Valves are used in our everyday activities, valves are applicable in any situation that involves the flow of liquids or gases. Simple things like water taps and gas supply systems use valves to operate.

Apart from their applications at home, valves are also used in industries. Industrial valves are specially built to withstand extremely high pressures that are commonly associated with industries. In this article, we are going to look at how to choose the appropriate valves for our businesses by studying the various types of valves.

Ball valves

A ball valve is made up of housing mostly made of metal and a rotating ball with a hole in it. Ball valves are also known as shut-off valves as their primary function is to control the flow of liquids. The rotating ball makes 90 degrees turns that either completely block or allow the flow of the liquid. The turns change the positioning of the hole in the ball.

Ball valves are the best for sealing purposes as they are completely leakproof once you shut the valve it completely blocks the passage of either liquid or gas. There are various types of ball valves each tailored specifically for a special function. The types are; single body, split body, top entry, and wielded ball valves. Ball valves can also be specifically attuned for special purposes e.g the fire safe ball valve that is used in areas where there is a risk of fire.

Check valves

This type of valve allows liquids to flow in one direction only, the main purpose of check valves is to prevent the liquid/gas from reverse flow. The reverse flow of the liquid/gas may end up damaging the supply system. Check valves are designed to operate both manually and automatically.

Apart from preventing the backflow of liquids, check valves also help maintain the pressure of the liquids or gases in transit. Due to their simple design, check valves can be used in several industries. The industries include; oil refining, oil field production, waste management systems, and manufacturing industries.

Butterfly valves

Butterfly valves are used to regulate or isolate the flow of liquids. Like ball valves, butterfly valves are also quarter-turn valves. This simply means that they are controlled by turning the handle at 90 degrees. Butterfly valves can be set to operate either automatically or manually.

Butterfly valves can be installed easily and also require less maintenance hence they are suitable for industrial settings. Butterfly valves are divided into three main categories; rubber lined, plastic-lined, and metal. Butterfly valves are mostly used in water supply, fire protection, gas supply, pharmaceutical, chemical, and food processing industries.

Globe valves

A globe valve is spherical in shape and consists of a movable disc and a stationary ring. Globe valves are mainly used in pipelines to modulate the flow of liquids. There are three types of globe valves; z type, y type, and angle type. Globe valves also act as stop-check valves.


Globe valves are also classified according to the type of disc arrangement. Under this classification, we have three categories; ball type, needle type, and composite type disc arrangements. Apart from being used in pipelines, globe valves are also applied in areas of high-temperature.

Gate valves

Gate valves function as isolation valves. Gate valves control the flow of liquids through pipes, they are attached to pipelines to halt the flow of liquids. Gate valves are mainly categorized into two, parallel and wedge-shaped gate valves.

Gate valves are mostly used in high-pressure and high-temperature environments. Gate valves are also very useful in case of an accident or when carrying out a maintenance procedure. Gate valves are prominent in water distribution and also in fire prevention systems.

Needle valves

Needle valves are designed to control and regulate the flow and pressure of water. Needle valves are also quarter-turn valves.

Needle valves are commonly used in water treatment and distribution, dams/reservoirs, and power generating plants. Needle valves are also used when calibrating and thus are used in plumbing and chemical engineering industries to help regulate the rate of flow of liquids.

Plug valves

Plug valves are cone-shaped and control the flow of liquids by rotating inside the valve housing. Like ball valves and butterfly valves, plug valves are also quarter-turn valves.  There are several types of plug valves; lubricated plug valve, non-lubricated plug valve, eccentric plug valve, and expanding plug valves.

Plug valves require automated actuators, this means that cannot be operated manually. Plug valves are used in gas pipelines, slurries, and sewage systems.


There are several types of industrial valves and each type is designed for specific purposes. When selecting an industrial valve for your business or industry there are several factors to consider. One of the factors is the temperature of the working environment, some industrial valves are better fitted for high temperature and others for low temperature.

The second most important factor is the pressure of liquids/ gases being transported. Similarly, there are valves designed for use in low-pressure situations and others for low-pressure situations.

We have looked at these factors at length and additionally discussed the types of valves and their uses. This article is, therefore, a guide to help in the selection of industrial valves for running your business or operation in an industry.