Gate Valve vs Butterfly Valve:Functions and Differences

In this blog post, you’ll read:Gate valves and butterfly valves are crucial in plumbing systems, each serving unique functions. Gate valves are ideal for full-flow applications, providing a tight seal and handling high pressures. Butterfly valves are compact, cost-effective, and suitable for flow regulation in space-constrained environments. Understanding their differences helps in selecting the right valve for specific needs, ensuring efficient and reliable performance.
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Valves play a pivotal role in plumbing systems. Different valves, such as gate and butterfly valves, offer a range of functions in the system.  They streamline the flow of liquid/fluid between containers, and you have the power to halt or initiate this flow at any time. The industry utilizes Gate and Butterfly Valves, each excelling in different scenarios. This versatility empowers you to choose the valve best suits your plumbing needs.

A valve needs to work well to prevent leaks and control liquid flow. Two common types in industrial settings are gate valves and butterfly valves. Today, we’re comparing these two types to help you understand them better. Keep in mind that there are also other types of valves available.

This Blog Post will discuss the difference between Gate Valves and Butterfly Valves. Meanwhile, starting from what they are and how we can use them ideally,

What are Gate Valves?

The Gate Valves are the most common in sewerage water systems. They’re isolation valves that work by moving in a straight line. However, they can stop or allow the flow of liquid. However, they can’t control the flow; they’re only for completely opening or closing the water flow.

If you don’t notice this when you open this valve partially, it can damage the valve. This feature is called a gate valve—it works like a gate, fully opening or closing the liquid flow. It has a simple design and can be used in many low-pressure applications. The design of Gate Valves is perfect for port valves.

gate valve with red wheel handle
gate valve with red wheel handle

Gate Valve Features

It has the benefit that its port size perfectly matches the connection pipe’s size. Systems using full-bore gate valves have consistent liquid flow and pressure. Meanwhile, it makes it easy to clean up the pipes. Gate valves are simpler in design than other options, making them popular, especially in larger pipes. They are available in different choices.

They are available in various materials, sizes, pressure ratings, and temperature ranges.  Bonnets and gates have different styles, and there are other types, including Pneumatic Gates and Actuator Gates. Manual valves are cost-effective since they’re not used as often.

Generally, water manifold manufacturers prefer gate valves over butterfly valves. Gate valves provide a tight seal, withstand high-pressure applications, and ensure reliable performance.

Types of Gate Valves

The gates come in two different types: parallel gate valves and wedge-shaped gate valves. The Parallel Gate Valves has a flat gate surrounded by two seats. The Wedge-Shaped Gate Valve is renowned for its style, which appears to have a knife on its bottom.

Gate valves are divided into three types based on various aspects: disc, body bonnet joint, and stem motion designs.

Different Disk Designs:

  • The solid taper wedge
  • Disks with parallel or split wedges Valve
  • The flexible wedge

Various Body Bonnet Joint:

  • The Screwed Bonnet
  • Bolted-Bonnet
  • The Welded-Bonnet
  • Pressure-Seal Bonnet

Stem Movement Kinds:

  • The Non-rising Stem
  • Rising Stem or OS & Y Type (Outside Stem and Screw)

Advantages of Gate Valves

  • A knife valve features an open body shape, allowing unrestricted flow once fully open.
  • Its wedge operation is sluggish in stopping water hammering.
  • It doesn’t leave any residue behind within the pipe.
  • Gate valves can withstand higher pressures more effectively than knife gate valves.
  • Gate valves are flexible and often used for various mediums like steam, oil, and liquids.

Disadvantages of Gate Valves

  • Gate valves are prone to scratches because of friction due to pressure from the seal surfaces and the gate.
  • The medium flow can only be completely shut or open without adjustments.
  • Gate valves usually need more space for installation and function than butterfly valves.
  • Opening and closing actions can also cause scratches on the sealed surface.

As a valve distributor, you can select and recommend the best valve type for a specific application based on the operating characteristics of gates and butterflies.

gate valve works
gate valve works

What are Butterfly Valves?

If you want to open the valve, turn the handle to 90 Degrees. Butterfly valves usually have a gearbox that connects the stem to the handwheel. This system helps you use your valve without any headaches.

Butterfly valves are used to shut off flow in pipelines. They rotate a quarter turn and provide good results. They’re often considered one of the best ways to control liquid flow. However, experts don’t recommend them because they can damage the disk.

Butterfly Valve Features

Many industries use and recommend butterfly valves. They can do multiple tasks simultaneously, such as Supply, store, and dispose of water more efficiently. Butterfly valve manufacturers emphasize their products’ streamlined designs and cost efficiency, providing advantages over gate valves, especially in applications with space constraints and low pressures.

This valve type has several key advantages over other valve types. These include being compact and easy to make. It leads to cheaper and lighter-end products. Also, products made with this Valve have faster operation and take up less space when installed.

However, they are available in different shapes and sizes. So, It allows users to select the most suitable option for their requirements. Various choices are better suited for specific purposes and pressure levels. Three offset designs are offered for butterfly valves.

butterfly valves display
Butterfly valves display

Types of Butterfly Valves

Three main categories of butterfly valves exist: Rubber-lined, Plastic-lined, and Metal.

