Understanding How Isolation Valves Work

With the number of valves in the market, we know very few of them or just the ones we see online. One of the valves which are top of the line in different industries is isolation valves. They are known to regulate or halt the flow of materials preventing them from being contaminated. Known to be the shut-off device in pharmaceutical industries, their responsibility is to provide a consistent flow of materials. They have the capability to be fully opened or fully closed. 

Isolation valves are used in a variety of analytical equipment and medical devices. They secure that the materials transported are free from media which can highly affect the operation and production. But what are the perks of using isolation valves? Apart from their exemplary capabilities, get to know what more can isolation valves offer in different industries. 

Understanding Isolation Valves

The idea of valves means they have the capability to regulate and isolate the flow of media through a transport system. The media may be different types of liquid or gas which can be toxic or non-toxic depending on the supported industry or service. Digging deeper, isolation valves are more complex than that. They provide a secure shut-off feature isolating media from the natural environment in contaminating the main media. 

The required quality of seal should be able to keep up with high pressure and high temperature. Moreover, the seal should free the media from being affected by the impact of the outside environment. Ensure that you only get well-trusted shut-off valves like the gate valves for resilient quality. Operations involving isolation valves are responsible for more than just control but assuring that the media is transported without obstruction. 

Types of Media Supported by Isolation Valves

It is very important to see what types of media do isolation valves support. They are not just for the sake of suitability but as well as the functionality of operations. What are the limitations of the isolation valves in terms of the media they can support? Isolation valves are known for different applications involving internal volume, dead volume, wetted materials, and swept volume. Know more about these below. 

Internal Volume 

Internal volume is when the volume remains inside the valve assembly. It happens when the valve is shut closed. 

Dead Volume

Dead volume media is when the volume running inside the valve cannot be elated when normal operations are done. Being eliminated during operations is essential where cross-contamination is made possible in different applications like drawing samples from numerous patients. 

Wetted Materials

The wetted material is a type of media where any material is being incorporated with the main media, liquid or gas, is flowing through the line of the valve. 

Swept Volume 

The swept volume is when the volume required in operations run within the assembly of the valve. They are known to be equal to the internal volume which means it is equivalent to dead volume. 

Types of Isolation Valves 

Isolation valves are best used in different applications exposed to high pressure and high temperature. This concerns the isolation of flow to allow the removal of equipment, allow shutting down of the plant, and to facilitate maintenance. Aligned to the operation of isolation valves, they are classified into two; linear movement valves and rotary movement valves. The two differs in the application as well as in the features. They have their own differences and expertise. 

Linear Movement Valves

In linear movement valves, the operations happen when the motion of the obturator is in a straight line. Valves involved in this category are diaphragm valves, pinch valves, gate valves, and globe valves. Linear movement valves are also known as linear motion valves or multi-turn valves. They have a design which requires sliding of the stem to initiate opening or closing of the element in the valve body. 

The closing device found in these valves could be slat, disc, or flexible materials. Unlike other valve types, linear movement valves tend to be more time-consuming in terms of opening and closing. They may be slower in operations but they are impressive in terms of the level of stability and accuracy. They ensure that the actuator is able to establish a tight-shut feature to regulate or to stop the flow of operations. 

Rotary Movement Valves

Rotary movement valves are also known as quarter turn valves or rotary motion valves. In contrary to the linear movement valves, their closure requires a rotation of 45 degrees or a quarter turn. The control of the flow is simple in closing and opening. This type of isolation valve usually comes in a smaller size and lighter weight compared to the features of linear movement valves. 

Note that rotary movement valves have their limitation in being exposed to different levels of pressure drops. They are also more susceptible to problems in flashing and cavitation compared to linear movement valves. But with the power of advanced technology, their features continually develops through time. The best examples of rotary movement valves are spherical valves, plug valves, ball valves, and butterfly valves. All exhibit rotary motions during transport of materials operations. 


Isolation valves are very unique in terms of utilization compared to regulating and control valves. But like other components in operations, they exhibit their own authenticity. But before coming up with the idea that isolation valves will be used on your next project, conduct research on what applications they best suit. They stand out in the number of industries requiring valves because of the features they serve. 

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