Based on the ball-socket design, the ball valve is an in-line device shaped like a ball with an orifice through its center. When oriented correctly, the ball valve allows product to flow through easily. By grabbing the handle and turning the ball perpendicular or sideways, an individual can stop the flow. Found in almost every industrial environment, a flanged ball valve helps to control the flow rate through any plumbing application. The flanged ball valve is similar to the standard ball valve, but has mating connections or flanges that allow for quick and easy replacement of a damaged valve.
For instance, a valve without flanges would require an individual to manually cut piping and then reconnect it with a new valve in place. This reconnection can introduce additional hazards, as well as increased costs. In other words, some plumbing connections might require welding, soldering, or machining threads onto the ends of pipes for threaded applications.
When replacing a flanged ball valve, an individual should look for the bolted connections on either side of the valve. Loosening and removing the bolts from the flanges will allow the new ball valve to replace the broken ball valve. The modular design of flanged ball valves lends to their popularity, since a new flanged ball valve can bolt right into place of an old one. This ease of replacement is why flanged ball valves are commonly used when rapid repairs are essential.
A variety of flanged ball valves are available to cover nearly any application. Regulations exist to govern the varying sizes one may encounter. In the United States, for example, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) governs the regulations, or codes. These regulations ensure that one flanged ball valve bears the same specifications as another, even if created by different manufacturers. The fact that one ASME flanged ball valve can replace another of the same size increases the interchangeability.
Valves come in many different configurations, such as the knobs on the kitchen sink, which are typically ball valves. These are generally found at some midpoint in a typical plumbing configuration. The best application for a ball valve is to quickly and easily stop product from flowing through pipes or plumbing, allowing for repairs to take place. A flanged ball valve has a variety of plumbing applications, mostly industrial, yet features the simple operation of the un-flanged variety, which requires merely moving a handle one quarter of a turn. In this model, flanges on either side of the actual valve make replacements of a broken valve relatively easy.