Valves can be found just about anywhere today: in our homes, under the street, in commercial buildings and in thousands of places within power and water plants, paper mills, refineries, chemical plants and other industrial and infrastructure facilities.
The valve industry is truly broad-shouldered, with segments varying from water distribution to nuclear power to upstream and downstream oil and gas. Each of these end-user industries use some basic types of valves; however, the details of construction and materials are often very different. Here’s a sampling:
In the world of water distribution, the pressures are almost always relatively low and the temperatures ambient. Those two application facts allow a number of valve design elements that would not be found on more challenged equipment such as high- temperature steam valves. The ambient temperature of water service allows use of elastomers and rubber seals not suitable elsewhere. These soft materials allow water valves to be equipped to tightly seal off drips.
Another consideration in water service valves is choice in materials of construction. Cast and ductile irons are used extensively in water systems, especially large outside diameter lines. Very small lines can be handled quite well with bronze valve materials.