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There are multiple ways to operate or actuate a butterfly valve, A brief description of the different types of actuation methods is below.
Manually actuated butterfly valves are inexpensive and easy to operate. The two common methods are:
Hand lever: A hand lever is common for small butterfly valves. The handle enables the valve to be locked into an open, partially open, or closed position. An example can be seen in below picture. Extended spindle butterfly valves have long stems allowing remote operation of the valve when it is underground or within a pit.
Gear: These are designed for slightly larger butterfly valves and utilize a gearbox to increase torque at the expense of decreased speed of opening/closing. Gear-operated valves are also self-locking (cannot be back-driven) and can be equipped with position indicators. An example can be seen in below picture.
Power-operated actuators are a reliable method of controlling butterfly valves from a remote location. Butterfly valve actuators also make rapid operation of larger valves possible. These actuators can be designed to fail-open (stay open in case of actuator failure), fail-close (remain closed in case of actuator failure), and often come with a manual actuation method in case of failure, as seen in below picture. The three types of automatic actuators are listed below:
Electric (motorized) butterfly valve: Uses an electric motor to turn the butterfly valve stem, are typically used for high precision regulation and time-sensitive application.
Pneumatic butterfly valve: Requires compressed air to move a piston or diaphragm to open/close the valve, also used for high precision application and uses compressed air for actuation.
Hydraulic butterfly valve: Requires hydraulic pressure to move a piston or diaphragm to open/close the valve.Typically used for applications requiring large torques for opening and closing the valve, such as high pressure and high viscosity applications.
Butterfly valves can be operated manually by handles and gears or automatically by electric, pneumatic, or hydraulic actuators. These devices allow precise disc rotation to positions ranging from fully open to fully closed. Choosing the operation method according to your actual application.
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