Differences By Structure

  • Single Eccentric Butterfly Valves
  • Double Eccentric Butterfly Valves
  • Triple Eccentric Butterfly Valves
  • Centerline Butterfly Valves

Differences By Connection Method

  • Lug Butterfly Valves
  • Welded Butterfly Valves
  • Wafer Butterfly Valves
  • Flanged Butterfly Valve

Advantages of Butterfly Valves

  • Because they are compact and lightweight, they require less installation space than gate valves.
  • Butterfly valves can regulate fluid flow and are simple to control.
  • They are ideal for emergency shut-downs due to their quick operation times.
  • In larger sizes, they are a cost-effective option compared to gate valves.

Disadvantages of Butterfly Valves

  • Butterfly valves may leave residue in the pipeline, obstructing liquid flow.
  • The disc movement lacks proper guidance, making it susceptible to turbulent flow influences.
  • There is a high possibility of water hammers with butterfly valves.
  • Thick liquids can hinder the disc’s free movement within the flow channel.
butterfly ball valve works
Butterfly ball valve works

Gate VS Butterfly Valves: Differences

After learning about gate and butterfly valves, you likely noticed differences in design, function, and recommended uses. Let’s explore these differences further by addressing them one by one.

Cost Comparison

Butterfly valves are generally cheaper than gate valves for the exact specifications, diameter, and material. While gate valves may be less expensive in smaller sizes, their price increases quickly with larger diameters. As a result, butterfly valves are more widely used in various industries due to their affordability and larger sizes.

Butterfly valves are more streamlined and regulate flow with minimal pressure drop and maintenance in advanced drainage systems, while gate valves provide precise control and sealing. The solutions we provide are cost-effective.

Structural Design

Gate Valves use Gates, or you can call them Wedges. On the other hand, butterfly valves utilize discs that rotate, allowing them to regulate fluid flow effortlessly. Gate and butterfly valves differ in their body structures and disc designs.

Gate valves function like sliding doors, completely stopping or allowing flow. On the other hand, butterfly valves use a spinning disc for quicker on/off control and some flow adjustment.

Usage of Both Valves

When you ask about gate valves in water, they are suitable for Huge-Size Pipes, which usually need consistent Bidirectional Flow. In addition, they have many uses in timed unidirectional discharge of fluids.

However, Butterfly valves are called high-performance valves because they work well in applications with moderate to high temperatures and pressures.

Pressure relief valve manufacturers provide reliable overpressure protection to ensure the safety and functionality of gate and butterfly valves. Ensuring the safety and functionality of gate valves and butterfly valves in various industrial applications improves their overall performance and lifespan

  • Their Working Methods

Gate Valves

A threaded screw typically raises or lowers the gate with mechanical assistance. When you entirely open Gate Valves, they have less resistance to fluid flow because they have different medium paths for flow.

Generally, gate valves slow down the medium’s flow and change its speed rather than flow rate. Due to their high opening height, gate valves have slow opening and closing speeds.

Cast gate valves
Cast gate valves

Butterfly Valves

These valves have a rotating disc to control medium flow. A stem holds the disc in the valve body’s center. Fluid flow stops when butterfly valves operate quickly; you only need to turn them 90°.

It usually rotates the disc of a valve to align it parallel or perpendicular to the flow. When you Completely open the valve, the disc is parallel; otherwise, it is vertical. However, the thickness of the valve can make resistance and slow the flow.

Final Thoughts: Gate Valves VS Butterfly Valves

Gate valves are used in many applications, and they need proper sealing. Moreover, they need Infrequent Operation, Particularly when an unobstructed flow is essential. On the other hand, butterfly valves are preferable for throttling purposes in large systems where space is limited.

Gate valves are used in many applications and need proper sealing. Moreover, they need Frequent Operations, particularly when an unobstructed flow is important. On the other hand, butterfly valves are preferable for throttling purposes in large systems where space is limited.

Gate valve manufacturer values their robust construction and reliable sealing properties. For high-pressure control with minimal flow restriction, gate valves are preferred over butterfly valves.

However, the most commonly used valves are butterfly valves used in many industries. Meanwhile, We offer High-Quality Butterfly Valves with different styles of end-type connections, seals, and body materials. If you have any queries about the product line, don’t hesitate to ask us.


Where Is the Gate Valve and Butterfly Valve Used?

Butterfly valves are usually smaller or lighter, which makes them great for situations where space and weight matter. On the other hand, Gate Valves are Used when a complete, unobstructed flow is needed, like in water, oil, and gas pipelines.

Can a Butterfly Valve Replace a Gate Valve?

In a short answer, YES, they can replace Gate Valves with Low Pressure and less leakage.

In What Situations Should a Gate Valve Not Be Used?

It would help if you did not use gate Valves in cases of high use or quick functions. Usually, gate valves are operated manually by handwheel, though electric and pneumatic options exist, too.

Why Do Gate Valves Fail?

\The main reason for their failure is wear and corrosion on the seat or wedge. With time, they get worn out inside, which causes the wedge to get stuck. If the handwheel is used too much, it can break the stem connected to the wedge, making the Valve unusable.

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