Something that benefits all of us, yet we barely give much thought to, are the network of pipes that run underground, transporting all the things that we need to us as well as away from us. From the huge oil and gas pipelines to sewage pipes, the modern world is reliant on these networks of pipes that are found all over the world, in some cases crossing continents and countries in order to get materials where they are needed.
Pipes are great, but alone they are not going to work, they will just sit there underground, whilst materials fill them up. In order to really get things moving correctly, what you then need are valves. Valves are specially made by valve manufacturers, like Orseal, and they will be designed for the specific job that they are meant to be doing. Valves move the material through the pipe, and ensure that it is being controlled correctly, reducing the risks of problems like burst pipes.
The way that valves do this is by moving to fully block or partially block a pipe, which then controls how much can get through it. Even when you flush your toilet, valves are at work helping to move all the waste away from you and deep into the sewers, where it can make its way to the water treatment plant.
You will even find valves inside your own body that are so important they keep you alive. Your heart contains valves which is how it can pump oxygen through the blood to all the parts of the body where it is required.
There are many types of valves, as they have a wide variety of jobs to do. Some of the common types include:
Ball Valves – A hollow ball will be inside a pipe, which blocks fluid from coming through it. If a handle is then turned, the ball moves, and allows the fluid to get through. These are probably all around your home, as they are often used in plumbing.
Gate Valves – These are another commonly used valve in plumbing and consist of a set of gates which can be closed or open to allow the water to get through. They usually have to be fully open or closed in order to work.
Needle Valves – These are used for very precise regulation of fluid and can be found in many types of machines. You will most likely have these in your car, as well as in your central heating.