When you think of the humble beginnings of industrialization you might think of the pump, the steam engine, or the radio. They are important of course, but what about a small device that can be found almost anywhere? We are talking about the valve. Have you ever considered how many uses this wonderful piece of equipment has? Here are a few curiosities: Did you turn a faucet to get running water in your home? Did an engine power your vehicle while you drove it? Have you used any air conditioning or heating? Did you fly on a plane? Do you get a constant flow of electricity? Did you run your dish washer? There are many more examples and valves are used frequently and usually behind the scenes in all these applications.
Valves are found in virtually every industry. They are use in water and sewage systems, oil and gas, power generations, food manufacturing, all chemical industries, transportation, aviation, and just about anywhere else you can think of. Valves are usually overlooked and taken for granted by most people. Engineers understand the importance of these devices.
Want to assure that flow is going only on direction? There is a check valve for that. Want to use on/off control for slurries or powders? There is a knife valve for that. Need to have shut off capability in a large pipe? There is a butterfly valve for that. Do you require precise flow regulation? There is a globe valve for that also. There are many more.
If all those are not enough, this next example might be important; your heart has several valves. They are there to make sure the is no backward flow of blood as the it passes through the chambers. The heart, as you know, provides a steady flow of oxygen rich blood all over your body, sustaining growth and life. So it may seem that not only are valves used in so many applications in our modern world but are also vital to our very existence.