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What are the different types of control valves in industries?

We know control valves are like the ‘final control element’ in the process of industry. The main function of control valve is regulate the flow capacity or downstream pressure of a fluid. The control valves usually installed with actuator, positioner, handwheel, solenoid valve, limit switch or other accessories.

The most common control valves in industrial process loop includes:

  • Globe type control valves
  • Angle type control valves
  • Butterfly type control valves
  • Diaphragm type control valves
  • Ball type control valves

Globe Type Control Valves

Pneumatic globe control valves are widely used for control systems with precise regulation qualities. Their characteristics can be customized by the condition, and it can be safe and reliable handling of high differential pressure. For high-pressure drop application, we use a multi-stage design to relieve the outlet pressure and also with low noise internals. The globe control valves required low actuator forces but can achieve low leakage even complete tightness function. Also no worry with the high switching cycle on the site. Of course, the control valves have disadvantages such as large install space and low flow capacity.

AdvantageDisadvantage
Globe (Unbalanced) :
1. Large Range
2. Good Shutoff
1. Unbalanced Forces 
2. High Pressure Loss
 Globe (Balanced):
1. High Capacity
2. Large Range
3. Balanced Forces
1. Poor Shutoff
2. High-Pressure Loss

The globe control valves assembly of two main components, valve and actuator.

ValveActuator
Body (2-way, 3-way)Actuator Power Unit (Electric, Pneuamtic)
BonnetActuator Stem
TrimYoke & Coupling

Recommended brand of globe control valves: FISHER, FLOWSERVE, SAMSON, ARCA, THINKTANK, KOSO

Recommended brand of valve positioners: SIEMENS, ABB, ROTORK(YTC).

Valve Body

  • The globe control valve gets its name from its spherical shape. According to the ports of the valve body, it includes 2-way Flow Control, 3-way Mixing, 3-way Diverting type.
  • Size: 1/2” to 36”
  • Nominal Pressure: 150LB to 2500LB
  • Material: Carbon Steel, Stainless Steel, Duplex, Alloy

Valve Characteristics

  • Linear
  • Equal percentage
  • Quick opening

The globe control valve can meet capacity demands from 0.001 CV up to 12,000 Cv.

Image
Pneumatic Globe Type Control Valve

Valve Plug

  • Balanced plug

The balanced port allows equal process pressure above and below the valve plug, and typically flows downward through the seat ring.

  • Unbalanced plug

The unbalanced plugs are solid, have no through holes, and typically flow upward through the seat ring.

Image 1
Micro-Flow Plug for Control Valves
Image 2
Plug

Bonnet

  • Standard, plain bonnet (-17 to 230°C)
  • Extension type I (-45 to -17°C and 230 to 566°C)
  • Bellows
  • Cryogenic bonnet

Integral cast type (-100 to -45°C)

Welded type (-196 to -100°C)

Image 3
Bonnet Type

Trim

The selection of trims with different flow characteristics allows the globe control valves to be linear, equal percentage, or quick opening, so they can meet the capacity requirements from 0.001 Cv to 12,000 Cv.

Special valve trims are also available, which are designed to prevent noise and cavitation problems in cleaning and pollution applications.

Valve Actuator

  • Electronic actuator
  • Motorized actuator
  • Diaphragm pneumatic actuator
  • Piston type pneumatic actuator
  • Cylinder type pneumatic actuator
  • Electro-hydraulic actuator

Valve Positioner

Electro-pneumatic positioner (E/P or I/P)

Image 4
E/P Positioner

Pneumatic-pneumatic positioner (P/P)

Smart positioner (Digital positioner)

Image 5
Siemens Smart Positioner
Image 6
ABB Smart Positioner

Angle Type Control Valves

Angle control valve design the inlet and outlet are perpendicular to each other. It uses linear motion to move the closure part in and out of the base surface. Angle control valves are usually used for boiler feedwater and heater blowdown services, and in piping systems where space is limited and pipe valves can also be used as elbows. The valve can adopt a cage structure or an extended outlet connection, restricted internals, or outlet linings to reduce corrosion, flashing or cavitation damage.

Angle Type Control Valves
Angle Type Control Valves

Valve Actuator

  • Electronic actuator
  • Motorized actuator
  • Diaphragm pneumatic actuator
  • Piston type pneumatic actuator
  • Cylinder type pneumatic actuator
  • Electro-hydraulic actuator

Butterfly Type Control Valves

When we talk about butterfly control valves, we generally refer to high-performance butterfly valves (double eccentric butterfly valves) and triple eccentric butterfly valves (triple offset butterfly valves).

In most applications, butterfly valves can replace other types of control valves because they provide the same basic functions, but often have more safety features and better performance. Using butterfly valves in your application can reduce maintenance requirements, improve the accuracy of flow control, and reduce the risk of disasters such as leakage. Butterfly control valves are also used to control water treatment plants because they provide the best seal and can withstand water pressure. Especially in large-diameter pipelines, the use of butterfly control valves is cost-effective.

Butterfly Type Control Valves
Butterfly Type Control Valves
AdvantageDisadvantage
1. High Capacity
2. Low-pressure Loss
3. Slurry applications
1. High Torque
2. Large Deadband
3. Affects Flow-Through Limited Range (i.e.
0-60%)
4. Tight Shutoff Requires Special Seat Material

Diaphragm Type Control Valves

The diaphragm type control valves consisting of three main components: the body, the diaphragm, and the actuator.

The diaphragm is a dynamic component that restricts or isolates the flow of the medium. The original valve design includes a “weir” on the valve body, the medium flows through the weir, and the diaphragm seals. A straight-through (or full-bore) design was introduced to handle solid particles. Both designs can utilize a variety of different diaphragm and liner materials.

Diaphragm Control Valves
Diaphragm Control Valves
AdvantageDisadvantage
1. Slurry Applications
2. Corrosion Resistant Materials
1. Short Diaphragm Life
2. Limited Pressure and Temperature
3. Small Range 

Ball Type Control Valves

The V-Port or segmented ball is the most common type for ball control valves. Ball valves are widely used in fluid systems in many industries due to their low cost, durability, and excellent closing performance. Similar to butterfly valves, they are not as effective in flow control applications that require high precision and control sensitivity. One of the reasons is that the ball valve requires high torque to open and close, which prevents the operator from making fine adjustments. There is also a certain gap between the stem and the ball, which makes it difficult to find a specific flow rate suitable for fluid control applications.

Segmented Ball Type Control Valves
Segmented Ball Type Control Valves
AdvantageDisadvantage
1. High Capacity
2. Tight Shutoff
1. Moderate Pressure Drop Applications
2. Tends to Plug (Except Segmented Ball Valve)
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