Browse Definitions:
Definition

valve

Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn

A valve is a mechanism that opens and closes to control the flow of fluids. In a scientific context, fluids include both liquids and gases – any substance that can flow freely – and valves may use either. Valves control fluid flow in motors, plumbing, irrigation, pneumatic and hydraulic systems. Sometimes the venerable pre-transistor vacuum tube is referred to as a valve as well.

The simplest valves are one way-flap mechanisms that allow flow in one direction and shut with back-flow pressure to stop flow in the direction of origin. (This is essentially how the valves in a heart work.) In addition to running automatically through the physics of flow itself, valves can also work through pressure or temperature and may be run by a motor or operated manually.

Manual valves are usually operated by levers, pedals, hand knobs or wheels to crank a screw-turned stem. A valve sometimes has geared mechanical insides that actuate the valve ball or disc against its seat, which may include a gasket. A valve may control fluid flow to one or, often, as many as four ports. Valves vary greatly in cost and size from as small as 0.1mm (millimeter) to as big as 5m (meters) in special applications.

Valve also happens to be the name of the game developer and purveyor of the largest game distribution service: Steam.

Watch a brief demonstration of how ball valves work:

This was last updated in January 2017

Continue Reading About valve

Join the conversation

1 comment

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

Is an understanding of basic physics crucial to working in a DevOps environment?
Cancel

-ADS BY GOOGLE

Extensiones de Documento y Formatos de Documento

Accionado por:

SearchCompliance

  • PCAOB (Public Company Accounting Oversight Board)

    The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) is a Congressionally-established nonprofit that assesses audits of public ...

  • cyborg anthropologist

    A cyborg anthropologist is an individual who studies the interaction between humans and technology, observing how technology can ...

  • RegTech

    RegTech, or regulatory technology, is a term used to describe technology that is used to help streamline the process of ...

SearchSecurity

  • email spam

    Email spam, or junk email, is unsolicited bulk messages sent through email with commercial, fraudulent or malicious intent.

  • distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack

    A distributed denial-of-service attack occurs when an attack originates from multiple computers or devices, usually from multiple...

  • application whitelisting

    Application whitelisting is the practice of identifying applications that have been deemed safe for execution and restricting all...

SearchHealthIT

  • national provider identifier (NPI)

    A national provider identifier (NPI) is a unique ten-digit identification number required by HIPAA for covered healthcare ...

  • athenahealth Inc.

    Based in Watertown, Mass., athenahealth Inc. is a leading vendor of cloud-based EHRs for small to medium-sized physician ...

  • Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare)

    The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is legislation passed in 2010 that changed how uninsured Americans enroll in and receive healthcare...

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS)

    One approach to a strong disaster recovery plan is DRaaS, where companies offload data replication and restoration ...

  • data recovery

    Data recovery restores data that has been lost, accidentally deleted, corrupted or made inaccessible. Learn how data recovery ...

  • disaster recovery plan (DRP)

    A company's disaster recovery policy is enhanced with a documented DR plan that formulates strategies, and outlines preparation ...

SearchStorage

  • GlusterFS (Gluster File System)

    GlusterFS (Gluster File System) is an open source distributed file system that can scale out in building-block fashion to store ...

  • virtual memory

    Virtual memory is a memory management capability of an OS that allows a computer to compensate for physical memory shortages by ...

  • yottabyte (YB)

    A yottabyte is a measure of theoretical storage capacity and is 2 to the 80th power bytes, or, in decimal, approximately 1,000 ...

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • PCIe SSD (PCIe solid-state drive)

    A PCIe SSD (PCIe solid-state drive) is a high-speed expansion card that attaches a computer to its peripherals.

  • SSD caching

    SSD caching, also known as flash caching, is the temporary storage of data on NAND flash memory chips in a solid-state drive so ...

  • NVDIMM (Non-Volatile Dual In-line Memory Module)

    An NVDIMM (non-volatile dual in-line memory module) is hybrid computer memory that retains data during a service outage.

SearchCloudStorage

  • RESTful API

    A RESTful application program interface breaks down a transaction to create a series of small modules, each of which addresses an...

  • cloud storage infrastructure

    Cloud storage infrastructure is the hardware and software framework that supports the computing requirements of a private or ...

  • Zadara VPSA and ZIOS

    Zadara Storage provides block, file or object storage with varying levels of compute and capacity through its ZIOS and VPSA ...

Close