A Gate Valve VS A Ball Valve: The Difference

The valves are used to control the flow of anything that flows, be it gasses, liquid or granular solids. There are many types of valves like a butterfly valve, a globe valve, a ball valve,

The valves are used to control the flow of anything that flows, be it gasses, liquid or granular solids. There are many types of valves like a butterfly valve, a globe valve, a ball valve, a gate valve, etc.

It is an indisputable fact that there are many different types of gate valves suppliers for different applications. And with so many valves in the market, it becomes very difficult for customers to make decisions for a suitable valve in their business. Although both valves are designed to control the valve’s flow.

But in this blog, we will discuss the difference between gate valve vs. ball valve. The main difference between both of these is the way they close. The gate valve uses a plug that closes against the flow, and a ball valve has a ball that fastens across the flow.

The Difference (Gate valve VS Ball valve)

The ball valves are often referred to as the rotational valve and are commonly used when on/off controls are required without the pressure drop whereas gate valves are used when one needs to restrict a straight-line flow of liquid, with minimum restriction.

Gate valves vs. Ball valves: Water Hammer Condition

The usage of ball valves might lead to a water hammer condition because it cuts if the flow of fluid fast (if the handle is twisted quickly). Gate valve doesn’t cause water hammer conditions, thanks to their slow opening and closing mechanism.

Gate valves vs. Ball valves: The Corrosion

Ball valves are durable and last for a long time without corrosion. Gate valves are prone to corrosion when used for an extended period.

Gate valves vs. Ball valves: The Ports

Ball valves may have more than two ports; a ball valve with three ports is usually used for mixing or diverting fluids. A gate valve, on the other hand, had only two ports (one inlet and one outlet).

Gate valves vs. Ball valves: Control Over The Flow

The ball valve can be modified, so that flow(liquid) is directly proportional to the rotation of the closure element, but the same can’t be done with the gate valve. Hence, a gate valve is used as isolation equipment.

Gate valves vs. Ball valves: The Handels

A gate valve has a screw handle that needs to be twisted many times to get the valve into the open position whereas a ball valve has a handle that rotates in a 90-degree swipe. In a ball valve, it is easy to decipher whether the handle is in the open position or not, but the same is not possible in the gate valve.

Gate valves vs. Ball valves: The Actuators

Gate valves generally use a multi-turn screw mechanism for actuation, but electric actuators are also available. Ball valves are also actuated manually as well as with electric actuators as parts of the flow control system. The ball valve has an advantage over a gate valve (in manual actuation) as the position of a handle makes the position of the ball easy to predict.

Gate valves vs. Ball valves: The Pressure Drop

Gate valves have no obstacles in the flow path, which results in a minimal loss of pressure whereas ball valves produce slightly higher pressure drops than straight-through valves like gate valves.

Gate Valve vs. Ball Valve – What to choose?
Ball valves are durable, performing well after many cycles, and reliable, and they close securely even after long periods of disuse. These certain qualities make them an excellent choice for shutting-off applications, and that is where they are preferred to gate and ball valves. Also, ball valves cost slightly more than gate valves of comparable quality. Moreover, the ball valves seal is much tighter than gate valves.

Hence, ball valves top the list, also due to its greater longevity.

Final word

When it comes down to it, the ball valve and gate valve have the same functionality, it’s the mechanism, and the way it operates is what sets them apart. Which one is best and which one to choose depends on the requirement of the business.