Gate valves are a very important component of a piping system. They control the flow of the fluid passing through by either completely opening or shutting the valve. A wedge is driven in the path of flow thus creating a seal or leaving an open path for the fluid to pass.
A knife gate valve is very similar in appearance and function as the gate valve. Knife gate valves, however, come with the added function of clearing blockages within the piping system and within the valve itself. They come fitted with a blade in order to cut through sludge or very viscous fluids that get caught up.
Here’s all you need to know about gate valves, how they’re used, and the benefits they provide.
Different Applications of Gate Valve and Knife Gate Valves
Gate valves can be found across various industries because of their simplicity and ease of use. Their sturdiness means that they work well in harsh conditions such as extreme temperatures and pressures. Gate valves are commonly found in power plants as well as oil, gas, and water treatment facilities among many others.
Knife gate valves are also a favorite across industries due to their sturdy nature. This means they can work well in high temperatures and pressures with minimal wear and tear. They are also very simple to use.
The specific function of a knife gate valve, apart from acting as a gate valve, is to unclog the piping system in which it works. Industries that handle thick fluids such as grease, paper pulp, oils, slurry, wastewater, and paints, among others, have knife gate valves installed to clear occasional blockages within these systems.
Advantages of Knife Gate Valves and Gate Valves
Knife gate valves and gate valves are cheap and fairly easier to work with as compared to many other components of the piping system. They are also sturdy as they are designed to work within high temperature and pressure limits. This translates to a longer life span and less wear and tear.
Knife gate valves can also get automated to reduce the operating costs and increase the efficiency of the piping system.
Disadvantages of Gate Valves and Knife Gate Valves
They have only open or shut positions. This means that they cannot be used to regulate the amount of fluid passing through them. They can only permit or stop the flow. Another drawback is they get eroded after constant impact and pressure from the fluids especially when in the closed position.
Knife gate valves have a well-known weakness when it comes to low-pressure applications. This means that they are not very desirable for environments that demand clean and sanitary conditions.
Fluctuations in temperature and pressure often lead to cracks and leakages within the valves due to constant expansion and contraction of the valves and their components.
If you are in the market for pipes and fittings, be sure to pick the right components and of the highest quality. Poor quality parts will compromise the integrity of the whole structure, which in turn raises safety concerns. Get in touch with your dealer today for more information on knife gate valves and gate valves.