Many industries use fluids as a part of their process (both liquids and gases). These might be raw materials, finished products or part of a production process for a solid product. Typical industrial sectors using fluids include oil & gas, pulp & paper, thermal power plants, breweries, and many more –a full listing would be exceedingly long (such is the importance of fluids).
Wherever fluids are used they need to be kept under tight control (particularly as many industrial fluids are hazardous and/or polluting). Along with other items of plant equipment, pumps are used to transport fluids around the plant, valves are used to control the fluid flow within pipes and visual gauges or meters are used to check the progress (many of these will be computer monitored). All such equipment can be labeled as fluid control equipment.
These cut off or allow flow within a pipe or throttle down the flow velocity. Usually they are connected between cut ends of a single piece of pipe but some are also available to cater for more than one flow line.
Design And Type
There are a number of very different types available but the one generically known as a ball valve is amongst the most frequently used. They came in sizes to match any size of pipe from the smallest to the largest.
Basically, a solid sphere (with a hole through its center and a stem attached to its top) is placed inside a casing. The stem passes through the casing and can be externally turned. When the hole is opposite each pipe end, fluid can flow through. Turn the stem and solid faces are presented to the flow line and flow stops. For a two pipe connection, the turn is 90°. One of the most popular brands is the wide range of Flow-tek ball valves from Houston, TX. Since 1999, these have been produced by Bray International.
Flow-Tech Industries is a specialized stockist for the full range of fluid control equipment including Flow-tek ball valves for Houston, TX. Visit them online at http://flow-tech.com/ball_valves.php
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