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Six types of gas valve and their applications

Maintaining a reliable, consistent, and predictable flow of gas is vital in a number of settings. One of the key pieces of equipment that enables this is the gas valve.

A number of different types of gas valve have been developed over the years. Six of the most common are outlined below.

Ball valves

These are rotary valves that comprise a ball-shaped component that is able to regulate the flow of gas. The most basic version includes a handle which is turned through 90-degrees in order to open/close. These valves are easy to use/repair, offer solid sealing, and provide quick shut-offs.

Needle valves

These valves consist of a narrow opening and a thin needle-shaped plunger that blocks it/unblocks it as necessary in order to control the flow of the gas. They are a particularly good choice for applications where a consistent flow rate over a longer time period is needed and for protecting delicate gauges from damage.

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Check valves

These valves ensure that the gas can only flow in one direction. They work on the principle of ‘pressure differential’. They are often used in gas refineries and processing plants where it is crucially important that there is no backflow. Because they are one-directional, there is no need for an actuator.

Surprisingly large market

Despite being fairly specialist/niche products, the global market for gas valves is expected to exceed $3billion by 2030

If you are looking for information on industrial valves and flow control solutions, there are plenty of resources available online, such as those at

Butterfly valves

These use a disc-type element that is held in place by a rod in order to regulate flow. These valves are simple, lightweight, and compact – and are often used in pipes with large diameters.

Gate valves

These valves utilise a ‘gate’ system that opens or closes a pipeline entirely. They are a good choice for situations in which the flow rate needs to be maintained and controlled. There is no noticeable drop in pressure when this valve is used.

Globe valves

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A globe valve comprises of a disc (ball, composition, or plug), a stem, and a seat. The stem moves up and down to regulate the flow. These valves are commonly used in cooling water systems, fuel oil systems, and chemical feed systems. They are an excellent choice when pressure control is necessary.

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