A valve is a device that controls flow, a definition that barely begins to describe the current valve landscape. Valves today can direct and regulate flow, rate, volume, and pressure of liquids, gases, and other materials. They come in many shapes and sizes and are fundamental to nearly every venture into manufacturing and production. The Valve Manufacturers Association of America puts it best when it claims, “The valve is one of the most basic and indispensable components of our modern technology society.”

Below is an illustrated guide to common types of valves used in industrial settings today.


Picture of plug valve by Heather Smith (The Alloy Valve Stockist‘s photo gallery) [CC-BY-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons