All About Butterfly Valves and Where They’re Best Applied

All about Butterfly valves

It is considered a professional’s dream to run operations smoothly and organize. But one of the terrors in operations is malfunctions in control caused by the valves. Butterfly valves are shut-off devices exhibiting a promising performance with their tight seal features.

They are responsible for regulating, halting, and throttling the flow of materials along the pipeline. These types of valves are designed for faster operations and low-pressure drops.

Understanding how they work may seem complex but they have the easiest and most time-efficient way of controlling flow. They are easy to install, operate, and maintain. What more do you have to know about butterfly valves?

Here are ideas about how butterfly valves work and where they are best applied.

Understanding Butterfly Valves

Butterfly valves are known for their quarter-turn feature which regulates the flow in a full-open position. Their designs come in wafer, flanged, single-flange-type, and lug designs. These butterfly valves are engineered for different applications. The different parts play a significant role during operations like the body, disc, and seats. Rotations allow the regulation of the transport of materials in the pipeline.

With their tight-seal feature, you can ensure that the flow rate is in accordance with the flow requirements. By looking at the internal parts of the butterfly valve, you can identify how similar it can be to the ball valve. They have the same mechanism and structure but they vary in the applications they are best suited. Butterfly valves are designed for moderate to high-pressure operations.

Parts of a Butterfly Valve

Butterfly Valve Parts
Butterfly Valve Parts – Image source: Parts of Butterfly Valves –

Butterfly valves are composed of the body, disk, operator, and seat. They come in different designs considering that some have lugs, flanged ends, or wafer-style configurations. This type of valve usually has welded ends and is sometimes designed in the square-type or rectangular design. Every part of the butterfly valve plays a significant role during operations. They are not known for their tight-shut feature if it wasn’t for their resilient parts working hand in hand.


The cap of the butterfly valve is called the disc responsible for regulating and halting the flow of materials. They vary in design, size, and material used but they play the same role. The disk is known as the flow closure part of the butterfly valve. The disk is similar to the disk you can see in plug valves. When the operator is rotated, the disc opens 90 degrees parallel to the flow of material. As it quarter turns, the butterfly valve closes and halts the transportation of materials.


To regulate and stop the transport of materials is the responsibility of the handle. When turned, the disc opens or closes to keep up with the flow. Compared to the other valves, the handle of butterfly valves vary. Some are rotated while some are just turned. With butterfly valves, control of operations is not time-consuming.


The body of butterfly valves is composed of bodies fitting in between two pipe flanges. The design is either lug or wafer type.

The wafer-type valve is squeezed in between the pipe flanges wherein the body is surrounded with flange bolts. They are known to be cost-efficient compared to the lug-type valve. Moreover, wafer-type bodies do not transfer the weight directly to the valve body. The pressure is alleviated and the weight of the material and the body do not add up to what the valve controls.

On the contrary, the lug-type body provides bolt holes that match the ones in the pipe flange which is why they induce protruding lugs. They are designed best for dead-end services or removal of the downstream piping.


The seat of butterfly valves is designed to fit the disc creating a seal to provide shut-off when the operation is stopped. To ensure the seal, the seat is made of different types of polymers or elastomers. Depending on the manufacturer, they may be bonded or pressed to the body.


Butterfly valves are best used in applications requiring resiliency and convenience. They are known for their high-performing control and tight shut-off feature impressing different industries. Here are some applications which best suit the utilization of butterfly valves.

Fire Protection

When it comes to fire protection, they require a shut-off device that doesn’t require much time to be controlled. They utilize quality-based industrial butterfly valves to cater to their water supply needs. In case of fire, the water supply can easily distribute the water to the affected areas. To provide the best butterfly valve, you have to review the operations of fire protection as well as their procedures.

Transport of Corrosive Materials

When the transport of operations involves corrosive materials, butterfly valves are highly suggested. Apart from the fact that they can deal with changing temperatures and pressure, they can keep up with materials with harmful chemicals.

Food Processing and Pharmaceutical Industry

The industry of food processing and pharmaceutical, require shut-off valves that can keep up with high temperatures and high pressure. In addition to that, the piping lines are exposed to different toxic and non-toxic chemicals. Ensure that the material of the butterfly valve can withstand different environmental conditions to exhibit superiority in operations.


Be wary about using butterfly valves. It would be best to check first if the qualities they uphold suit the application they will cater to. In using these valves, ensure that you purchase from a reliable and trusted butterfly valve manufacturer that can attend to your needs prior to, during, and after purchase. It would be best to seek professional help in purchasing butterfly valves considering that they come in different types and materials.

Featured image source: Introduction to Butterfly valves

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