As the name suggests, the controlling mechanism in a 'ball' valve is a ball (usually metal) with a hole drilled through it. The ball can be rotated within a valve: in the open position the hole is in line with the valve inlet and outlet, allowing straight through flow; when rotated a quarter-turn (90°) the hole is offline and the solid surface of the ball prevents flow-through.
Ball valves can be confiured to provide tight shutoff and controlled flow in a wide range of applications, regulating high volumes, high pressure and high temperature. Variables include the material of construction (commonly brass, bronze, copper, cast iron, ductile iron, stainless and other steel types, and metal alloys) body design, porting and seat materials.
It is important to consult with manufacturers or approved and experienced distributors like Associated Valve to ensure a proper match between the media being handled (chemical properties, concentration and temperature) and the specific design properties and materials used in the valve.