All About Floating Ball Valves

In this article, the industrial filtration experts at Advanced Filtration in New Jersey are going to look at another specific type of machinery that we deal with every day: floating ball valves.

If you’re interested in learning more about the ins and outs of the industrial filtration industry, have a look at our in-depth explanation of butterfly valves. So without further ado, let’s talk about floating ball valves.

What is a Floating Ball Valve?

A floating ball valve is a type of valve used to control the flow of fluids through a pipeline. It gets its name from the design of the ball inside the valve, which is free to move or “float” within the valve body.

The valve consists of a hollow spherical ball with a hole (bore) through its center. When the valve is open, the fluid flows through the bore, and when the valve is closed, the ball rotates to block the flow. The ball is held in place by two sealing rings or seats, one on each side of the ball.

In a floating ball valve, the ball is not fixed or trunnioned within the valve body. Instead, it is held in position by the pressure of the fluid. When the fluid enters the valve, the pressure pushes the ball against the downstream seat, creating a seal and preventing the flow. When the valve is opened, the fluid pressure on the upstream side of the ball overcomes the pressure on the downstream side, causing the ball to move away from the downstream seat and allowing the fluid to flow through the bore.

What Industries and Applications Use Floating Ball Valves?

Floating ball valves are commonly used in a wide range of industries, including oil and gas, petrochemical, water treatment, and process industries. They are suitable for applications with moderate to high pressures and temperatures. The floating ball design offers low torque operation, which means the valve can be easily opened and closed with minimal force.

It’s worth noting that there is another type of ball valve called a trunnion-mounted ball valve. In contrast to the floating ball valve, the trunnion-mounted ball valve has mechanical support from a trunnion or shaft, which reduces the load on the seats and provides more stability. Trunnion-mounted ball valves are typically used in applications with high pressure or large bore sizes.

How Are Floating Ball Valves Used In Industrial Filtration?

Floating ball valves are commonly used in filtration systems to control the flow of fluids during the filtration process. They play a crucial role in isolating and directing the flow of fluids through different stages of the filtration system.

Here’s how floating ball valves are typically used in filtration:

  • Inlet/Outlet Control: Floating ball valves are installed at the inlet and outlet points of the filtration system to control the flow of fluid into and out of the system. These valves allow for easy shut-off or regulation of the flow, enabling maintenance or replacement of filtration components without interrupting the entire system.
  • Filtration Stage Control: Filtration systems often have multiple stages or chambers through which the fluid passes to undergo different filtration processes. Floating ball valves can be used to isolate these stages, allowing for individual control and adjustment of each stage. This enables operators to optimize filtration efficiency, adjust the flow rate, or perform maintenance on specific stages without affecting the rest of the system.
  • Bypass Control: Floating ball valves can be incorporated into filtration systems to provide a bypass option. In certain situations, such as during maintenance or in case of clogging, it may be necessary to divert the flow of fluid away from the filtration stages temporarily. By opening the bypass valve, the fluid can be rerouted to bypass the filtration process and continue flowing, ensuring uninterrupted operation of the system.
  • Drainage and Purging: Floating ball valves are used to facilitate drainage and purging of the filtration system. They can be installed at specific points to allow for the removal of accumulated debris, sludge, or trapped air. By opening the valve, the fluid can be drained from the system, or air can be released to ensure proper functioning and prevent blockages.

Floating ball valves used in filtration systems are typically selected based on factors such as the fluid type, pressure, temperature, and compatibility with the filtration media. They provide reliable and efficient control over fluid flow, allowing for effective filtration processes and maintenance of the filtration system.

Contact Advanced Filtration For All Your Industrial Filtration Needs

Just as with any mechanical industry, filtration has a lot of moving parts. If you’ve got questions about floating ball valves or need help with any other industrial filtration parts, give us a call at 732-901-6676 or fill out our contact form and we’ll get back to you ASAP.

Advanced Filtration's Industrial filtration experts provide you with the information you need to properly select filters for any industrial application or production issue. 

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    John Woods founded Advanced Filtration in 1993 as a privately owned engineering representative for manufacturers of filtration, separation and heat transfer equipment. With more than 25 years in industrial filtration John offers a level of expertise to every sales consultation.