Types of Valves Used in Steam Applications

In this blog post, you’ll read:A steam valve is a particular form of valve that regulates the flow of steam and hot water vapor and the system's pressure level. Steam valves are standard pipe systems that pass hot water vapor or steam. Different types of processes need the usage of steam. A steam valve not only controls the pressure but also the temperature.
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A steam valve is a particular form of valve that regulates the flow of steam and hot water vapor and the system’s pressure level. Steam valves are standard pipe systems that pass hot water vapor or smoke. Different types of processes need the usage of steam. A steam valve not only controls the pressure but also the temperature.

Why Do We Need Steam Valves?

Many manufacturing processes rely on steam for either heat or electricity, building steam valves an integral part of many operations. Steam valves serve several functions, including opening and closing the steam supply, regulating steam flow, and regulating steam pressure and temperature. Their uses range from making electricity to refining chemicals to extracting oil and gas. Valve selection, installation, and maintenance for steam systems are crucial to their safe and effective functioning.

How Do Steam Valves Work?

As stated, steam valves function as control valves in the steam piping network. Sit primarily serves one of the following three purposes:

  • Regulating or decreasing the steam pressure from the inlet to the application. Reduced steam pressure equals increased facility safety.
  • Regulating temperature
  • Flow regulation or control.

Due to the lower specific volume of high-pressure steam, pipelines can sustain less weight. Because piping and insulation are less costly, steam distribution is more comfortable and less expensive. In industrial procedures, steam under lower pressure is utilized.

This is because low-pressure vapor contains more latent heat, which increases energy efficiency. As a result of the correlation between steam temperature and pressure, steam pressure can be regulated to control temperature. In addition to the requirement for plant safety, reducing the pressure of vapor is also essential. Valves for steam can regulate steam pressure.

Different Types of Steam Valves Based on Their Design

For steam services, there are several different kinds of valves. Below is a brief discussion of the famous industrial steam valve types:

Steam Ball Valves

ball valve for steam
ball valve for steam

You can completely shut off the steam flow in a pipe with a ball valve, a quarter-turn valve that can be either fully open or fully closed. It is common for an electric actuator to handle steam ball valves. If you partly open these valves to control the flow rate, you damage them. Because of this, they are better for ON/OFF control and can’t be used to lower the steam pressure.

It takes a long time for electric ball valves to work. This might be an adverse outcome, but the slow opening and shutting speed make the water hammer less likely. A water hammer happens when a gas or fluid stops or changes direction quickly. This could hurt the valve and other parts of the system.

You can use dusty, dry fluids and slurries with ball valves, but you can’t use them with rough, fibrous materials because they could damage the surface of the valves.


  • Oil and gas production facilities on earth and sea use ball valves as fluid stop valves. Boilers also use them for fuel gas.
  • Gases and liquids under a lot of pressure can pass through ball valves with little drop in pressure.


  • They lower the pressure and work quickly.
  • They are also easy to turn on.

Ball Valve Size:

¼ inch0.232.992.20
3/8 inch0.322.992.20
½ inch0.514.022.20
¾ inch0.754.252.72
1 inch0.994.533.50
1 ½ inch1.505.244.49
2 inch1.896.064.72
Ball Valve Size

3.2. Globe valve

You can use a globe valve for steam to slow down or turn it on and off. It works with linear motion. You can change the steam flow rate using a globe valve, which works effectively.

Working Mechanism

working mechanism
working mechanism

To stop or slow fluid flow, the user turns the handwheel counterclockwise. The handle then moves lower and attaches to the stem. For every turn of the handwheel, the stem goes lower, which pushes the valve disc down.

Material and Working Conditions

The globe valve is made of brass alloy, such as leaded brass C3604. It has a working temperature ranging from -30°C to 120°C, with an operating pressure of 16 bar.


· The main steam valve and drains on the boiler

· Lube oil system for the turbine and other parts

· Systems for coolant water

· Systems for fuel oil


Users often use globe valves with a screw-down valve inside a circular case when steam flow resistance is unimportant.

· These valves are smaller and easier to control than gate valves.

· It works in systems with high pressure and high temperatures

· Shut off quickly

· It slows down and controls the flow


The minimum flow resistance of the globe valve is higher than most other valves because the flow changes direction after it passes through the valve. The opening speed is slower because the replacement moves.

