AS9120B, ISO 9001:2015, and FAA AC 0056B ACCREDITED

Check Valves, Their Functionality, and Common Types

Check valves are a common element of piping systems involving fluids, and such parts serve as a preventative method against backflow. As a type of one-way valve, check valves only permit the flow of fluids in a single direction for the protection of piping, valves, pumps, and other hardware against the detrimental effects of water hammer. In this blog, we will discuss the common types of check valves and their applications, allowing you to better understand the importance of such parts.

In a typical pump system, fluids are transported between levels with the use of a pump to overcome gravity. While fluids will move in a single direction when the pump is in operation, flow will end when the pump shuts off. This can often cause a backflow of fluids as they return down the pipe on an incline. As this fluid can cause various problems, such as undesirable rises in pressure and assembly damage, it is important to have check valves in place to prevent fast flow reversal.

To best mitigate the chance of backwards flow in an emergency, the check valve is specifically designed with a valve door that slams shut when reverse flow force is induced. While this can prevent backflow, a sudden stop in flow will result in pipeline water hammer. Pipeline water hammer will often cause a large hammer noise in the system that is a result of the force of the valve as it slams into its seated position. Water hammer can be detrimental to the piping system, having the potential to cause assembly cracking, cavitation, bursting, and more. While a single surge of pressure may not be a major cause of concern, repeated surges will eventually cause the system as a whole to face issues or failure.

There are two primary types of check valves for water and wastewater applications, those of which are swing check valves and ball check valves. A swing check valve is a type that is mounted upon a disc, and they swing on a shaft or hinge. As the disc swings away from the seat, forward flow is permitted within the system. Once flow ceases, the disc will swing back onto its seat with the help of the return flow. Meanwhile, the ball check valve utilizes a ball that moves up and down within the valve. As the chamber features a conical shape and a specifically machined seat, the ball is easily guided into its seating to prevent reverse flow.

Alongside such examples, one may also take advantage of other variations such as the disc check valve, seat check valve, isolation valve, and more. When choosing between check valves, one should strike a balance between cost and capabilities for ample cost-benefit. Furthermore, the check valves should be able to protect the system while minimizing the chance of water hammer, excessive pressure losses, and other factors. When it comes time to begin sourcing the valves, pumps, and pipes that you require for your various fluid applications, get in touch with a Procurement Domain expert to fulfill your needs with time and cost savings.

Owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, Procurement Domain is a leading distributor of check valves and other components that serve military and civilian applications alike. Take the time to peruse our ever-expanding part catalogs at your leisure and find over 2 billion items ready for purchase at any time. If there is a particular item that sparks your interest, our RFQ service will allow you to request a quote for your comparison in a matter of minutes. If you have any questions or concerns regarding our offerings or services and wish to speak with a representative, feel free to email or call us at your earliest convenience. At Procurement Domain, we are more than just a dependable distributor of parts; we are your strategic sourcing partner. 


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