What are industrial valves used for?

The term ‘industrial valves’ simply refers to valves used in industrial settings as opposed to domestic or commercial ones.

These types of valves are often larger than non-industrial ones and will usually be made from more robust materials, as they have to deal with harsher environments.

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Where can industrial valves be found?

Industrial valves can be found within the pipelines that transport water and gas around the world; indeed, it would be almost impossible to control such processes without them. They are also used in power plants, HVAC systems, food and beverage production, and medicine production.


The three main valve functions are stop/start, throttle, and non-return. Each function deals with the flow in a different way.

Linear v rotary motion

Almost all valves use either a linear or rotary mechanism to control the flow. A linear motion means the closure element moves in a straight line, whilst a rotary motion means the closure element is rotated about a shaft and extends across the full diameter of the orifice.

Industrial valve experts

There are many companies that specialise in industrial valves. Some of these, such as https://orseal.com/, have useful online resources.

Industrial valve types

The main types of industrial valves are gate valves, globe valves, ball valves, butterfly valves, and check valves.

Gate valves are heavy-duty barriers and are used in applications where only complete shut-off or full flow is needed.

Globe valves work by raising or lowering a ‘plug’ that either blocks or allows the flow. These valves can be found in HVAC systems and turbines.

Ball valves use a ball or sphere with a hole in it to control the flow. They are a popular choice when a quick shutoff is needed; therefore, they are used in numerous industries.

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Butterfly valves use a rotatable disc to control the flow. These are very simple and lightweight valves.

Check valves can ensure the flow is possible in one direction only. They work with a concept called ‘pressure differential’ and prevent backflow, which is crucial in some industries.

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