’re versatile in their design and are easy to maintain, which is great for this industry. O-SEAL® Globe Valves from CPV are examples of this type; they are designed to ensure leak-proof, bubble-tight seating for thousands of cycles.

3. Knife Gate Valves

Petroleum is a viscous and thick substance, which is why knife gate valves are often used. Knife gate valves can easily cut through thicker substances and fluids like petroleum. However, they aren’t good under high pressure, which limits their versatility.

As the name suggests, this valve uses a knife-like blade that physically cuts through thick substances to regulate flow.

4. Slide Gate Valves

The slide gate valve is a linear motion valve that, unlike the knife gate valve, is designed to handle dry powders, granules, pellets, etc. It uses a sliding plate, as opposed to the blade in a knife gate valve, in order to stop the flow of dry materials.

Depending on the application in the petrochemical industry, you could use either a knife gate or a slide gate valve.

5. Vacuum Relief Valves

Vacuum relief valves are also called “breather” valves because they provide pressure and temperature relief to pipes and tanks.

Many areas of the petrochemical industry will result in building high pressure and temperature that needs to be relieved to avoid dangerous explosions, damage, and other consequences.

Before installing, speak with your manufacturer to ensure that it follows the American Petroleum Institute’s standards.

Using the Right Petrochemical Valves Is Important for Safety and Efficiency

These five common petrochemical valves ensure the petrochemical industry runs smoothly in all contexts. They’re also imperative for maintaining safety.

Need more information? Contact us to learn more and ask any questions you still have.