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V Port Ball Valve

April 4, 2022

What is a V port ball valve? 

A V port ball valve is a type of ball valve with a V-shaped ball bore or V-shaped valve seat. A V-port ball valve has the advantage of being used as a control valve which is not common in most ball valves. The main difference between a V-notch ball valve and other ball valve types is the contoured V bore in the ball which could be 15°, 30°, 45°, 60°, or 90° degree angle. A V-notch ball valve helps to produce an equal percentage of fluid flow characteristics for better fluid flow control. V-notch ball valves have been found to offer better flow control relative to larger valves and more expensive ball valves. A V-port ball valve helps to efficiently control fluid flow in a pipeline. The flow in a V-port ball valve is almost linear. V-port ball valves are designed and manufactured with high strength because high-velocity fluid flows through them. This is because without high strength such high-velocity fluids can damage these valves. 

V-notch ball valve

Figure: V-notch ball valve.

 

How does a V-port ball valve work? 

A V port ball valve uses a ball with a V-notched bore at its center. The ball is connected to the actuator or handle through the valve stem/shaft. A V port ball valve starts opening when the valve operator turns the handle or turns on the actuator for a quarter turn. When the handle starts rotating, it simultaneously rotates the stem and the ball. This helps to make the V-shaped ball bore in line with the pipeline which makes fluid flow efficiently. When the V-notch ball valve is in its closed position and the valve operator wants to open it, the small section of the V-shaped bore will start opening first. This helps to enhance precise and stable fluid control in this stage. To close the V notch ball valve, the handle or actuator turns in the opposite direction to the opening direction. The rotation is also of a quarter turn or 90o angle. This makes the valve bore to be perpendicular to the pipeline and thus helps to block fluid flow. 

Working of a V-notch ball valve

Figure: Working of a V-notch ball valve.

 

Types of V-port ball valves

Manual V port ball valve 

This is a type of V notch ball valve which is powered manually. A manual V port ball valve has a handle or lever where the valve operator applies torque to open or close the valve. This means that an operator must operate the V port ball valve by rotating the handle. One advantage of a manually powered V port ball valve is that it is cheaper relative to a valve powered by an actuator. A manual V port ball valve is advantageous in that it still works even when the rest of the system is not working for example due to power outage. Manual V notch ball valves are also simple and they can be automated in future if the user finds it necessary. 

Manual V port ball valve

Figure: Manual V port ball valve.

Actuated V port ball valve 

This is a V notch ball valve that is powered by an actuator. An actuator is a component used in V port ball valves to turn it on and off that is to open or close fluid flow respectively. One advantage of an actuated V port ball valve is that it can operate independently and accurately without a valve operator. However, an actuated V port ball valve is expensive relative to manual counterpart. Some of the actuators that can be used in a V port ball valve include a hydraulic actuator, pneumatic actuator, and electric actuator. 

Actuated V port ball valve

Figure: Actuated V port ball valve.

Three-piece V port ball valve 

A three-piece V port ball valve is a ball valve in which the valve body is divided into three parts which are body and two end caps. All three pieces are connected through bolts connection. This type of V port ball valve enhances easier removal of the seat, ball, and stem from the pipeline. A three-piece V port ball valve makes it for the valve opera to clean dirt, replace seals and seats, and polish minor scratches on the valve ball without completely removing the ball valve from the piping system. The main advantage of a three-piece V port ball valve is that it can be repaired and cleaned without removing it from the pipeline. However, three-piece V port ball valves are very expensive relative to other ball valves.

Three piece V port ball valve

Figure: Three piece V port ball valve.

Side entry V port ball valve 

Side entry V port ball valves are ball valves that are assembled from their sides using bolts and nuts. Side entry V port ball valve assembly consists of three or two pieces of the valve body. Each piece of the valve body is assembled by use of a bolt or stud similar to joining flange pieces. Side entry V port ball valves are made from forge metallic material. In this case, each piece of the side entry ball valve body is forged, and then the pieces are assembled. The forging manufacturing method helps to reduce defects that arise when a V port ball valve is made through the casting method. Side entry V port ball valves are easy to assemble and the internal components of the valve are easy to align. 

Side entry V port ball valve

Figure: Side entry V port ball valve.

Top entry V port ball valve 

The top entry V port ball valve is a valve that is assembled from the top side. The design of a top entry V port ball valve makes it easy to access the seats and ball for cleaning and repair works without necessary removing the valve from the pipeline. Top entry V port ball valves are preferred for applications that need large valves. A top entry V port ball valve would be suitable in cases where the valve should not be removed from the pipeline. The top entry V port ball valve is made using casting method. As such, a top entry ball valve needs to undergo non-destructive tests (NDTS) to ensure it is free from casting defects and thus be leakage-proof. 

