Most Reliable Valves for Oil and Gas Industries – Stainless Steel Ball Valves

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Australia's valve manufacturer and supplier since 1896

Since
1896

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In the oil and gas industry, stainless steel ball valves can be uniquely useful. These types of modern forged or cast pieces can prevent leaking, and seal important areas of infrastructure and equipment. They are part of modern design that protects systems from improper handling of liquid or gas materials.

Introduction of Stainless Steel Ball Valves 

In a stainless steel ball valve, engineers use high-quality metal materials to craft a fastener or coupling application that involves a ball inside a holding body. The ball is the obstacle that prevents the system’s contents from moving through a conduit unless the ball valve is opened, where a small hole in the ball is presented to the area of pressure flow.

These types of ball valves have abundant uses in industrial settings, and beyond, in building infrastructure and in appliances and systems useful in many markets.

Stainless steel ball valves can either be cast or forged.

Different sorts of stainless steel ball valves can be better for different applications. Many consider forged ball valves to be better for high-temperature and high-pressure uses. They can also be better for handling water or solvents, or certain types of acids and gases. Forged stainless steel ball valves can stand up to high-pressure working conditions, such as the handling of materials like oxygen, hydrogen peroxide, or ethylene. Experts point out that forged valves can be standing up better to thermal fatigue, partly because of having thinner walls and a higher mass.

Cast valves can be cheaper to produce, and also strong and durable, but any impurities in the metal can have consequences for industrial applications. Coating solutions can help. Thermal spray coating can help cast stainless steel ball valves stand up better to high temperatures and pressure.

Fitting Procedure for Stainless Steel Ball Valves

Typically, engineers will install a stainless steel ball valve and then operate it under pressure for a specific length of time. This ensures that the ball valve is up to the challenge of handling a particular pressure rating. Experts may also conduct air seat or back seat tests to analyze how the stainless steel ball valve stands up to pressure. Stakeholders may use a concept called “mean time before failure” in batch testing, where dozens of stainless steel ball valves are operated in tandem. Observers will note when each part fails and then compile a data report accordingly. Sometimes evaluators notice a “bathtub curve” where a higher number of parts will fail early, with most of the rest of the reported failures happening after long-term use or operation.

Features of Top-Rated Stainless Steel Ball Valves

The basic build of the stainless steel ball valve involves the ball and body, as well as a stem and a seat. Some ball valves have extra features like a spring return or specially crafted handles to facilitate good user control and ergonomics. Handles may be coated with polymers or some other material, or specially cast or forged.

Benefits of Using Stainless Steel Ball Valves in Oil and Gas Industries

One of the main benefits of using stainless steel material for a ball valve is its ability to withstand elements that, in other materials, could lead to corrosion.

Stainless steel ball valves are uniquely corrosion-resistant, and also water-resistant, which is good in the oil and gas industry and other sectors where liquids or gases could corrode internal and external surfaces.

Stainless steel ball valves can also stand up to pressure quite well.

Another benefit is the simple design of these valves, where the ball moves back and forth to open and close the valve.

In comparison to other valve types, stainless steel ball valves have some specific utility as well. Some note that ball valves can be more effective than a butterfly valve, because of the different shapes of the turning obstacle. Where the butterfly valve consists of a disk, there is more opportunity or potential for liquid to seep around the edges of the closed valve, where the ball presents a rather large and consistent stoppage mechanism.

Stainless steel and alloys

In addition to stainless steel, manufacturers can make ball valves out of alloys such as:

  • Titanium
  • Zirconium
  • Nickel

Engineers might also use modern alloys of mixed material like Inconel, which is rather new in its production.

Summary

With wide utility in the oil gas industry and beyond, stainless steel ball valves are a common part of a supplier’s catalog.

Buyers can get stainless steel ball valves with simple turn levers, knob style turns, faucet style controls or other handles or levers.

In general, they will be looking to provide an effective seal for a specific type of system and size of aperture.

With the right attention to detail, buyers can use stainless steel ball valves for important machinery and infrastructure on oil rigs, on filling stations, and in other parts of the oil and gas industry or petrochemical field. Do you need these types of parts for an oil and gas application? Get in touch with us today and find out more. 

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