Considerations When Choosing a Butterfly Valve

Jan. 29, 2024

Butterfly valves provide bi-directional dead-end service in commercial and industrial service. To make your selection easier, SUPCON offers specification and submittal assistance. You also get the assurance of the SUPCON warranty, along with superior customer service expertise.

Keep reading for information on selecting the right butterfly valve for your next project.

Butterfly Valve


Pressure Drop

Energy costs go up with excessive pressure drop. The valve or valves are but one factor in a piping system that contributes to pressure drop. Of equal concern are these factors:

  • The flow area of piping.

  • Friction loss against pipe walls.

  • Change of flow direction via fittings

Butterfly valves have flow characteristics three times better than globe valves and approximately 75% of an equivalent size gate valve.


Operating Life

Butterfly valves can provide many maintenance-free cycles and still accommodate "bubble tight" shut-off.



Installation dollars saved with lightweight butterfly valves as compared to heavyweight cast iron valves; i.e. a 10" butterfly may weight 55 pounds, whereas a 10" iron gate may weigh 490 pounds. This can be an important saving when it is calculated over an entire system. The heavier the system, the stronger the pipe hangers, and the more expensive they become. So, by considering the weight of a valve one can also reduce piping system costs.



Butterfly valves can be used for on/off service and throttling/balancing. They are superior in "versatility" as compared to a gate or globe valve. Butterfly valves have a wider range of chemical resistance due to the trim options and choice of elastomeric liners.


Ease of Operation

Butterfly valves offer 1/4" turn (90 degrees) open to close. Gates and globes require multiple turns to open and close. Ease of opening or closing means that butterfly valves can employ less expensive operators.


Bubble Tight Shut-Off

Gate and globe (metal to metal) seats cannot provide bubble-tight shut-off. Resilient seated butterfly valves are bubble-tight by design.


Butterfly Valve


Properly installed butterfly valves are virtually self-cleaning and are less susceptible to failure due to trash material in the line.



A butterfly valve is generally 40% the cost of an iron gate valve, not only in low initial costs but in low installation costs as well.


Physical Size

Butterfly valves take up approximately 1/6 the space of a gate valve. Every cubic foot of a building costs money.


I.E.: 10" butterfly is about 21" high and a 10" iron gate is about 43" high.


Used for

Butterfly valves are used in many industrial applications such as:

  • HVAC

  • Vacuum service

  • High-temperature applications

  • Refrigeration and Air Conditioning systems

  • Irrigation and agricultural needs

  • Corrosive processing

  • Lubrication

  • Petroleum Industries

  • Wastewater treatment

  • Slurries

  • Sanitary valve applications

  • Sprinkler and fire protection systems


For more information on SUPCON Butterfly Valves, visit our website.