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Metal Seat Versus Soft Seat Valves

When carrying out any manufacturing work, every single element in a piece of equipment is important, down to the last screw. A tiny mishap could cause massive damage and could hamper production. To keep everything going smoothly, you want to ensure that every part of the equipment is in top shape. This includes your choice of ball valves.

What is a ball valve?

A ball valve is a type of regulatory valve that directs the motion of a liquid or gas using a spinning ball that has a bore. The ball is rotated 90° on its axis to either allow movement or restrict it.

Ball valves are considered more desirable than gate valves as a shut-off valves, and they are more resistant to contaminated fluid. They come with a seat, which seals the ball and the body. These seats can either be made from soft material or metal.

Soft-seated valves

Soft seats are made from thermoplastic components such as polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). They are great where you need chemical compatibility and the tightest seal possible.

Soft-seated valves are, however, not recommended where fluids are dirty or corrosive as they eat away at the material resulting in leakage. They can withstand high temperatures but may break down when it gets too hot.

Metal-seated valves

As the name suggests, metal-seated valves are made from metallic components such as 316 stainless steel. They overcome the challenges of a soft-seated valve and are able to withstand temperatures exceeding 1000° F. They are suitable for abrasive processes, hydraulic shock, high corrosion and erosion, and intense flashing.

The reliability and durability of these valves can be improved by hardening using coatings such as ultrasonic spray coating, chromium carbide, and tungsten carbide.

Which of these two valves is better?

Your ideal choice is dependent on the ongoing processes. Aside from the above features, soft-seated valves tend to be cheaper than metal-seat valves. The former may, however, come with added costs for downtime and replacement owing to breakdowns.

The choice of the best valve may seem small owing to its size relative to the rest of the equipment. It is, however critical to your production process and needs thorough thought. If you are not sure which is best for the job, seek the advice of an expert.

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