Globe Valve Size:

DNSizes (Inch)LH
5½”62      101
Globe Valve Size:


Steam Gate Valve

gate valves
gate valves

A gate valve is a sliding type where a metal gate slides down to close the valve. Gate valves (knife valves) are ideally used as an ON-OFF valve and are generally used in the streamline for isolating steam. The valve may be quickly prone to wear and tear due to the vibrations caused in partially open conditions.

Gate valves can work comfortably with metal-metal sealing, and these are usually used in high-pressure steam supply lines with superheated temperatures like the lines in the petrochemical industry. These valves are full bore (provide unrestricted flow when the valve is opened) and offer little resistance to steam flow. These valves are cheap and easily repaired but come in big sizes.

Temperature and Pressure Condition: Standard bronze gate valve has a working temperature range of -10˚C-120˚C with a working pressure of 16 bar (232 psi).

Gate Valve Size:

1/2″ (DN 15)16bar/232psi
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
Gate Valve Size chart

3.4. Steam Butterfly Valves

Pneumatic control valve in a steam heating system
Pneumatic control valve in a steam heating system

When you close a gate valve, a metal gate slides down to the outside of the valve. You should use a gate valve, also known as a knife valve, as an ON-OFF valve, and you should usually use them in the streamline to separate the steam. The movements when the valve is only partly open may cause it to wear out quickly.

 Consumers usually use gate valves in high-pressure steam supply lines that are very hot, like those in the oil and gas sector. These valves can work well with metal-metal seals. If you open these valves all the way, there is no restriction on the flow of steam because they are full bore. There are a lot of these valves, but they are cheap and easy to fix.

Uses of Butterfly Valves:

These are some of the most popular uses of butterfly valves:

· In the food and drink business

· Uses in chemicals, oil, and medicine

· Cleaning wastewater

· Use in water and gas application

· Handling fuel and fire safety


· Simple to maintain

· Quickly opens and closes

· Lighter in weight

· Pretty accurate flow control


One problem is that even when the disc is fully open, the flow can still reach some of it. Whatever setting you choose, the butterfly valve always causes a pressure switch across the valve. The disc may also be unable to move if the liquid is thick.

Butterfly Valve Size

Size (mm)Size (Inch)L
401 ½41
652 ½46
Butterfly Valve Size

Electric Steam Valve

The electric steam valve controls both temperature and pressure. The primary purpose of steam valves is to maintain as low an incoming steam pressure as feasible for process applications. The electric model operates the steam valve with an electric actuator. The actuator provides the force necessary to move the valve to regulate fluid flow.


Electric steam valves have the advantage of automation. It implies that these valves have the ability of remote control and monitoring. Electric steam control valves have a simple structure.

Angle Valve 

There is an inner port and an outer port on an angle valve. These ports are 90 degrees from each other. When it comes to valves, the angle valve is controlled. Many people use this valve to stop or change the fluid flow in a pipe.

No fluid can move through the pipe when a stop valve is closed. Angle valves, on the other hand, are more often used as control devices in pipes and industry.


Users mainly use angle valves for two reasons:

When it’s time to replace or upgrade the tap or other fittings, if you only need to fix one piece of equipment or a device, you can use an angle valve to cut off the water to that area instead of the whole building or house.

The angle valve can stop water flow to an appliance or device if it leaks or bursts. This can be done until the problem is fixed.


· Angle valves are primarily used to move liquids and come in smaller sizes than ball valves. Angle Valve makes Adjusting the flow rate easy, so anyone can change it or turn it off completely.

· Angle valves are primarily used to move liquids and come in smaller sizes than ball valves. Angle Valve makes Adjusting the flow rate easy, so anyone can change it or turn it off completely.


Because angle valves leak more often than gate valves, they aren’t as suitable for situations where leaking is a bother.

Check Valve 

The name “single-way valve” also works for the steam check valve. To keep media from moving backward through the steam system, this is what it’s for. The bottom valve that lets the water pump flow is also a check valve. The opening and closing parts open and close with the help of the steam flow and force. To keep the steam from flowing backward through the check valve.


The way a check valve works is that it lets flow move in one direction but stops flow moving the other way automatically. If you don’t want to turn a check valve manually, it’s one of the few valves that can do it all by itself.


