The choice of the specific material for any type of ball valve is not just about the lowest cost of components; it is also about the durability, duty cycle and environmental factors that may impact the performance of one type of valve over another.
In the not too distant past, most valves were made of brass or bronze, with stainless steel often used in specialized types of applications. While these are all good materials for valves, they are also heavy, and they all have some potential risk for corrosion or material buildup inside the valve over time.
Today, thanks to the range of plastics on the market, the choice of a plastic ball valve is often the best for any standard type of application. Plastic is a lower cost option than metal, and they can be produced by seamless manufacturing methods, including injection molding, eliminating joints, and reducing the risk of failure even in higher pressure applications.
Each type of plastic, from PVC though to specialty materials such as Kynar, which is a polyvinylidene fluoride resin. Other common materials include nylon and polypropylene, both of which are ideal for a wide range of temperatures in the media and the ambient operating environment.
In addition, all of these options in materials for the manufacturing of a plastic ball valve are resistant to corrosion and damage from the media. Choosing the material to match the chemical composition of the media ensures a long life cycle for the valve.
For two and three-way plastic ball valve designs,, the reliability of operation of the valve, even if it is only infrequently used, makes it an ideal option in processing systems. With reliability, a primary consideration with any ball valve, the plastic valves definitely offer more benefits than just low cost.