Difference Between a Plug Valve and a Ball Valve

In this blog post, you’ll read:It is the type of valve which uses a cylindrical or tapered plug. This plug regulates the flow of the stream via the system. The plug of the valve turns inner the valve of the body. This plug has one or more hole passes or ports. When the valve opens, the fluids stream via these hollow passes of the plug. The plug valve is not too expensive. Yet, it has a simple design. When the plug conically tampers, the stem or handle will connect to the plug's larger diameter end.
Table of Contents

What is the Plug Valve?

It is the type of valve which uses a cylindrical or tapered plug. This plug regulates the flow of the stream via the system. The plug of the valve turns inner the valve of the body. This plug has one or more hole passes or ports.

When the valve opens, the fluids stream via these hollow passes of the plug. The plug valve is not too expensive. Yet, it has a simple design. When the plug conically tampers, the stem or handle will connect to the plug’s larger diameter end.

What Is a Ball Valve?

ball valve's spare parts
Ball valve’s spare parts


A ball valve is a quarter-turn shutoff valve that controls the flow of liquids by a spinning ball. The spherical rotary ball comprises a straight bore through it. The pipe is open when the bore is adjusted in a similar direction to the stream.

Yet, it permits the liquid to pass through it. When the bore turns 90 degrees from the flow, the valve is shut, and the stream is blocked. Ball valves are used in business applications for their fixing properties and long lifespan.

Ball Valve Technical Data

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 sizes and dimensions

For the ball valve basic, watch this video.

Ball Valve Basics from Mako Products – Superlok TV

Plug Valve Materials

Plug valves can be supplied from various materials, both plastic and metallic. The most well-known plug valve materials are;

• Stainless Steel

• Bronze

• Brass

• Plastic

Materials for Ball Valve

Ball valves use various materials. PVC, brass, bronze, stainless steel, and chrome are used for ball valve manufacturing. Yet, these materials make the body material used for manufacturing. Yet, every material has its strength. PVC gives flexibility and precision to the parts.

brass vs stainless steel and pvc ball valve
brass vs. stainless steel and PVC ball valve

Materials like bronze and brass are corrosion-resistant. It is ideal for low or medium-pressure systems. Yet, brass valves are less expensive than steel ball valves. They are safe to use in drinking water. Ball valves made of stainless steel are more potent than other materials. Yet, it is used in swimming pools and oil refining plants.

The materials utilized for seats and seals rely upon the use of the valves. TML-supported Teflon, brass, nylon, and Viton are some materials used.

Ball valves come in four distinct kinds of construction:

Full port or full bore to the brass ball valve featured an oversized ball, where the hole and pipeline size are similar. However, it brings about lower friction loss. As the valve is costlier and larger. It is generally used where free flow is essential, for example, in pipelines that need pigging.

Reduced bore ball valves incorporate a ball more minor than the valve’s line size. This makes the stream area smaller and, thus, builds the speed of the flow.

• A V-port ball valve, which includes a V-shaped ball, empowers a more controlled opening and shutting off the hole to attain a close to direct flow.

ball valve protection
Ball valve protection

• A trunnion ball valve features extra mechanical fixing. This will uphold the ball or disc between the stem and the shaft. This kind of ball valve is valuable in applications that need higher pressure.                                      

The Life Time of the Ball valve and Plug valve

When we discuss the lifetime of the ball and plug valves, the ball valves have more life than the plug valves. Most interesting, there is more possibility of the plug valves being eroded.

This is because, in the plug valves, more liquids come into contact with the chamber and have high force. On the opposite side, the ball valves have extra moving parts. Yet, it has minor contact with the medium and needs less power.

Customization and Flexibility

Ball valves have more potential for customization. On the opposite side, the ball valves are accessible in different designs to select from. Ball valves are accessible in a one-piece plan, two-piece body, or three-piece body.

Ball valves additionally give you a choice to support many ports. Most incredibly, the ball valve thinks of top doorways and side and split body entrances.

If we discussed the customization of the plug valves, they are not as adaptable as ball valves. Plug valves have an elementary design. They are not accessible in many choices that are available on the markets.

plug valve specs
Plug valve specs

The ports of the plug valves range from two to 5 ports. They do not have more than five ports because they will give you a loser shutoff.

structure of plug valve
structure of plug valve

Plug valve port shapes:

Significant Differences Between Ball Valve and Plug Valves

The ball and plug valves are the control valves that give you a tight shutoff in various types of piping units. Remember that both valves are comparative on essential abilities and applications.

Both valves work on a comparable where the flow of the medium starts or stops via perforated plates. So, both have a few distinctions in various perspectives. We should talk about the difference between the valves deeply.


Bored discs are available in the middle of the valve in both the plug and ball valves. In the Ball valve, an empty place is available where it has a spherical plate.

