A closer look at multiport ball valves

Three- and four-way designs offer flexibility and versatility for process control.

Multiport ball valve. Image courtesy of Flo-Tite Valves & Controls
Multiport ball valve. Image courtesy of Flo-Tite Valves & Controls

Multiport ball valves offer piping system engineers a multitude of solutions for process control applications, as well as greater design flexibility. Here is a look at how these valves can be configured and what options are available.

Multiported three- and four-way ball valves in ¼-inch through 12-inch sizes offer versatile flow plans for diverting or mixing applications. The multiported flange end body offers options for pipe-end connections in either NPT, flanged or tri-clamp designs. The one-piece valve ball and stem design comes with a trunnion-type bottom stem support. Unique features include three seats and a V-ring stem packing.

Standard port designs from ½- to 2-inch sizes can accommodate either NPT or tri-clamp ends. Some designs feature four seats to provide proper balancing of the valve ball. Flow plans can be changed by simply removing the valve handle stop and repositioning the ball.

The four-seat design also allows a diverter valve to be used as a shutoff valve by removing the handle stop and making an additional 90-degree turn.

Standard direct-mount multiported designs from ½- to 3-inch valves with threaded ends and a 304-stainless steel ball have been designed to compete with most similar brass or bronze valves.

All these type valves have ISO direct-mount configurations for ease of actuation.

Three-way bottom entry valves with one-piece cast body designs can replace more expensive severe line plug valves and offer greater flow with much lower torque. Additionally, where applications require a non-trans flow valve, the three-piece, bottom-entry port design is ideal.

Multiport three-way valves can also be made in brass in either L or T port designs, featuring low torques and direct mounting for actuation.

Other distinguishing design features of three- and four-way multiport ball valves include:

  • Locking handles that lock at 90 degrees and intervals up to 360 degrees
  • Quality investment cast components
  • All-stainless-steel construction
  • 899 WOG (Water, Oil, Gas) rating
  • Antistatic grounding devices
  • Threaded ends
  • Optional tri-clamp and flanged ends
  • ISO-type actuator mounting configurations
  • Solution-annealed valves
  • Available in a variety of special seat materials
  • Valve stem seals and seats are tested by 100 psig air under water for bubble-tight integrity

Lastly, because of the non-trans flow design in three-piece and three-way ball valves, flow cannot occur across the outlets during position change, eliminating any mixing of products. These valves require 180 degrees of rotation, with line flow shut off at the inlet (bottom port) at 90-degree rotation, and full diverter flow resumed to the other outlet port at 180-degree rotation.

Flo Tite Valves Controls 0118 A60097 1

Robert M. Donnelly is the vice president of marketing for Flo-Tite Valves & Controls, a supplier of ball valves and valve automation components. Donnelly has been in the industrial valve marketplace for 30 years and is well-known as a brand builder.

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