Introduction to Butterfly Valves: Characteristics, Advantages, and Disadvantages

Since the late 18th century, James Watt applied the butterfly valve to the prototypes of his steam engine. It has advanced the process of technology and the manufacturing industry. As World War II passed, the manufacturers use synthetic rubbers on the sealer members of the valves. It allowed the butterfly valves to be applied in more industries.

Butterfly valves provide isolation and regulation of the flow of fluids. They have a disk that rotates to close the passageway of the fluids. There are several types of butterfly valves, depending on their functionality.


What Are Butterfly Valves?

Butterfly valves are throttling valves that turn in a quarter-turn rotary motion. They control the media flow in a system. The operators use these valves in different media and applications. When you operate a butterfly valve, it has a similar principle to a ball valve, that allows a fast shut off. 

As mentioned, it is a quarter-turn valve. When rotating the valve into a quarter turn, it will fully open or close the disc. A wholly opened valve allows unrestricted passage of the media or fluid. Meanwhile, when the operator closes the valve, it entirely blocks off the passageway. Some open the valve in increments to throttle the system’s flow.

You can see the position of the valve at the pipe’s center. The term butterfly refers to the metal disc mounted on the rod. If you can see the design, the rod passes on an actuator on the outside of the valve. When the operator tries to rotate the actuator, it will turn the disc in a parallel or perpendicular flow. 

Distinguishable Characteristics of Butterfly Valves

When looking around the market, there are things you have to consider when buying a valve. Its category, body type, and disc alignment. 

Butterfly valves are made in three materials. Rubber-lined valves are the cheaper valves suitable for industries that deal with non-abrasive and lower temperature medium. Meanwhile, the plastic-lined valves are best for abrasive applications that deal with harsh chemicals. Lastly, the metal valves are for high-temperature and high-pressure applications. It is required for fire resistance. 

Meanwhile, there are four body types for a butterfly valve; the welded, flanged, lug, and wafer. In these types, there are three ways the disc of the valve can be aligned. You can consider the disc alignment of the valves to zero offset, double offset, or triple offset.

Humaei butterfly valves offer the mentioned characteristics and types of valves.

Advantages and Disadvantages of the Application of Butterfly Valves

Butterfly valves are essential in pipelines by facilitating the flow of water. It can start or stop the flow of media by controlling and throttling the flow. These valves are efficient in Reputable manufacturers to produce butterfly valves that are efficient in extreme pressures and temperatures.

Moreover, you do not have to worry about the wear and tear of the valve. Its durability is essential for industries. It has a simple structure that protects against corrosion affecting the process fluid.

Butterfly valves are best for those industries that are considering construction costs. They are the kind of valve that does not need any space or weight requirements. The valves may help you in the costs for the construction and procurement phase, yet the maintenance is something to consider. Thus, it is crucial to understand the maintenance strategy of the valve installation.

Operators use butterfly valves in different fluid services, and they provide suitable performance. The mentioned fluid services are:

  • Fire protection tanks that store cold water, air, or gases.
  • High temperature and pressure of water for steam services
  • Vacuum services


 Butterfly valves are helpful in the chemical, food, and pharmaceutical industries. They interrupt the flow of products. With these applications, butterfly valves provide several advantages:

  • Available in different sizes
  • Compact design
  • Fast operation time
  • Lightweight
  • Recovery on extreme pressures


The manufacturers follow the current good manufacturing practices to maintain the valve’s advantages. But, amidst the benefits, there are also potential disadvantages of butterfly valves. These are the known disadvantages:

  • Low differential pressure limits the throttling service
  • Flow turbulence affects the unguided movement of the disc

Generally, butterfly valves replace the ball valves installed in some industries. But, when cleaning pipelines with butterfly valves, scraping or pigging is impossible.


The use of butterfly valves is essential in several industries. It helps the operators control the flow of the system. Each type of butterfly valves has its distinct features and characteristics. Huamei butterfly valves offer these kinds of butterfly valves to provide sufficiency. The right valve leads to the right path to success.

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