6 Features To Look For When Buying Stainless Steel Valves
A ball valve allows you to easily turn on and off the fluids or gasses coming through a pipeline, and there are a wide variety of ball valves on the market. However, if you work in a busy industrial facility, you need to choose your ball valve carefully. To ensure your valve stands the test of time, look for these features.
Stainless steel is one of the most effective metals to have in corrosive environments. Stainless steel valves also withstands the elements, making it ideal for indoor use as well. Additionally, the stainless steel is self-healing. If it gets a bump or a nick, it oxidizes and forms a protective coating.
Typically, most ball valves have a small handle. That allows you to open or close the valve as needed. However, some valves come with a metal handle, while others boast a plastic or rubber coating. For comfort, you may want to look for a handle with a coating.
If you have anything potable moving through your stainless steel valve, you definitely need to ensure that you choose a lead-free valve. This includes ball valves attached to kegs or water pumps. However, to be on the safe side and reduce the number of potential toxins in your facility, you may want to choose the lead-free option in all situations.
As you look at different options, look at the pressure levels. Valves are built to withstand different levels of pressure, and if your valve isn't strong enough, you risk it blowing off. Check the pressure of the items you are hooking up to the valve and make sure that it works with the valve you select.
To be on the safe side, you may also want to look for a valve that has a blowout-proof stem. Occasionally, pressure can build up in the valve, and you don't necessarily want to rely on the valve's pressure capacity in these situations. A blowout proof stem lets just a little of the liquid or gas escape, and that prevents a blowout.
Remember, a blowout doesn't just damage the valve. It can also damage piping or your equipment. If it causes the equipment to move, it could hurt one of your employees if they're in the area.
Finally, check the temperature ratings. Make sure the valve can handle the temps associated with the liquid or gas you're moving through. Then, make sure it can handle the temperatures of your environment as well.