The disc in the plug valve is cylindrical or conical, with a bored passage going through it. It is captivating to realize that the plates in the ball valve are smaller than the plugging valve.

This is why plug valves give you a tighter shutoff than a ball valve. The plug valve is smaller than the ball valve. Plug valves have a little imprint so that they can be fitted into smaller units.


Control valves, like ball and plug valves, are utilized to begin and stop the flow of the medium. The plug valve’s fixing surface has a much bigger region than a ball valve. A cylindrical or conical fitting plug in a valve gives a more seal due to its more significant surface area. The surrounding region compares to more force. The result is a valve that tries to open and shut.

Ball valves work without force. This can prompt low fixing performance because the surface area is smaller. Yet, ball valves can overcome this issue with seal injections and chemical sealants.

Plug valves can be weighty compared with lighter-weight ball valves. Plug valves have an enormous strong disc or fitting on the highest point of the valve, making it heavier. Along these lines, plug valves are used for little applications. It is costly and weighty to make enormous plug valves.


Both the plug valves and ball valves need regular maintenance to work. Unfortunately, keeping up with the ball valves is challenging as the ball or circle is available inside the body and hard to reach. This is one of the primary reasons ball valves are difficult to keep up with.

Per a few producers, the body pit for the valve has particles from the medium, which is challenging to end. Conversely, plug valves are simple to keep up with because you can stop and clean the plug valve.

In addition, the plug valve gives a simple way to deal with the valve body. So, keeping up with the plug valve removes a lot of inconveniences and is simple. Plug valves have simple maintenance and don’t contain various moving parts.

  • Cost

The bushing covers the “plug” for the plug valve, which liberates the valve body and plugs from wear. Substitution of the bushing and top seal can finish the maintenance and apprise of the valve. This is a long-term service need of 300℃.

This enjoys serious upper hands over other hard-fixed brass ball valves in this temperature range. What’s more, the plug valve processing area is the top face and back—different parts of every one-step casting molding. Yet, the inside body needs no processing.

In contrast, the ball valve offers low processing costs. It was done while making the INCONEL, MONEL, HAST alloy, and other extraordinary materials. The plug valve has a patent cost advantage.

  • Uses

Both ball and plug valves are used in various channeling applications. Plug valves give bubble-tight shutoff in liquid services. This would be in air, gas, fume, and hydrocarbon, and that’s the starting. Plug valves are well-known for managing slurries, mud, and sewage applications.

Yet, they have a more extensive surface area and permit the unrestricted flow of the medium. Fortified plug valves furnish tight seals while managing destructive or brutal mediums. They have simple working construction and are unreceptive to erosion characteristics. This makes them the most solid shutoff choice in basic applications.

Here is the video for working the plug valve;

How Plug Valves Work from saVRee

Ball valves are used in various industries. Their flexibility makes a good decision for turbine slips and gas feed lines. It also for

  • blower slides
  • raw petroleum plants
  • generator slips
  • separator skids
  • polymer plants
  • LNG plants
  • field gas plants
  • modern gas processing plants
  • tank farms
  • petroleum treatment facility feedstock lines
  • hydrocarbon handling
  • mechanized process applications.

High-pressure ball valves are used in subsea, underground, wastewater treatment, and cryogenic services. Carbon steel and stainless steel ball valves were applied;

  • cooling water
  • feed water
  • petrol refining
  • desalination
  • preparation

You can also watch the video for the high-pressure ball valve;

Series BLSHP – High-Pressure Ball Valve from Process Systems

Which Valve Is Better Among Plug Valve and Ball Valve?

There are many justifications for why plug valves are superior to ball valves.

First of all, most importantly, it can’t supplant the ball valve. At the same time, the ball valve can displace the plug valve.

Using the plug valves rather than the ball valves is more straightforward. On the opposite side, a space exists between the body and the ball. Yet, the ball valve has a few disadvantages.

A specific measure of medium remaining parts inside the space after the ball valve is fixed. Yet, the plant has been shut for support or an end-of-the-week shut-down. When the plant restarts, the medium should be clean.

Synthetic and food industrial facilities experience this kind of issue. The medium can’t be cleaned, making ball valves ineffective. A plug valve is a full port tool, permitting the entire liquid flow. Yet, the ball valve can either be a full bore or a reduced port.

Many manufacturers create top-notch plug valves to suit clients’ particular needs. Plug valves are accessible in many styles at the store.


Plug and ball valves are control valves that give bubble-tight seals in various applications. They are the sorts of valves in the boat, energy, and other modern applications. In contrast, plug valves have better fixing. They are hard to work with and are costly and weighty for enormous-scope use.

Ball valves might have less excellent fixing services. Yet, they are not challenging to work on and can increase for more extensive applications. Moreover, their fixing abilities can be improved with added innovation and systems. You can check various ball and plug valves in our product lists.

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