A lot of different kinds of fluid systems use check valves. You can find them in chemical and power plants, among other places. Some common uses in the nuclear business are control systems for feed water, dump lines, make-up water, different process systems, N2 systems, and systems for tracking and sampling.


  • · Stop backflow.
  • · Able to handle both high and low pressure.
  • · Work as a safety net and backup.
  • · It can be used both side to side and up and down.
  • · Keep overflow from hurting pumps and fans.
  • · Cut down on downtime and lost work.


  • · The closing part can slam shut, damaging and wearing it out.

· Work in a system that is completely closed off.

· You can’t check the inside parts.

· Disks can get stuck when they’re open.

Pressure Release Valve for Steam 

Controlling the pressure in a system with a pressure release valve keeps the system from building up pressure that could damage other equipment. If the pressure in the system goes above the valve’s set point, the valve opens and lets the extra pressure out into the air or to a different place. People use these valves in places where pressure is significant, like in the oil and gas industry, the chemicals industry, and the steam power generation industry.

Solenoid Valves for Steam 

Electrically driven steam solenoid valves can be linear or rotational, depending on their use. Solenoid steam valves work with magnetic fields. They have a solenoid, an electric coil, and a plunger.


To open the valve, the coil moves when an electric current flows through it. This moves the core upwards and opens the orifice hole’s mouth. This quickly moves the high-pressure fluid from the bypass hole to the aperture. The pressure inside drops very quickly at this rate, and there is a change in pressure inside. Because of this difference, the diaphragm rises above the spring force, letting fluid pass through. This means that the valve is open. All of this takes a very short time.


The steam solenoid valves work quickly and cost a lot. They are made for places with high temperatures (80°C to 180°C).

Applications of Steam Valve

Water in its gaseous state is steam. After performing its function as a heat conductor, steam is an excellent working medium in thermodynamic systems capable of transferring heat across thermal applications.

Generally speaking, industrial processes utilize steam at reduced temperatures and pressures. To minimize the temperature and pressure of the inlet stream for process application, the steam conduit in a power plant requires control. Valves for steam regulate the pressure and discharge rate of steam and heated water.

Frequent industrial processes utilize low pressure. Steam has a higher latent heat at reduced pressure, increasing energy efficiency. Since the temperature and pressure of steam are interrelated, manipulating steam pressure also controls the temperature.

Material Used in Steam Valve

The media that flows through a valve should suit the materials used to make its body and seal. If not, the valve’s materials will break down over time. The iron, bronze, copper, steel, stainless steel, and brass used to make the body of the steam valve and its inner parts, like the ball and disc, are metals. EPDM, NBR, and FKM are rubber-based materials, and PTFE and PA are plastic-based materials. These are used for the steam valve’s gasket, packing, and seal.

  • Specifications of Steam Valve

It is crucial to consider many things when choosing a steam valve. Thinking about the environment, pressure, temperature, connection, actions, and other support factors is essential. You can choose the actuators, link, valve body, and component material when you know what kind of valve you need based on the pressure and flow you want. Most steam valves have threaded, flanged, or compression fitting joints. Building materials include copper, steel, stainless steel, brass, bronze, aluminum, and cast iron.

Steam valve actuation, such as:

  • Manual valves have a wheel or crank that you turn by hand to open or close them.
  • It is possible to use electric actuators with electric equipment.
  • There are many types of valves on the market, and they work with either solenoids or air pressure.
  • A pneumatic actuator or cylinder opens and closes a pneumatic valve.
  • Temperature changes in the handled media are what make thermally operated valves work. Once a specific temperature is reached, temperature and pressure release usually occur.

Steam valves control the flow and pressure of steam in many industrial settings, especially those that produce electricity and process chemicals and food. In addition to these fields, cleaning, drying, and humidification equipment also uses industrial steam control valves.

People often think of steam as old-fashioned, but it is still a significant way to move heat energy. Because of this, steam control valves are very useful in business. Because steam is one of the most common, stable, and valuable sources of heat energy for industrial production, cutting-edge valves are essential for getting the most out of it.

What We Resolve?

In this article, we completely describe the types of valves used in steam applications. We describe the working, application, and advantages of each valve type we used for steam application. At the end of the article, we describe some specifications of steam valve that is vital to understand before buying any valve for your steam applications.

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