Ball Valve Vs. Gate Valve: What is the Difference

In this blog post, you’ll read:Gate valves are excellent for controlling flow rates and lowering pressure, but they may need more regular maintenance. It is feasible to use ball valves in many different situations because they are flexible, have good sealing, and don't need a lot of maintenance.
Table of Contents

What is a Ball Valve?

A ball valve is a kind of shut-off valve that ceases, begins, and regulates the flow of gases, liquids, and vapors in a pipe system by turning a ball inside the valve. Two seats hold the ball in place, and a shaft ties it to the device that moves and controls it. As long as the cross-section of the opening is not perpendicular to the flow area, the fluid can’t get through the valve. Flow comes from the valve, which depends on how much the opening is visible from the floor.

600wog lf ball valve
600wog LF ball valve

What is a Gate Valve?

A gate valve is a valve that either lets media pass freely or stops the flow of fluid. The main thing about a gate valve is its clear path. This might only cause a slight drop in pressure over the valve. Instead of a butterfly valve, the open bore of a gate valve provides flow for cleaning pipes. It is better to use gate valves when fully open or closed, though, because they turn more slowly than quarter-turn valves.

gate valves 200wog
gate valves 200wog

Ball Valve Vs Gate Valve: Components

Parts of the Ball Valve

1) Body of valve

This is the central part of the valve and has all the parts that control whether it is on or off.

2) Rotary Ball

The ball has a hole in the middle that the fluid moves through. The ball moves in a specific direction by turning the stem.

3) Stem

This is precisely what connects the ball to the outside control system. In the case of a manual ball valve, the stem is linked to a handle or actuator.

4) Seats

These discs are between the body and the ball. Not only do seats seal the two together, but they also support the item.

5) Power Source

It is possible to turn the stem of the ball valve by hand or with electricity. To operate something manually, a user controls buttons and handles. Electric, gas, and hydraulic actuators are all automated power sources.

6) Packing: 

This is a seal that regulates the media from coming off the stem.

7) Bonnet:

The bonnet is the body part that holds the stem and packing.

Spare parts of ball valve
Spare parts of the ball valve

Gate Valve Components

A gate valve has seven main parts: the stem, the handwheel, the gasket, the seal, the valve body, the flange, and the gate. Users usually use a flanged or threaded gate valve to connect the valve to a system. The handwheel, stem, bonnet, and gate can also have different forms based on the style and purpose. This makes them useful for a wide range of situations. On the other hand, the primary purpose of gate valve parts has not changed.

Ball Valve Vs Gate Valve: Working

Ball Valve Working

The operation of the ball valve resembles that of the butterfly valve. It comprises a spheroid with a central orifice drilled into it. The flow is either open or closed based on the position of the spherical orifice. The ball is connected to the stem, which is connected to the tool’s handle or actuator.

The way it works is as follows:

The actuator rotates approximately 90 degrees clockwise to start fluid flow. It rotates the stem, which in turn rotates the ball.

The valve allows fluid flow when the ball’s orifice is aligned with the fluid passage. To halt the flow, the actuator rotates 90 degrees anticlockwise, the stem rotates in the same direction as the orb rotates 90 degrees counterclockwise, and the fluid flow ceases entirely.

Flow control can be achieved by maintaining the orb in partially open and partially closed states. If the valve were left partially open for an extended time under conditions of high-pressure drop, the flexible seats would tend to flow around the orifice edge of the ball. They could potentially halt the ball in place.

How does the Gate Valve Work?

To control the flow of fluids, a gate valve raises or lowers a gate (also called a wedge) inside the valve body. You can usually connect the gate to a threaded stem or a handwheel that lets you open and close it by hand. The body, hood, gate, stem, and seat are the most critical parts of a gate valve.

