The Limitless Uses of Stainless Steel Float Valves

Stainless steel float valves are remarkable yet simple mechanical devices that offer limitless uses for liquid-level control systems applications. Float valves are, in their basic form, liquid-level controllers. They measure, monitor, or activate a particular mechanical level control system to regulate fluid levels in various open and closed storage tanks, vessels, basins, condensate tanks, remote tanks, reservoirs, and piping.

Though there are variations in design depending on the application requirements, the basic float valve consists of a spherical-shaped, air-filled ball, a “float device,” connected to a lever or arm attached to a valve. For the sphere to float, it must be sealed to ensure that water cannot enter. A float is activated when it detects changes of elevation in the surface level of a tank or basin. It opens or closes accordingly as the surface level of a fluid or condensate rises, falls, or moves through a tank or outlet. The motion can activate or control a pump switch, check valve, steam trap, etc.

Material Properties of Stainless Steel

Yet, it’s not so much a float valve’s basic design that offers limitless uses in applications as the material properties that stainless steel offers a float valve. Stainless steel is preferred in manufacturing float valves; it is lightweight, durable, highly versatile, flexible, and adaptable. Though certainly not the only material used in float valve applications—brass, PVC, and copper are examples of other materials used to manufacture float valves. Unlike stainless steel, however, those materials have limited applications.

Why? Stainless steel has a combination of unique properties that can perform exceptionally in a wide range of environments. To begin with, by definition, stainless steel offers excellent corrosion resistance. Compatible with various fluids, such as corrosive chemicals, oils, gases, and water, float valves composed of stainless steel are suitable for industries where exposure to moisture, chemicals, or harsh environments is common. From controlling the flow of water in agricultural irrigation systems and managing chemicals in industrial processes to maintaining water levels in wastewater treatment plants and for marine applications like ballast tanks that control the water levels of ships, stainless steel float valves meet the material requirements for applications in many different environments and industries.

Stainless steel has other valuable properties, too. Easily cleaned and maintained due to their non-porous surface, stainless steel float valves are well-regarded for their hygienic properties, making them ideal for industries like food and beverage processing, pharmaceuticals, and healthcare, where strict hygiene standards are essential. Because stainless steel float valves can also withstand a wide range of temperatures, they are crucial for applications in HVAC, oil and gas, and chemical processing.

Due to its strength and durability, stainless steel can withstand high-pressure environments, necessary for float valves in industries as diverse as petrochemicals, power generation, and industrial manufacturing. Stainless steel float valves can perform under higher pressure and at correspondingly high temperatures in water or corrosive liquids. The high strength of stainless steel provides an extremely versatile and durable float that can be made into numerous shapes and sizes.

Advanced Design Variations

Variations in designs are another aspect related to stainless steel float valves’ limitless uses in liquid-level control applications. Steam trap float valves, for example, are essential components in steam systems that remove condensate, air, and other non-condensable gases to prevent water hammering, maintain energy efficiency, and protect equipment. Stainless steel float valves offer reliable and safe operation of steam-based processes across various industries, including manufacturing, power generation, chemical processing, and HVAC systems.

Boiler feed system float valves, often referred to as boiler feedwater control valves or float-operated feedwater valves, are critical components in the operation of steam boilers. Boiler systems are used in various industries, such as power generation, manufacturing, chemical processing, and HVAC systems. Float valves in boiler feed systems consist of stainless steel to withstand high-pressure and high-temperature conditions. Proper sizing, installing, and maintaining these valves are essential to ensure steam boilers’ safe and reliable operation.

A check valve is another type of float-operated valve. Sometimes referred to as a check float valve, they are designed to control the flow of fluids in a pipeline or system. Check valves serve various purposes in different applications, primarily preventing backflow and maintaining fluid levels. Float valves are used in agricultural irrigation systems, flood control, oil and gas pipelines, petrochemical and chemical processes, vehicle cooling systems, and sewage treatment plants, among other industrial applications.

Contact the Experts at Arthur Harris

Float valves are essential for limitless uses in liquid-level control systems. Arthur Harris & Company has been a stainless steel float market leader for over a century. Today, our stainless steel float valves are favored by various industries due to their corrosion-resistant properties, reliability, durability, ability to withstand harsh environmental conditions, and, above all, exceptional quality.

We provide reliable and long-lasting custom solutions for fluid-level control processes across various industries. Contact us at Arthur Harris for more information on our stainless steel float balls and tanks. We offer quality products, excellent service, and fast turnaround time.