Why use a globe valve vs. a ball valve?

There are many different types of valves available for a variety of applications. With so much choice, it can be difficult to decide which valve is most suitable for your production. Here, BM Engineering Supplies explores the merits of globe valves versus ball valves and what their differences are.

What is a globe valve and how does it work?

A globe valve is used to stop the flow of liquid or gas through a pipe through the use of a moveable plug and stationery seat which separate two internal chambers. To close the valve against the seat, the plug can be screwed in. Globe valves get their name because of the spherical shape of their body, with two halves of the body separated by an internal baffle.

This has an opening that forms a seat onto which a movable plug (or disc) can be screwed in to close the valve. Typically, automated globe valves use smooth stems rather than threaded and are opened and closed by an actuator assembly.

While globe valves can exhibit higher pressure drops than other types of valves, they’re often used where the pressure drop through the valve is not a controlling factor.

What is a ball valve and how does it work?

Ball valves are designed with a ball inside the valve. A ball valve is a form of quarter-turn valve which uses a hollow, perforated and pivoting ball, called a “floating ball”, to control flow through it.

It is open when the ball’s hole is in line with the flow and closed when it is pivoted 90 degrees by the valve handle. The handle lies flat in alignment with the flow when open, and is perpendicular to it when closed, making for easy visual confirmation of the valve’s status.

What’s the main difference between globe and ball valves?

The main difference between globe and ball valves is the way they close. Ball valves have a stem and ball, which turns horizontally, and are commonly referred to as “rotational” valves. Whereas, globe valves have a stem and plug, which strokes linearly and gives them their other name, “stroke” valves.

Ball valves are best suited to applications that require on/off control without a pressure drop. Ball valves are extremely durable and have excellent shutoff, even after years of use. For this reason, they’re generally preferred to globe valves in shutoff applications.

While ball valves excel in shutoff applications, globe valves excel at regulating flow. A ball valve’s main limitation is proportional control because of the large amount of flow that the ball allows.

What’s better? Globe valve vs. ball valve

Ball valves are durable and reliable, performing well after many cycles, and closing securely even after long periods of disuse. These qualities make them an excellent choice for shutoff applications, where they’re often preferred to gates and globe valves.

On the flip side, and as previously mentioned, ball valves do lack the fine control in throttling applications offered by globe valves. So, if you’re choosing between a ball or a globe valve for your application, the decision depends on what you need.

If you’re searching for a valve that offers excellent shutoff control, a ball valve is ideal. If you’re in need of a valve that allows you to control the flow of media through your application, a globe valve is the better choice.

Globe and ball valves at BM Engineering

BM Engineering stocks a wide range of ball valves, from quarter-inch to six-inch, at our works in Bishopbriggs. From general-purpose two-piece ball valves, v-ball control valves, and hygienic valves, to heavy-duty ball valves for steam, we have a variety of sizes, end connections and materials to suit many applications.

We also stock globe valves up to six inches in size, and can supply many size and material variants on a next-day basis.

Contact us and speak to one of BM Enigneering’s knowledgeable advisers about your ball valve requirements today by calling 0141 762 0657 or email sales@bmengineering.co.uk.