An Introduction to Valves for Shipbuilding

There are over 130,000 people working in the shipbuilding industry in the United States today.

If you’re an engineer hoping to get into this exciting career track, it’s essential to know about the valves used for shipbuilding.

Because of the unique challenges presented by use on the open seas and in potentially high-pressure locations, not all valves can be used for naval applications.

Keep reading to learn more about the valves used for shipbuilding so you can select the right ones for your project.

Valve Properties Needed for Shipbuilding

Before we jump into the specific types of valves that are commonly used in naval applications, let’s glance at some of the properties shipbuilding valves require.


Because these valves are likely to be coming into frequent contact with salt water, it’s essential they are made with materials that won’t corrode.

Regular cleaning will help slow this process but you also want to have the right material in place to make maintaining equipment easier.

Safe at Extreme Temperatures

Valves may also face extreme temperatures while on a ship because it’s difficult to maintain temperature control on a naval vessel. That means it’s crucial to select a valve that can handle both extreme hots and colds.

Withstand Vibrations

Compared to machinery in a factory on land, valves and other pieces of equipment move a lot.

These vibrations can cause damage to valves or cause them to come loose. Having valves designed to withstand ship movement and that will stay in place no matter what can help prevent mechanical failure.

Best Valves for Naval Applications

Now let’s look at some of the most popular valves for shipbuilding. Although the type and size of the ship will determine which valves are needed, all of these are commonly found on marine vessels.

Diaphragm Valves

These valves are typically used in bilge water de-oilers and as oil drain valves. They can handle a fairly large fluctuation of temperatures which makes them ideal for marine applications.

Another advantage of diaphragm valves is that they have a leak-proof seal. Plus, repairs can be made to them without interrupting the rest of the line which helps them be low maintenance.

Solenoid Valves

This type of valve is popular on ships because it automatically controls the flow of fluid. This is beneficial on naval vessels because space is usually limited for crew members.

There are also a variety of types of solenoid valves which allow them to be used in different applications. They can either be normally open or normally closed. Then, once energized, an electromagnet reverses its operation.



Solenoid valves can often be found in the diesel engine of ships, demonstrating how essential this component is to the success of a vessel.

Need Help Selecting the Best Valves for Your Project?

Now you know which valves work best for shipbuilding so you can make better decisions when working in this industry or prepare for a role within it.

If you’re working on a project for a naval application and need help selecting the perfect valve, contact us today. We would be more than happy to give you all the assistance you need to make the right choice.