Valves are primarily used in piping systems to stop, divert, or regulate the flow of fluids.

Valve types can be broadly categorized based on their function such as:

Isolation (Stop) Valves:

These valve types are used to stop the flow or isolate a portion of the system until it is required to provide flow downstream of the valve.  The basic design requirement of stop valves is to offer minimum resistance to flow in its fully open position and to provide tight shut-off when fully closed.

Regulating Valves:

Regulating valves are used in piping systems to regulate the flow of fluid.  Flow is varied depending on the signal sent based on required parameters like pressure, flow rate or temperature.

Back-Flow Prevention Valves:

These valve types allow flow only in one direction and prevents flow in the reverse direction.

Pressure Relief Valves:

Pressure relief valves are used in a system to prevent excessive build-up of pressure above the system design pressure.

In the context of valve types, steam traps and strainers are related devices that are used extensively in piping systems.  Steam traps are used to discharge condensate from steam piping/steam heating equipment.  

For more information on valves installed in piping systems, browse our eBook Library “Steam Distribution and Primary Equipment Handbook.”