Thursday, July 7th, 2011
Due to their durable nature, reliability, and easy maintenance, butterfly valves are some of the most common types of valves used. In addition to its durability, the butterfly valve has the benefit of being smaller and more lightweight than other types of valves, requiring less hardware to support it. These valves control the flow of water through pipes, and so are widely used for agricultural and industrial purposes. They are also well-suited for use in fire equipment and large pump lines.

Water flow is regulated by incremental turns of a metal disk, the "butterfly" part of the equation, which is controlled by an actuator switch located outside of the pipe. It is similar in nature the the mechanism in an electric ball valve, though the butterfly valve can be operated manually or electronically.. The disk itself is attached to a metal rod, and affixed to the interior of the pipe. The other end of the rod is connected to the actuator. The amount of water flow is adjustable by turning the actuator. This can be done in increments up to a quarter of a turn, which is fully open. This gives the valve the alternative name of “the quarter turn valve.” The flexibility that it provides is also what makes this valve better suited for situations where water flow may need to be controlled at varying degrees, such as in waste water management.

The structure of the butterfly valve consists of a seat, butterfly disc, a body, a stem, packing, the actuator, and a positioning plate, which is notched to set the valve to different positions. The seat is mounted on the body, causing compression and creating a seal. This seal prevents leaks from around the edges of the disk, as well as the top and bottom of the body where it connects to the stem. The packing provides an additional seal around the stem in case of damage to the other seal. Another back up feature of the butterfly valve is available when it is in the single actuation mode. This causes a spring-loaded mechanism to close the valve in the case of power loss. A signal is required to open the valve when it is single actuation mode. This is only available when the valve is configured to run in pneumatically. In double actuation mode, the valve must receive a signal to open or close it, so it is not as fast or effective as single actuation. The butterfly valve is designed in different styles, including a high-performance model and an eccentric model.

The only disadvantages of the butterfly valve are the fact that its positioning requires it to remain in constant contact with liquids, creating a pressure regardless of what setting it is on, and thick liquids may slow down its performance. This is one of the chief differences between the butterfly valve and the electric ball valve.

If you need a valve that is high in endurance and performance, the butterfly valve is the valve of choice due to its resilience, size, flexibility, and the simplicity of its design.

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