Valves come in different forms and sizes. There are small valves, big valves and medium valves. Others are called ball valves and needle valves. A valve is a device that is mechanically designed to block a pipe either completely or partially to control the amount of fluid that flows through it. You may not have noticed it before but you actually use valves every day. Your body has valves and these are found in your heart. These valves work to allow the pumping of blood to your lungs so you can breathe. Machines also use valves. When you turn on a faucet, you use a valve to control the water flow.
How it is made
Usually made of plastic or metal, valves have several parts. The outer portion of the valve is called the seat which is often characterized by a metal casing and a rubber inner seal to make sure that when the valve closes, it is sealed tight. The inner portion of the valve is called the body. The body opens and closes and fits well into the seat when closed. A mechanism is also applied in the closing and opening of valves. The mechanism can be manual or wheel as in a faucet, or automated as in an engine.
How it works
Valves are most often used to hold and enclose dangerous liquids and gases such as chemicals or compressed air. These chemicals, once released can be very harmful. A valve should be able to contain it without any leakage. The seal of the valve needs to be secure and tightly closed. However, there may be instances that a valve should be intentionally opened through a certain mechanism. This is done to protect the parts of the machines that can potentially damage it in the process. These are called safety valves. They are intended to manually or automatically open and allow particular liquid or gas to escape once they have a certain pressure that can be detrimental to the equipment.
Types of Valves
The most common types of valves include butterfly, plug, gate, needle and ball. A ball valve has a sphere that sits sealed tight inside the pipe. The ball swivels when you turn the handle to allow fluid to flow through it. The butterfly valve consists of a disk that is also lodged in the middle of the pipe which moves sideways or upright. True to its name, a gate valve opens and closes by lowering the gates across them. Needle valves have long needles that regulate liquid flow. These are normally found in car engine carburetors.
We use valves every day. That’s a fact. You use valves when bathing. You use valves when driving. The flow of water is controlled through the use of these devices. Harmful gases and liquids are also effectively contained to prevent harm and damage to people and property. Basically, these mechanical devices go unnoticed but they’re just there ready to provide you with ease and comfort. Imagine a world where devices like these do not exist.