Gate Valves vs. Ball Valves vs. Globe Valves vs. Needle Valves

Valves are critical components of any mechanical system that needs to regulate and control the flow and pressure of fluids and gasses. There are a wide variety of valves available on the market to choose from, and each one has specific applications. It is important to know the different specifications of each type of valve in order to select the best product for your job. 

Gate valves are so aptly named because they are a valve that opens by lifting a gate or barrier out of the path of the fluid. One of the most commonly used valves, they are easily recognizable by their having a handwheel. They require very little space and are primarily used to stop the movement of fluids. In order to regulate the flow, you turn the handwheel, which lifts the barrier and opens the path for the liquid to flow. The barrier must be completely lowered in order to fully close the valve and stop the liquid from flowing.   

Similar in nature, ball valves are designed to control the flow of liquids or gas. Instead of using a barrier to control the flow by moving up and down, there is a rotating hollow ball that controls the flow. The ball valve is open when the hole is lined up with the inlet and closed when it is rotated 90 degrees. This difference in the way each of these valves works may not seem important, but the design features allow for control to be applied in specific ways. Gate valves are ideal in situations where you need to regulate flow and ball valves are ideal when you need to be able to turn the valve on or off without dropping the pressure. 

Globe valves are different from both gate and ball valves in that they rely on a plug or disc that moves to regulate the flow in a pipeline. These valves can be manually operated or automated. Globe valves are unique in that they allow you to not only control the flow and pressure of gas or liquid, but you can also completely shut off the flow. While this feature is incredible, the design of the valve that allows this flexibility also enables high-pressure loss when the globe valve is fully open.

Needle valves are aptly named for the particular shape of the plunger within the valve. This design allows the valve to regulate the flow with exact precision. If you need to be able to control the flow of liquids or gas smoothly and large pressure drops are acceptable, needle valves may be the ones you need. Needle valves are most commonly used in low-flow-rate applications. 

CPV Manufacturing offers a wide variety of valve products, and our experts are able to help you assess your valve needs to find the best product for your system. Contact us today if you have questions about our valves or other products!