Control Valves and On/Off Valves

Oil and gas producers use control valves and on/off valves (also referred to as shut-off valves) to control the flow, pressure, and even temperature of process fluid, water, or gas. In this article we will explain the three most common types of control valves:

  • V-Port or Segmented Ball Valves
  • Globe Valves
  • Butterfly Valves

We will also define two of the most common on/off valves:

  • Full and Reduced Port Ball Valves
  • Gate Valves

Control Valves

V-Port or Segmented Ball Valves

Various industries use v-port or segmented ball valves to control flow in modulating applications. A producer can control v-port or segmented ball valves mechanically or by using pneumatic or electric power to actuate them based on a signal received from a pilot. Smaller v-port or segmented ball valves may be used in upstream applications, while larger sizes are more commonly used in midstream applications.

Kimray recently entered the ball valve market with its new line of Flo-Tite Valves.

Globe Valves

Globe valves are named for their spherical bodies.  Globe valves have two halves separated by an internal baffle, or wall, causing different flow path than ball valves and other rotary-type valves. These valves actuate in a linear movement.

Oil and gas producers control globe valves mechanically or by using pneumatic or electric power to actuate them based on a signal received from a pilot. Depending on the type, globe valves can provide either on/off or modulating service.

Examples of globe valves include Kimray’s back pressure regulators and high pressure control valves.

Butterfly Valves

Butterfly valves are rotary valves that can be used in control or on/off applications. They consist of a round body with a stem in the middle. As the stem turns, the disc is either parallel (open) or perpendicular (closed) to the flow. Unlike a ball valve, the disc is always present within the flow, so it induces a pressure drop, even when open.

Like ball valves, butterfly valves are quarter-turn valves.

On/Off Valves

Full and Reduced-Port Ball Valves

Full or reduced-port ball valves are used in many on/off applications in various industries to control flow. Full-port ball valves have a bore diameter that matches the pipe diameter, which allows for little to no pressure drop across the valve.

Standard-port valves have a bore diameter one bore size down from the end connection, while reduced-port valves can have bore diameters with any number of bore sizes down from the end connection size. Through Flo-Tite, Kimray has the ability to provide fully automated ball valve packages for a range of on/off applications.

Gate Valves

A Gate valve is typically an on/off valve that actuates in a linear movement, either open or closed. Gate valves are rarely used in oil and natural gas operations, but are employed often in waterworks applications.

On most oil and gas production sites, you’ll see a combination of globe and ball control valves.

Brian Levings serves as a Product Manager at Kimray, and is responsible for Kimray’s line of ball valves and glycol pumps. He collaborates with Kimray’s engineering, manufacturing, and quality teams to optimize the performance of our products and make a difference for our customers.