 

Applications of V-port ball valves 

  • V notch ball valves are used in oil and gas industries. 
  • V port ball valves are used in water supply and agricultural applications. 
  • These valves are used in water treatment services. 
  • V notch ball valves are used in pharmaceutical applications. 
  • They are used in food and beverages processing. 
  • V notch ball valves are used in chemical admixtures and treatment. 
  • They are used in the acid transfer. 
  • V port ball valves are used in waste processing applications. 

 

Advantages of  V-port ball valves 

Precise fluid flow control 

V port ball valves are available in different angles from 15°, 30°, 45°, 60°, to 90° degree openings which offer equal fluid flow characteristics. When the ball is turned on, the required flow rates can be obtained between 0o to 90o

V port ball valves provide bubble-tight shut-off

V notch ball valves employ the principle of a floating ball which enhances bubble-tight shut-off besides regulating fluid flow. When a V port ball valve is closed, upstream pressure presses the ball against the seat which enhances tight seal. This helps to shut off or control bi-directional fluid flow which is very important in gas applications. 

Low-pressure drop 

The design of a V port ball valve allows fluid to flow straight through the valve which helps to reduce pressure loss across the valve. V port ball valves have a higher coefficient of flow (Cv) relative to other fluid control valves of similar sizes. As such, a smaller V port ball valve can achieve the same flow rate compared to larger-sized control valve. 

High shut-off pressure 

V port ball valves make a quarter-turn ball rotation to close or open fluid flow. This helps the valves to open and close at higher working pressure. As such, V notch ball valves need lower torque to open/close which helps to save costs in terms of actuators. 

Quick operation 

V notch ball valves work by turning the ball quarter turn to open or close the valve which takes a second. 

Versatile 

V notch ball valves are of various types and designs which makes them suitable for use in different applications. 

Durable 

V port ball valves can be cleaned, repaired, and inspected. This makes V notch ball valves last longer relative to other valves which are disposed of once one component fails. 

 

Disadvantages of V-port ball valves 

  • Although V-notch ball valves are classified as control ball valves, they are somehow inaccurate compared to other flow control valves.
  • V notch ball valves are expensive relative to other ball valves.

 

Features of a V port ball valve 

  • V notch ball valves have V-shaped balls and V-shaped seats.
  • V port ball valves are large.
  • V notch ball valves make a quarter turn to open or close the fluid flow.
  • V notch ball valves have a high flow coefficient to body size ratio.
  • These valves have the ball produced to a super smooth finish.
  • V port ball valves have straight, unrestricted fluid flow.
  • These valves have a shearing effect between the seal and the ball which ensures tight shut-off.
  • These valves have a replaceable ball and seal for enhanced rigidity.

 

Troubleshooting V port ball valves 

Unsmooth operation 

  • Jamming due to solids build-up or slurry. Clean the interior of the V port ball valve. Check and replace internal components such as seats, balls, and bearings if necessary. 
  • The ball is corroded. Replace the ball with another one that is resistant to corrosion. 
  • Abnormal pressure rise exceeds seat rating when shutting off the V port ball valve. Take measures recommended by the V notch ball valve manufacturer to prevent unusual pressure rise in the valve and replace valve seats. 
  • Fluid sticking to the seats and disc. Clean the V port inside the section. Check and replace the seats or ball if necessary. 

External leakage in a V port ball valve 

  • Gland packing and gasket sealing performance reduce gradually when the fluid temperature is high or when the V port ball valve operation frequency is high. Lightly tighten the bolts and nuts at the gland packing and gasket. If necessary, replace the gland packing and the gasket. 
  • Gland packing and gasket sealing performance reduce when shutting the valve during unusual pressure rise in the pipeline. Follow the V port ball valve manufacturer’s instructions to prevent pressure rise and replace gaskets, seats, and gland packing as necessary. 

Leakage through the V port ball valve 

  • Seats and balls are damaged by solids in the fluid. Clean the interior of the V port ball valve. Replace the seats and or ball as necessary. 
  • The ball is corroded by the media. Replace the ball with a corrosion-resistant one. 

 

Summary 

A V notch ball valve is a type of valve with a V-shaped ball bore and V-shaped seats. A V port ball valve can be used in open/close applications as well as throttling applications. V port ball valves enhance equal fluid flow characteristics in fluid flow control. The flow controlled by a V notch ball valve is almost linear. V port ball valves need to be made of strong materials as they work on high-velocity fluids which can damage them unless they are strong enough.

There are various types of V notch ball valves which include manual V port ball valves, actuated V port ball valves, three-piece V port ball valves, top entry V port ball valves, and side entry V port ball valves. V notch ball valves are used in different applications among them oil and gas, water supply and agricultural services, wastewater processing, pharmaceutical industries, chemical admixtures, food and beverages processing, and acid transfer among others. The advantages of V notch ball valves include versatility, durability, and precision in fluid flow control, tight shut-off, low-pressure loss, and quick operation.

 

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