Fully open gate valves lift the gate entirely, letting fluid move freely. When the gate valve is fully closed, on the other hand, the gate shuts against the seat and stops the flow of fluids. A gate valve is excellent for situations where you need either full flow or total shut-off because of the way it controls flow.

parts of the gate valve
Parts of the gate valve

Ball Valve Vs Gate Valve: Valve Design and Construction

Ball valves work better with liquids than gases, but gate valves can handle both. A round gate in a gate valve opens and closes to let or stop the flow of liquids. A ball in a ball valve does the same thing. These two kinds of valves are helpful in different situations, but each has pros and cons.

Gate valves are usually less expensive and easier to fix than ball valves, but they might not last as long. On the other hand, ball valves cost more and are hard to fix, but they last longer and can handle higher pressures.

Ball Valve Vs Gate Valve: Working Conditions

Bronze Gate Valve Working Condition 

Most bronze gate valves can work between -10°C and 120°C under 16 bar (232 psi) of pressure.

Ball Valve Working Condition

Ensure the valve’s material can handle the highest and lowest operating temperatures. A ball valve’s temperature range is usually based on its body and seal material. Here are some common values, but you should check the manual to ensure your ball valve is accurate.

  • Stainless steel ball valve:-40°C to 220°C (-40°F to 428°F)
  • PVC ball valve:-10°C to 60°C (14°F to 140°F)
  • Brass ball valve:-20°C to 60°C (-4°F to 140°F)

Ball Valve Vs Gate Valve: Material

  • Gate Valve Material

There are many ways to use gate valves, and they come into touch with many different media types. Consider the material used to build valves to keep them from breaking down too soon and causing system delays while they’re working.

  • Material for gate valve’s body

Brass Gate valve 

Brass valves work in places where PVC gate valves would break.

  • Brass gate valve Features

Brass gate valves can handle media temperatures from -20 °C to 120°C and pressures from 0 to 16 bar. It costs more for brass gate valves than PVC gate valves but less for stainless steel gate valves.

  • Application of a brass gate valve

Brass can handle higher temps than PVC, which makes it perfect for plumbing in homes. Due to its excellent corrosion resistance, brass is a good material for gate valves in industrial settings that use natural gas or purified water.

Stainless steel gate valve

stainless steel gate valve
Stainless steel gate valve

Compared to brass and PVC, stainless steel is the most durable, heat-resistant, and corrosion-resistant material. Stainless steel can sustain a broader spectrum of temperatures (from low to high) and pressures than brass and PVC.

  • Employed in the fabrication of gate valve bodies and interior components
  • The basic body design of stainless steel gate valves facilitates repair, cleaning, and maintenance.
  • They are employed for liquid, gas, and vapor applications
  • They require more space for installation than brass or PVC gate valves.
  • Stainless steel gate valve uses

Due to its resistance to corrosion, marine and industrial applications employ stainless steel. Typical industrial applications include the transport of natural gas, crude oil, and slurry applications.

Applications involving domestic potable water because the material does not percolate into the water.

Bronze gate valve

The bronze gate valve features

  • Exceptional functionality, tensile strength, and corrosion resistance
  • Used in the manufacture of miniature gate valves for low-pressure applications
  • Bronze gate valves are typically utilized for water pipelines and equipment conduits with pressures of 300 psi (20 bar) or less and temperatures ranging from -20 ° C to 150° C.
  • It is costlier than PVC but less expensive than brass and stainless steel
  • Bronze has a higher corrosion resistance than cast iron but less than PVC or brass. Although bronze is costlier than brass or stainless steel, it is less expensive than PVC.


  • Applications for bronze gate valve

Due to its elevated lead content, bronze is not commonly used in potable water applications. Due to its compatibility with steam, air, and gas, bronze is commonly used in low-pressure manufacturing industries for fluid control. The material is also utilized in HVAC and marine applications.

  • Gate valve seal materials

Two types of gate valve seats are available:

  • Integrated-type:

Integrated-type gate valve seals consist of the same material as the valve body. They are integral to the body of the valve.

  • Ring type:

This variant of gate valve seals is a press-fit or threaded ring, allowing for increased variation. Application of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) to the seat facilitates high-integrity termination. Gate valves of the ring-type closure are further classified as resilient-seated or metal-seated.

