What is a 3 piece ball valve?
Ball valves come in one, two, or three pieces. One piece ball valves are inexpensive and generally not repaired. Two piece ball valves consist of two separate pieces, with the connection between them being either threaded or a bolt and flange assembly.
As you may have guessed, a 3 piece ball valve consists of three pieces, two end caps and a body. The end caps are welded, threaded, or flanged to connect to the pipe on either side.
The Construction of 3-Piece Ball Valves
Three-piece ball valves are manufactured with one main body and two pipe connectors. The pipe connectors are typically threaded or welded to a pipe. This enables the main body to be easily removed for cleaning or repairs without having to remove the pipe connectors. Full port and bidirectional shutoff options are also available.
After installing a 3-piece ball valve, wear components — such as balls, ball seats and stems — can be replaced quickly and independently. The biggest benefit here is that the valve can remain in service for its intended lifecycle while operators enjoy low long-term maintenance costs.
Advantages of 3-Piece Ball Valves
Small fluid resistance, simple structure, small volume and light weight; Easy maintenance, simple structure of ball valve, easy to remove and replace, it is often the most cost-effective option in the long run. Changing seats and seals is more affordable than replacing the entire valve, and not having to remove the pipe connectors prevents a line shutdown should maintenance be required.
Union Metal three-piece ball valves feature two-piece pipe adapters that allow flanges to rotate independently of pipe connectors. This, combined with a mating counterbore on the pipe flanges, allows quick and accurate alignment to the valve center section.