The Butterfly Valve

Butterfly valves are used for flow regulation in which the disc takes the form of disk. The main operation is similar to a ball valves. A plate or disc is positioned in the center of the pipe. The disc has a rod passing through it that is connected to an actuator on the outside of the valve. Rotating the actuator turns the disc either parallel or perpendicular to the flow. Unlike a ball valve, the disc is always present within the flow, therefore a pressure drop is always induced in the flow, regardless of valve position.

A butterfly valve is from a family of valves called quarter-turn valves. The "butterfly" is a metal disc mounted on a rod. When the valve is closed, the disc is turned so that it completely blocks off the passageway. When the valve is fully open, the disc is rotated a quarter turn so that it allows an almost unrestricted passage of the fluid. The valve may also be opened incrementally to throttle flow.

There are different kinds of butterfly valves, each adapted for different pressures and different usage. The resilient butterfly valve, which uses the flexibility of rubber, has the lowest pressure rating. The high performance butterfly valve, used in slightly higher-pressure systems, features a slight offset in the way the disc is positioned, which increases the valve's sealing ability and decreases its tendency to wear. The valve best suited for high-pressure systems is the tricentric butterfly valve, which makes use of a metal seat, and is therefore able to withstand a greater amount of pressure.


Butterfly valves are valves with a circular body and a rotary motion disk closure member which is pivotally supported by its stem. A butterfly valve can appear in various styles, including eccentric and high-performance valves. These are normally a type of valve that uses a flat plate to control the flow of water. As well as this, butterfly valves are used on firefighting apparatus and typically are used on larger lines, such as front and rear suction ports and tank to pump lines. A butterfly valve is also a type of flow control device, used to make a fluid start or stop flowing through a section of pipe. The valve is similar in operation to a ball valve. Rotating the handle turns the plate either parallel or perpendicular to the flow of water, shutting off the flow. It is a very well known and well used design.


1. Resilient butterfly valve, having a flexible rubber seat. Working pressure 232 psi

2. High performance butterfly valve, usually double eccentric in design. Working pressure up to 725 psi

3. Tricentric butterfly valve, usually with metal seat design. Working pressure up to 1450 psi

Triple Offset Torque Seated (TOTS)

TOTS Butterfly valves are throttling valves used to control flow in a piping system. They have a triple offset design which prevents rubbing between the metal seat and the metal seal. The only time where the seal comes into contact with the seat is at the point of complete closure. TOTS valves can be used in many different systems and are used on Naval shipsystems such as the DDG-51 ship class.

Wafer-style butterfly valves

The wafer style butterfly valve is designed to maintain a seal against bi-directional pressure differential to prevent backflow in systems designed for unidirectional flow. It accomplishes this by using a tightly fitting seal, i.e., gasket, o-ring, precision machined, and a flat valve face on the upstream and downstream sides of the valve.

Lug-style butterfly valve

Lug-style valves have threaded inserts at both sides of the valve body. This allows them to be installed into a system using two sets of bolts and no nuts. The valve is installed between two flanges using a separate set of bolts for each flange. This setup permits either side of the piping system to be disconnected without disturbing the other side.

A lug-style butterfly valve used in dead end service generally has a reduced pressure rating. For example a lug-style butterfly valve mounted between two flanges has a 150 psi pressure rating. The same valve mounted with one flange, in dead end service, has a 75 psi rating

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