  • Material for Ball Valves

Ball valves utilize various materials. PVC, brass, bronze, stainless steel, and chromium are utilized to produce ball valves. However, these materials constitute the manufacturing body material. However, every material has its strength. PVC lends the sections flexibility and precision. Materials such as bronze and brass are resistant to corrosion. Ideal for low- or medium-pressure systems. However, brass valves are cheaper than ball valves made of steel. They are safe for potable water use. Stainless steel ball valves are more potent than other materials. However, chlorine is utilized in swimming pools and hydrocarbon refineries.

Ball Valve Vs. Gate Valve: Size Chart

Ball Valve Size

Size D L H
¼ inch 0.23 2.99 2.20
3/8 inch 0.32 2.99 2.20
½ inch 0.51 4.02 2.20
¾ inch 0.75 4.25 2.72
1 inch 0.99 4.53 3.50
1 ½ inch 1.50 5.24 4.49
2 inch 1.89 6.06 4.72


Gate valve size:

Size Pressure
1/2″ (DN 15) 16bar/232psi
3/4″ (DN 20) 16bar/232psi
1″ (DN 25) 16bar/232psi
1″1/4 (DN 32) 16bar/232psi
1″1/2 (DN 40) 16bar/232psi
2″ (DN 50) 16bar/232psi
2″1/2 (DN 65) 16bar/232psi
3″ (DN 80) 16bar/232psi

Ball Valve Vs. Gate Valve: Maintenance

Ball Valve Maintenance

Regular repair is the best way to ensure something works well for a long time. Check the valve for any possible leaks within the first year of use. Do a shift cycle every three months, moving the handle to open and close the valve. This could check the valve for leaks or rust and stop scales from forming. A scale is a solid buildup on valves and pipes over time. It cuts down on output rates and damage to tools by a significant amount. When things are really bad, you should check the valve more often.

Gate Valves Maintenance

When installing gate valves, you should look for damage at the locations. It’s best to clean the valves at least once a month when you’re not using them so that grime, dust, and dirt don’t build up on the outside and inside.

To remove the gate valve, you need to remove the body and the stem that is attached to the gate. Put silicone tape on the places where you want to put gate valves. Choose a valve that can keep spills to a minimum because they can lead to more significant problems.

ball valve work open and closed
ball valve work open and closed

Ball Valve Vs. Gate Valve: Selection Criteria

Before choosing between a ball valve and a gate valve, you can think about the following:

Ports: A gate valve has two ports, but a ball valve can have more than two.

Capacity for Flow:  A gate valve can handle more flow than a ball valve because it usually comes in bigger sizes.

Opening and closing speed: Because it can be turned on and off in a quarter turn, a ball valve is better for situations where the opening and closing speed needs to be faster or for emergencies. Because it takes more than 360° to turn a gate valve, it works more slowly than a ball valve.

Sealing:  Compared to a gate valve, a ball valve has a tight conceal and can completely shut off flow. Because of this, ball valves work better in situations like natural gas, where a good seal needs to last a long time.

Pressure: This type of valve can be either a ball or a gate valve. A gate valve, on the other hand, is better for high-pressure situations. Why is this? The ball valve opens and closes quickly, which can cause a water hammer.

Cost: A gate valve with the same specs usually costs less than a ball valve. A ball valve, on the other hand, tends to last longer and needs less upkeep than a gate valve. In the long run, a ball valve may be cheaper.

Connection: The connection of the valve to the pipe is a significant aspect to consider for both valves.

Ball Valve Vs. Gate Valve: Conclusion

Gate valves are excellent for controlling flow rates and lowering pressure, but they may need more regular maintenance. It is feasible to use ball valves in many different situations because they are flexible, have good sealing, and don’t need a lot of maintenance.

What We Resolve in this Article?

This post briefly explains the difference between a ball and gate valves. The difference can be explained in design, parts, working, application, working conditions, material, etc. I hope this post will clarify the meaning of ball and gate valves.

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