Industrial non-return valves, or check valves, are usually installed into pipelines to prevent backflow. It is a one-way valve through which material can flow freely in one direction but a turn in flow will result in the valve closing.
Industrial non-return valves are often placed on the outlet side of a pump to protect it from backflow. Industrial non-return valves are essential for keeping water in centrifugal pumps, the most common type of water pumps, since they are not self-priming. Industrial non-return valves are also used in heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) systems where a coolant is pumped many storeys up through large buildings. Here industrial non-return valves ensure that the coolant doesn’t flush back down.
There are various types of industrial non-return valves for water and wastewater applications. The most common types of industrial non-return valves for these applications are swing check valves and ball check valves.
Swing check valves are mounted with a disk that swings on a hinge or shaft that allows forward flow. When the flow is stopped, the disc swings back onto the seat to block reverse flow.
Ball check valves function through a ball that moves up and down inside the valve. The seat is machined to fit the ball, and the chamber is conically shaped to guide the ball into the seat to seal and stop a reverse flow.
Some considerations when choosing industrial non-return valves include fluid compatibility, flow characteristics, head loss, non-slam characteristics and total cost of ownership.
Industrial non-return valves rely on a pressure differential to work – a higher pressure on the input side of the valve than the output side to open the valve. When the pressure is higher on the outlet side the valve will close. Depending on the valve type, the closure mechanism is different.
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