Exactly How Does A Ball Valve Work?

Apr. 25, 2022

V-notch Ball Valve

V-notch ball control valve

What is the ball valve feature exactly, and why does that matter when you are picking valves for your organization? We're here to tell you that a lot more concerning exactly how the valves you choose for your commercial applications can make a large impact on your effectiveness, earnings, and also an overall success. If you're interested,  check out our other article. 

Ball Valve Function Basics

A ball shutoff operates as a quarter-turn valve, which regulates circulation through a hollow, perforated, and also rotating round, for this reason, the name. It remains in the same shutoff household as butterfly valves and plugs shutoffs, which are likewise quarter-turn shutoffs. The sphere has a port, or a birthed, in its facility, which is crucial to its feature.

When the bore in the sphere valve feature is associated with the affiliated pipe, the shutoff is open, so fluid can move through the bore. Turned 90 levels, it is situated vertical to the flow of the fluid, so the shutoff is shut and the liquid can not come through. That being claimed, the round valve feature is not well fit for applications in which you require to strangle the circulation of a fluid.

The way around shutoff operates makes it easy to see if the shutoff is open or shut. The manage that operators utilize to adjust where the ball is lined up with the flow when the valve is open, as well as it is vertical when the shutoff is closed.

How They Work

Ball valves utilise a hollow ball that allows a flow through it when in the open position and isolates when closed. The ball is driven via a spindle that fits into a slot milled into the hollow ball, which in turn is operated by a lever to open and close the ball. The ball valve spindle is encased in the valve body neck and is sealed by a range of neck seals, to prevent leakage, in addition, the ball is sandwiched between two body/ball seats that ensure positive sealing.


As the ball opens and closes between the seats, they offer a wiping motion and clear suspended particles from the surface of the ball. It must be said that abrasive solids will damage the seats and the surface of the ball which will eventually cause leakage. Solid, stringy and fibrous material may prevent the ball from closing. The most common ball valve design is two way, which enables flow to travel from the inlet to the outlet. Three and four-way ball valves enable flow to travel in multiple directions.


There are many types of seat material available to suit the requirements of system pressures, temperature, chemical resistance etc. however one of the more interesting is the cavity filled ball valve. 

This has a special seat design that encapsulates the ball and the gap between them. This eliminates the possibility of trapping product and build-up over time.

This is commonly used in food, beverage, brewing and other sanitary systems. Standard seated ball valves allow fluid debris to be trapped, causing bug traps in the inner-body cavity.


V port ball valves have instead of a hole in the ball or seat they have a “V” shaped profile or “V” cut out of the ball. As a result of this the required flow can be controlled more precisely. The V shape gives a better linear flow characteristic than a hole and is used on systems that require greater control of flow.

V-notch ball valve

V-notch ball valve

Differences in bores

Full-port ball valves have an internal bore diameter (ID) approximately equal to the pipeline ID, which reduces friction and pressure loss across the valve and eliminates flow restrictions. This type of bore is ideal when pigging may be necessary.

Reduced-port ball valves have bores that are one or two nominal sizes smaller, providing a more restricted flow path that are generally used where energy losses are not an issue ie drain or vent valves.

Available in full and reduced ports, ball valves are widely used in the majority of most industries from water treatment to oil and gas industries including most severe service applications.


Ball valves can be used in many industrial applications. They provide reliable leak-proof protection. Ball valves have low-pressure drop and can be opened and closed quickly. They can be manually operated or actuated by pneumatic or electric quarter-turn actuators. Manufactured in a variety of construction materials, trim options, and designs make ball valves extremely versatile.

Automatic Ball Valves

An alternative to manual handle operation is automatic control. Ball valves can be fitted with an electric or pneumatic actuator very easily. Modern valves fit directly to the actuator, connecting directly via the valve stem. The most common flange connection between the valve and actuator is the ISO 5211 standard. By using an actuator, you can control the ball valve remotely or through a controller (using the V sector ball valve) so that it can be used as an automatic ball valve shut off or isolation valve or a proportional control valve. Pneumatic actuation is offered either with a failsafe spring-actuated unit.

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