Butterfly Valve vs. Isolation Valve

Written by monica southworth
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Butterfly Valve vs. Isolation Valve
Knowing the advantages and disadvantages of different types of valves is important. (valve image by Aleksandr Ugorenkov from Fotolia.com)

Plumbing and pipes can be confusing, but even more so if you're staring at a wall full of valves and you do not know the uses for them.

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The Isolation Valve

An isolation valve is used to divert liquids. The isolation valve has two positions, on and off. The isolation valve has two categories: linear and rotary. A linear valve moves in a straight line, and includes gate valves, global valves, diaphragm valves and pinch valves. Rotary movement valves open around an axis, perpendicular to the flow of the fluid. Ball valves and butterfly valves are types of isolation rotary valves.

The Butterfly Valve

A butterfly valve is a rotary valve, meaning the disc rotates from a closed position (completely blocking to the pipe), to an open position, in which the disc rotates 90 degrees to be flush with the flow. Butterfly valves are commonly used in domestic piping, on ships and pipelines. They are smaller than ball valves, giving an advantage in small spaces. Butterfly valves have a longer life, are easily repaired, removed or adjusted and produce a smooth flow. A disadvantage of using a butterfly valve is that the shut-off is not as tight as others.

Isolation Valves and Pressure

Types of isolation valves are gate, globe, diaphragm and ball. The maximum pressure range for each of the valves is different. For example, gate and globe valves can withstand up to 700 bars of pressure, a ball valve can handle up to 525 bar of pressure, a diaphragm valve can handle up to 21 bars of pressure and a butterfly valve can handle 102 bars of pressure.

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