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The Different Types of Stainless Steel Valves

Stainless steel has long been recognized for its ability to withstand tremendous pressure, harsh temperatures, and exposure to chemicals. Extremely durable, stainless steel is available in two common types: 304 stainless steel and 316 stainless steel. Of the two types, 316 is considered a purer, higher-quality steel. In searching for stainless steel valves for a project in Pennsylvania or New Jersey, it's important to understand the various types of valves available, to ensure that the right value is chosen for the job requirements. Each type of stainless steel valve serves a very distinct purpose. Such valves are used in a number of industries around the world, including water management, chemical processing, and food production.  

Check valves are commonly used for the prevention of backflow into a pipeline. A stainless steel ball check valve incorporates the use of a sphere located inside the body of the value, thus allowing flow to occur in only one direction. This type of design is critical for systems involving water purification or filtering. Stainless is the preferred metal of choice for this type of valve design, as it is able to hold up to water exposure.  

A stainless steel gate valve functions as an on/off valve. The gate or disc located inside the value is raised and then lowered while a handle is turned. Such valves are not ideally suited for regulating flow, and using them in that manner could result in damage to the disc mechanism. Two styles of gate valves are available: rising stem and non-rising stem.  

Knife valves are actually similar in nature to gate valves. The main difference is that a knife valve is more compact than a gate valve. 

Ball valves are typically used as a type of on/off control without incurring a drop in pressure. These types of valves are ideally suited for situations requiring a quick shut-off. A 90-degree turn can complete a shut-off with this valve, as opposed to the multiple turns that would typically be necessary for manual valves. 

In situations in which flow needs to be controlled with the movement of a diaphragm, a diaphragm valve is commonly used. Different types of pressure, including upstream, downstream, and even pressure from an external source, such as hydraulic or pneumatic, can be used for changing the diaphragm's position.