In high-pressure applications, valves must be equipped with perfectly constructed balls in order to function properly. Even the slightest cracks, burs, or other imperfections on the surface of the ball can lead to leaking, and, in some cases, the complete failure of the valve.
For this reason, perfectly crafted precision ball valves are absolutely necessary for high-pressure applications. Outlined below are some of the imperfections that may occur in substandard balls and the consequences of their use in high-pressure valves.
Cracks and Fractures
Tiny cracks and fractures in a ball may be too small to even be noticeable upon inspection. Over time and after being subjected to immense amounts of pressure, though, these cracks in the ball can grow substantially larger to the point that fluid is able to leak freely out of the valve through the crack even when the seal is closed. Left unaddressed, a cracked ball may fail entirely, causing an uninhibited flow of fluid from the valve.
If a dent or a dimple is located near the opening of the ball, there won't be a perfect seal when the valve is closed. In addition to this, dents and dimples in the surface of a ball almost always produce burs and protrusions around the edges of the dent which, as already stated, are a big problem in their own right.
Even highly substandard ball valves aren't likely to be corroded at all when first installed. If not designed to be corrosion resistant, though, they can quickly become that way. Corrosion is able to create poor surface conditions on balls with otherwise fine surfaces, so choosing a ball that is highly corrosion resistant is as important as choosing a ball that is precision made. This is especially true if you are designing a valve that will be exposed to highly corrosive fluids.
In the picture below, you can see a ball inside a ball valve with very poor surface quality. The abrasions on this ball are likely caused by corrosion and will continue to damage the valve with every use. If this valve is used in a high-pressure application, it will almost certainly leak.
In this picture, you can see some of the precision balls we manufacture at Hartford Technologies. Notice that the surfaces of these balls are pristine, without even the slightest imperfections. Thanks to the hardness and corrosion resistance of the metals we use, the surfaces of our balls are guaranteed to maintain a tight seal even after years of use in a high-pressure environment.
For use in high-pressure applications (or any application where durability and a long life-cycle are preferred), outfitting your ball valves with precision-made balls is an absolute necessity.
At Hartford Technologies, the balls we manufacture are all designed to have flawless surface conditions, making them perfect for maintaining a tight seal no matter what pressure they are subjected to. If you would like to learn more about outfitting your ball valves with the best precision-made balls available, we invite you to contact us today.
Hartford Technologies, Inc.
1022 Elm Street - Rocky Hill, CT 06067
Tel: 860-571-3602 | Fax: 860-571-3604
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