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Butterfly Valves

Butterfly Valves

Butterfly valves are an essential device in various industrial processes including food and beverage, pharmaceutical, oil and gas chemical, and water treatment industries. These valves assist in controlling liquid, gas, and powder flow by adjusting the flow cross-section of pipelines in various industrial applications. Butterfly valves are installed in different piping systems and can be operated in three ways. These valves provide low operating torques, making them efficient in industrial applications. Butterfly valves are easy to install and maintain, alongside being highly efficient, durable, and cost-effective making them a popular choice among several industries to fulfill control of flow in many different applications. 

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How butterfly valves work 

Butterfly valves have a simple yet effective design where a disc-shaped closing mechanism rotates 90 degrees to be able to control the flow of the passing material. The disc is mounted on a shaft and is housed inside a circular body where it rotates around a spindle. This means, when the disc is rotated, it either blocks or allows the flow of fluid, gas, or other material. The disc of a butterfly valve can be positioned at any angle. This allows the user to decide the exact flow passing through the valve. Butterfly valves can be operated either manually, pneumatically, or electrically. 

Advantages of butterfly valves 

Butterfly valves have several advantages over other types of valves, making them a highly popular choice for a large variety of applications across industries. Because of the butterfly valves' simplicity, reliability, and versatility, the valve type has become an industry favorite. Some of the key advantages of butterfly valves include: 

Low-pressure drops: Butterfly valves have a low-pressure drop across the valve, which means that they cause less resistance to flow than other types of valves. This is beneficial in industrial applications where pressure loss needs to be minimized. 

Resistant to contamination: Butterfly valves have a smooth internal surface that resists the buildup of contaminants, making them a suitable option for use in applications where cleanliness is of utmost importance, such as in the food and beverage or the pharmaceutical industry. 

Good flow control: Butterfly valves have a large disc that allows for good flow control, the operating principle is designed to allow the disc to be set at any angle resulting in good control of the flow, as long as you are within the opening range of 30-70 deg.  

Lightweight and compact: Butterfly valves are smaller and lighter than many other types of valves, which makes them easy to install in tight spaces or in locations where space is a concern. This results in a space-saving option for applications where space is at a premium. 

Versatile: Butterfly valves are very versatile. Firstly, they can be used for a wide range of media, including liquids, gases, powders, and slurries. Secondly, butterfly valves can be used in a wide range of applications including water treatment, chemical processing, food, and beverage processing, and more. Lastly, butterfly valves can be operated either manually, electrically, or pneumatically. 

Easy to operate: Butterfly valves are relatively simple to operate and can be opened or closed quickly with minimal effort. This makes them ideal for applications where fast and frequent adjustments are needed. 

Low cost: Butterfly valves are generally less expensive than other types of valves. Their simple design and few parts make them easy to manufacture and maintain, resulting in a cost-effective option both for initial installation and ongoing maintenance for many industrial applications. 

Industries and applications that USE butterfly valves 

Butterfly valves are widely used in various industries, such as food and beverage, chemical, pharmaceutical, oil and gas, HVAC, power generation, and water treatment. These valves are commonly used in applications where the flow needs to be regulated, such as in pipelines, tanks, and process systems. Some common applications where butterfly valves are used include: 

Oil and gas: Butterfly valves are often used in the oil and gas industry to regulate the flow of gas, oil, and other fluids in the pipelines and storage tanks. 

Chemical processing: Butterfly valves are used in the chemical processing industry to regulate the flow of corrosive and hazardous materials. They are commonly found in storage tanks, pipelines, and other chemical processing equipment. 

Power generation: Butterfly valves are used as a crucial component in power plants to control the flow of steam. 

Water treatment: use marine text as well Butterfly valves are highly used in water treatment. Water treatment plants use butterfly valves to control the flow of water. They can be found in pumping stations, filtration systems, and other water treatment components in these plants. The marine industry uses butterfly valves for seawater and freshwater applications in their ballast systems and cooling systems. 

Heating, Ventilation & Air conditioning (HVAC): Butterfly valves are used in HVAC systems to regulate the flow of air and water. They can be found in air handlers, cooling towers, chillers, and other HVAC components. 

Food and beverage processing: Butterfly valves are widely used in the food and beverage processing industry due to their hygienic design and ease of cleaning. The butterfly valves can be found in processing equipment, filling systems, and packaging lines. 

Pharmaceutical: The pharmaceutical industry also relies heavily on butterfly valves for their hygienic design and ability to handle high-purity fluids. They can be found in various stages of pharmaceutical production including mixing, filtering, and filling. 

Important considerations when selecting butterfly valves 

When selecting a butterfly valve, several important considerations should be taken into account to ensure that the valve meets the specific needs of the application. These considerations are crucial to take into account so that the butterfly valve provides optimal performance, durability, and safety. Some of these considerations include: 

Design: Butterfly valves are available in 3 different designs; centric, double eccentric, and triple eccentric. Application, pressure, and media define which design is the best solution.   

Size: Butterfly valves come in various sizes, and it is essential to select the appropriate size for the application it is intended for to ensure optimal performance. 

Pressure and temperature: The valve's pressure and temperature should match the requirements of the system. If the valve is not designed to handle the pressure and/or temperature of the system, it can lead to failure and safety hazards for people, equipment, and the environment. 

Material: The material of the butterfly valve should be compatible with the fluid being conveyed in the system. The material also plays a significant role in the duration and longevity of the butterfly valve. 

End connection: Butterfly valves come with different end connections, including lug and wafer. It is crucial to select the appropriate connection for the system to ensure that the butterfly valve can be installed properly.  

Operating torque: The operating torque of the valve should be considered to ensure efficient and effective operations and actuator size selection. 

Flow rate: It is important to consider the flow rate of the system to ensure that the valve can handle the required flow rate and provide optimal safety, durability, and performance.  

Application: The application in itself is a crucial factor to consider when selecting the right butterfly valve, such as whether it will be used for control or isolation.  

Why buy butterfly valves from AxFlow 

AxFlow offers butterfly valves for the widest range of industries and applications. Only at AxFlow do you receive individual advice from industry-experienced process engineers and the manufacturer-independent selection of the world's leading process technology. Do you need support in selecting the right valve for your needs? Do not hesitate to get in touch. AxFlow's experts and engineers can guide you in selecting, specifying, installing, and maintaining your fluid handling equipment. 


Eoin Cahill
Water & Wastewater, Power generation, Construction & Mining
Brian Coleman
Food & Beverage Sectors.
Brajan Saraci
Pharmaceutical, BioPharma, Chemical and Petrochemical Sectors
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