Advantages and disadvantages of gate valves

Do you know what a gate valve is and what kinds there are? These devices have different advantages and disadvantages depending on the application. This is why it is wise to get to know the different types available before you install one.

What are gate valves?

Gate valves have an action mechanism which raises or opens a gate or blade, either rectangular or round, to allow liquids to pass through.

What distinguishes this type of valve from others is the seal. Sealing occurs around the seat of the disc in two areas around the edges of the two faces of the disc, which can be parallel or wedge-shaped.

How do they work?

The operation of gate valves is simple. Normally, the gates are closed. When the valve is opened, the gate withdraws into the overflow area, leaving an opening of the size of the pipe where it is installed.

 What types are there?

Gate valves are usually divided into two categories:

  • Gate valves with rising stem: These are used when it is important to know quickly whether the valve is open or closed. This can be the case with corrosive fluids, when materials can be damaged.
  • Gate valves with non-rising stem: These are used with clean, non-corrosive fluids.

Advantages of gate valves

Gate valves have several advantages, which make them perfect for use in countless applications, whether located above ground or underground. Perhaps their most important advantages are:

  • High capacity: They can restrict or allow through a large flow with minimal head loss.
  • The direction of flow is reversible
  • They close completely: The gate fits the closure perfectly, avoiding any leakage.
  • Design and operation are simple. This makes them easy to hadle.
  • They offer very little flow resistance.
  • They are quite affordable.

Disadvantages of gate valves

  • They require considerable force to open and close. This may prevent some people from being able to use them.
  • They must be either completely open or completely closed. They do not allow gradual regulation of the liquid flow.
  • They may cause cavitation when pressure drops.
  • They have poor flow control.
  • The throttling position erodes the seat and disc. This makes maintenance of the seat and disc difficult.

Because of this, it is not advisable to use gate valves when the objective is to throttle, when an easily adjustable water flow is required, or when a mechanism is needed to regulate the flow.

 How can complications be avoided?

For proper installation and maintenance of valves, it is a good idea to follow these tips to reduce wear and tear on the system:

  • If there are gasket leaks, remedy them as quickly as possible.
  • Never force them shut with a wrench or crowbar.
  • It is best to open them slowly. This will prevent hydraulic shock in the pipe.
  • It is also best to close them slowly. In this case, doing so serves to free up trapped dirt and sediment.
  • Lubricate the valve from time to time to reduce erosio
  • Always try to cool the system down when closing a pipe through which hot liquids are flowing, but only once you have made sure that the valves are properly closed.

At ULMA Forged Solutions  we have been manufacturing all kinds of valve components for more than 30 years. If you want to know more about the parts we can manufacture for you and your business, both for valves and other systems, remember that you can contact us. Our extensive experience and track record leave no doubt about our complete professionalism and the quality of our products.