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Butterfly Valve 101: A Beginner's Guide to Butterfly Valves

Butterfly Valve 101: A Beginner's Guide to Butterfly Valves

Anonymous User1366 18-Oct-2019

If you are up-to-date in the mechanical business world, then maybe the word valves ring a bell. A valve is a machinelike device that controls the flow and pressure of a fluid, such as liquids, slurries, or gases. The regulation of such flow is through by opening, closing, or partly blocking different pathways. This mechanical instrument has many industrial types, and one of them is the butterfly valve.

Butterfly Valve 101: A Beginner

The butterfly valve is a rotary motion valve that controls or isolates the flow of a fluid. Currently, there is a considerable rate of reliance on the butterfly valve market due to its extensive utilization in the automation and gas manufacturing business. Not to mention the pharmaceutical and the food industry that is presently patronizing the said product because of its accuracy, reliability, and low sustenance.

Origin and Evolution

The term “butterfly” valve is derived from the way it shows a butterfly-like frame as the valve turns. It was said to have been in use since the late 18th century in steam prototypes by James Watt - a Scottish inventor, chemist, and mechanical engineer. As a result of the advanced manufacturing technology brought by the Industrial Revolution, butterfly valves were now compact and can withstand high temperatures.

Many industries started to utilize these valves because of reasonable tight seals made of elastomeric materials, which effectively served as a proper shut-off. In the year 1969, an improvement came out from the traditional butterfly valve, patented by James E. Hemphill. This innovation was about lessening the hydrodynamic torque required to change the yielded value.

Features and Operations

Butterfly Valve 101: A Beginner

Butterfly valves have modest construction and operate just like any other quarter-turn valves. They comprised of many features, namely the disc, the body, the stem, and the seat. They may also feature a lever as an actuator.

An actuator is a type of mechanical device that uses a power source to operate a valve. There are two kinds of actuators, rotary and linear. This additional element is frequently used by the operators to change the disc position by turning it.

  • Body - this part is set up between two pipe flanges.
  • Disc - this part is set up in the center of the connected pipe.
  • Seat - this part is linked to the body via bonding, pressing, or a locking mechanism. It is to close the valve and functions as a seating torque and unseating torque.
  • Stem - this part looks like a shaft and can be one or two pieces (split stem).

Typically, butterfly valves have discs located in the center of the valve, and a stem that is joined to an actuator or handles at the outside of the valve. In the shut-off position, the disc is perpendicular to the current and sealed by the seat.

Furthermore, an o-ring covers the stem leaving it sealed. When the actuator rotates the stem back at ninety degrees, the disc moves away from the seat and aligns itself to the surge. A throttled or proportional flow happens when partial rotation occurs.

Why Choose Butterfly Valves?

There are multiple reasons why butterfly valves are prominent in the mechanical field. Here is the list to check why it is beneficial and convenient to use.

Compact Design

Butterfly valves are lightweight and only require smaller space compared to other industrial valves in the business. This feature is ideal for small spaces.

Manageable Utilization

It only requires a ninety-degree rotation of the handle to support a full opening or closing of the valve. Bigger butterfly valves, where the handwheel’s gears connect to the stem, are equipped with a gearbox. By using one’s speed, the operation of the valve is smoother.

Low Maintenance

Butterfly valves get the highest approval rate when it comes to reliability due to the level of maintenance required. For that reason alone, the worth of the valve tends to be longer; its depreciation value slows down.


Because of its simple features and design, the butterfly valve does not require a high number of materials to produce. This advantage resonates with the reason why the product is cheaper compared to other types of valves.


A high-performing butterfly valve supports good sealing attributes and tight shut-off.

Choosing the Right Manufacturer

Butterfly valves, being one of the in-demand industrial valves across the manufacturing business, results in pushing the experts and potential clients in bidding to high-performance butterfly valves. It might be overwhelming to look into a long list of companies that manufactures a quality product.

Butterfly Valve 101: A Beginner

There are many things to consider in choosing the right manufacturer. First, assess the business if it meets your standard quality of the product. Next, verify the quotation or the budget involved. Then, check if the manufacturer can meet the delivery deadline required. Lastly, have a pleasant communication with the selected manufacturer until the business deal is over.


A significant number of businesses arise in the field of butterfly valve manufacturing industry due to users' demand. The competition is tight, and the products experience a never-ending innovation to satisfy the customers’ needs. Nevertheless, the butterfly valves’ features and usages still show practicality and benefit. It is no wonder that few sectors of industries such as automotive, gas, pharmaceuticals, and food are inclined to utilize this product.

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