Plug Valve Advantages: Why They Are Necessary

Published March 6, 2023

plug-valve-advantages

The global plug valves market size is estimated to reach 190.9 million by 2028. For any industrial application that relies on hydraulic systems in their operations, plug valves are a vital component for the efficient running of the systems.

You can use them in applications for oil and gas, waste and water treatment, mining, chemical, and power generation industries. Below is a comprehensive guide on plug valve advantages, along with their types.

What Is a Plug Valve?

A plug valve is a type of quarter-turn valve that controls the flow of fluid or gas through a pipeline. It has a conical or cylindrical plug with a hole in the center that’s rotated within the valve body to regulate the flow.

When you turn the plug at 90 degrees, it can either block the flow of fluid or create an unobstructed passage for the fluid to flow through. Some plug valve uses include:

  • Oil and gas industry: Used to regulate the flow of crude oil, natural gas, and other fluids in pipelines
  • Chemical and petrochemical industry: Controls the flow of corrosive and abrasive fluid
  • Water treatment industry: Regulates the flow of water and other liquids
  • Pharmaceutical industry: Controls the flow of fluids during the production of drugs
  • Power generation industry: Controls the flow of steam, water, and other fluids in pipelines
  • Food and beverage industry: Regulates the flow of liquids and gases during the production of food and drinks

Types of Plug Valves

There are several types of valves available. Each plug valve is often designed to meet specific application requirements. Some of the most common types include:

Lubricated Plug Valve

This type of valve uses a lubricant to reduce friction and extend the life of the valve. They are commonly used in high-pressure and high-temperature applications.

Non-Lubricated Plug Valve

With non-lubricated plug valves, they use self-lubricating materials such as Teflon to reduce friction. This also eliminates the need for external lubrication. You can use them in applications where contamination from lubricants isn’t acceptable.

Eccentric Plug Valve

This valve has an off-center plug that’s designed to reduce wear on the valve. It also provides a tight shut-off.

Three-Way Plug Valve

The valve has three ports. It’s often used to direct the flow of fluid in different directions.

Four-Way Plug Valve

This type of valve has four ports. The plug valve often diverts or mixes the flow of fluid in different directions.

Lined Plug Valve

Lined plug valves often have lining materials such as Teflon or other plastics. These materials provide corrosion and abrasion resistance.

Expanding Plug Valve

This valve features a plug that expands to provide a tight seal when the valve is closed. As a result, it is ideal for applications where tight shut-off is essential

How Plug Valves Work

Plug valves work by using a cylindrical or tapered plug with a hole in the center to control the flow of fluid or gas through a pipeline.

The valve body of a plug valve often consists of two or more ports—an inlet and an outlet with the plug located in between. The plug is connected to a stem that extends outside the valve body, which is used to rotate the plug.

When you rotate the plug so that the hole is perpendicular to the flow direction, the valve is in the closed position. This means the fluid flow is blocked. Rotating the plug 90 degrees in the other direction can open the valve, allowing liquid to flow.

The operation of plug valves can be manual or automated, depending on your specific application requirements.

What Are the Plug Valve Advantages?

Plug valves are very beneficial in several industrial applications. You need to utilize these benefits for more efficiency. Some of the advantages of plug valves include:

Allows for Minimal Flow Restriction

Plug valves feature a full port design. This means that the opening through the valve is the same size as the pipeline.

As a result, they allow for maximum flow capacity and minimal flow restriction. It makes them ideal for applications where a low-pressure drop is critical.

Additionally, the full port design of plug valves can also help to reduce the risk of fluid turbulence and erosion within the valve. This prevents wear and damage to the valve, improving longevity.

Prevents Leakages and Spillages

Leaks and spills can not only be costly but also hazardous. Luckily, you can use plug valves to stop the issue.

When you close a plug, it forms a tight seal with the valve body. With a tight shut-off, plug valves can completely stop the flow of fluid through a pipeline. This can help prevent leakage in pipelines.

Durable

Designed to be long-lasting, plug valves can withstand high pressures and temperatures. Since they have a simple and robust design, it reduces the number of moving parts and potential failure points.

Plug valves are also resistant to wear and corrosion. This makes them ideal for use in harsh industrial environments.

Ease of Maintenance and Operation

Plug valves have a simple design. With fewer moving parts compared to other valves, they are easy to maintain and repair. You can easily disassemble them to inspect and fix any issues.

The simple design of plug valves also makes them easier to operate. This can be especially important in applications where you need to operate the valve manually. As a result, it can reduce the risk of operator error or misalignment.

Offers Great Versatility

Plug valves are versatile in terms of the fluids they can handle. They can control the flow of a variety of fluids, including gases, liquids, and slurries. You can also use them with fluids that may be corrosive or abrasive since they’re available in different materials for construction

Regarding pressure capabilities, plug valves can also be designed to operate in a wide range of conditions. They can handle pressures up to several thousand pounds per square inch (psi), depending on the specific valve design and materials used.

Since they can also operate at a wide range of temperatures, they are ideal for use in high-temperature or cryogenic applications.

Find the Right Plug Valve

Plug valve advantages are many. These tools come in handy in applications that rely on hydraulic systems. At Everlasting Valve Company, we offer premium valves to fit your application.

Contact us today to request a quote.

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