Valves are essential components of piping systems. They are used in oil and gas industry for various purposes. In the upstream, valves are used for controlling the flow of oil. However, in the midstream, valves are used to protect the equipment, by controlling the flow of oil and gas. In downstream applications, valves are used during the refining of crude oil. Thus, every engineer serving in the oil and gas industry must be familiar with the different types of valves. If not all, at least they must have a basic understanding of popular valves. This post discusses 5 common valves used in the oil and gas industry.
5 Common Types of Valves Used in the Oil and Gas IndustryThe following are 5 of the common types of oil and gas industry valves:
- Ball Valves: These valves get their name from a ball-shaped disk, which is designed to control the flow of liquids, gases, or vapors. Typically, ball valves are designed as quarter-turn rotational valves. These valves are made from metallic components, which helps ensure their durability in harsh operating conditions. However, the seat of the valve is always made from a soft material like Teflon. This material combination makes these valves ideal for operating temperatures as low as -200 ºC and high as 500 ºC. These valves offer a tight sealing with a low torque. Some popular types of ball valves available for purchase include floating ball valves, trunnion-mounted ball valves, and full-welded ball valves.
- Gate Valves: The valves of this type are bidirectional, and are designed to start and stop a flow of fluid. Gate valves are ideal to use when there is a restriction of minimum flow of fluid. While in the service, these valves are kept either fully open or fully closed. The disc of the gate is completely removed when it is in the open condition. This allows easy passing of contents. This valve cannot be easily opened or closed.
- Pressure Seal Valves: As the name suggests, these valves are designed for high-pressure services. These valves are distinguishable due to their pressure seal bonnet. This bonnet helps to protect joints, while the internal pressure increases. Generally, pressure seal valves are used for applications involving pressures above 170 bar.
- Check Valves: These valves are mainly designed to protect mechanical equipment in a piping system by avoiding reverse flow of the fluid. Check valves are mainly used in compressors and pumps, where there is a huge backflow of fluid. The backflow may damage internal components of the piping system. This causes unnecessary downtime and may affect other parts of the plant, too. Stainless steel check valves are very popular types in this category.
- Globe Valves: The valves are used for transporting fuel oil and turbine lube oil systems, as well as in cooling water systems. Globe valves are basically linear motion valves that are used for start, stop, and regulate flow. These valves were traditionally used for throttling and isolation services. However, due to certain advantages like good shut off ability, and easy to machine valve seats, these valves have become popular. Globe valves are available in wye, tee, and angle patterns.