Ball valves are quarter-turn operation valves commonly used in shutoff applications. They are designed with a spherical ball with a hole through it, hence their name. Ball valves come in one, two, or three pieces. One-piece ball valves are the more common option, considering they are inexpensive compared to the other two ball valves.
The pieces in a two-piece ball valve are connected either by a bolt and flange assembly or a threaded assembly. The three-piece ball valve features a body and two end caps. The end caps are either threaded, flanged, or welded on both sides for them to connect to the desired pipe.
Why you should consider using a three-piece ball valve
If your processes put heavy pressure or demand on your valves, you need to routinely maintain the valve’s components in order to ensure they are working optimally at all times. One-piece valves, since they are not generally repairable, must sometimes be replaced, making them unsuitable for your high-demand processes. Similarly, two-piece valves do not provide much convenience during maintenance.
Three-piece ball valves, however, are very reliable in high-demand processes that require routine maintenance. The three-piece valves make it easy to routinely replace seats, seals, and any other components that are worn out. The three-piece mechanism allows for easy disassembly, cleanup, servicing, and reassembly -- all without having to cut the pipe.
With three-piece ball valves, you also can change elastomers easily to accommodate various process pressures, conditions, temperatures, and even flow. The valves also make it easy for you when welding them in place. To avoid damage to the valve body, you can move it out of the way with the trim to ensure all internals are intact during the welding process.
Another reason you should consider three-piece ball valves is long-term savings in maintenance costs. Three-piece valves may be more expensive to purchase, but in the long run, they save you money in terms of time and labor spent maintaining and servicing seals and seats instead of having to replace the whole valve.