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Applications of Stainless Steel Ball Valves

Mar. 14, 2023

This guide is intended to provide a comprehensive overview of available stainless steel ball valves and their uses. Its purpose is to provide the necessary information needed to select the correct ball valve for a specific application.


What is a ball valve?

A ball valve is a globe valve used to control flow where a simple "on" or "off" flow is required. They are easy to operate by simply turning the handle 90 degrees to "close" or "open" the flow. The name comes from the spherical internal sphere, which has a hole drilled into it to turn the flow on and off by rotation. They are versatile, capable of conveying liquids and gases over a wide range of pressures and temperatures. They are reliable and can repeat the same sealing function after many cycles, even after long periods of non-use. They are durable, with a long and predictable service life.

Stainless Steel Ball Valve

 Stainless Steel Ball Valve

How do ball valves work?

They utilize a rotating hollow ball that allows flow through it when it is aligned and stops flow when it is in the closed position. Simply rotate the handle a quick 90 degrees to fully open or close the valve flow. When the handle is parallel to the pipe and in a straight line, the valve is open. When the handle is perpendicular to the pipe and at a right angle, the valve closes. It is this 90° clockwise or counterclockwise rotation to open or close the flow of the valve that makes them also known as right-angle rotary valves. The valve has an internal rotating ball with a hollow hole in the center. This inner ball is connected to the handle by a rod. Thus, by turning the handle, the ball rotates and when the hollow hole is aligned with the pipe and in the same direction as the flow, the flow opens and


Applications of stainless steel ball valves

We sell a wide variety of valves, but what specifically are stainless steel ball valves used for? Let's find out! Here are some of the jobs where stainless steel shows its value.

High Pressure Stainless Steel Ball Valve

 High Pressure Stainless Steel Ball Valve

Petroleum Refining

The process of refining crude oil into a usable product is a complex process that we won't delve into today. However, it is a good example of work that can only be done with stainless steel ball valves. Crude oil may contain water, carbon dioxide, sulfur and various microorganisms. These make it a very corrosive substance. Over time, it slowly breaks down the metal, so you have to get valves and piping that can withstand it for the longest time. Stainless steel ball valves will last longer than other materials, so they are the obvious choice.


Seawater environments

Some applications occur in or near seawater, such as desalination. The marine environment is corrosive and hazardous to all types of materials, but because water is involved, it has the greatest impact on metals. In these types of applications, many prefer to use plastic ball valves, which may have better resistance to water and corrosive chemicals than most metals. The problem is that plastic valves cannot operate at high pressures and extreme temperatures. Stainless steel ball valves can easily handle harsh conditions. With proper maintenance, stainless steel ball valves can have a long life around seawater.


Brewing System

Finally, we'll take a quick look at brewing. Almost every brewery uses stainless steel ball valves. Most often located on kettles, stainless steel ball valves allow the user to control the flow of liquid during transfer. Stainless steel is needed because it will come into direct contact with the wort, the liquid extracted during the saccharification process when brewing beer or whiskey. This is a corrosive liquid substance that can wear down iron valves. Since plastic valves cannot withstand the temperatures encountered during the brewing process, stainless steel is the way to go!

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