Ball Valve vs. Plug Valve – Selecting the Right Valve for You

Plug Valve Vs. Ball Valve

Ball Valves and Plug Valves are used in various industries to control the flow of liquids and gases. Both types of valves have their unique features and design differences which make them suitable for different applications. This article will look at the fundamental difference between Ball Valves and Plug Valves, including their design, function, benefits, and downsides, to help you decide which type of valve is best for your application.

What is a Ball Valve?

Two-way ball valves manufactured and supplied in India, based in Ahmedabad

A Ball Valve is a quick-operation, on/off valve that uses a pivoting ball to control the flow of liquid or gas. It has a bore through which media passes, and its position determines whether the valve is open or closed. At Cair Euro we are the premium Ball Valve Manufacturer in India

Ball Valves are compact and simple, suitable for various industrial applications like transporting liquid chemicals, natural gas food and beverages, cooking oils, and slurries. They are long-lasting and widely utilized in heating and cooling systems, water distribution, and industrial process cooling.

What is a Plug Valve?

Plug Valves Lubricated Soft Seated valve manufacturer in Ahmedabad

A Plug Valve is a quarter-turn valve used in various industries for controlling liquid or gas flow. Its simple design and tight shut-off make it popular. The plug rotates within the valve body to open or close the flow path. It is used in compact,  low-pressure, and mid-to-low-temperature applications. It rotates 90 degrees and is quarter-turn, with a full range of 90 degrees. Plug valves are best for fast on/off media control and come in two types.

Trust Cair Euro for offering high-quality Plug Valves, we are the leading Plug Valve Manufacturer in India.

Ball Valve vs. Plug Valve- Key Differences

FeatureBall ValvePlug Valve
DesignSpherical disc with a bored passage
Conical plug that is conical or cylindrical and has a bored passage
SizeCompact but scalableSmaller than most other types of valves
Comparative WeightModerate (lighter than plug valve)Heavy at a larger size
OperationThis valve is easy to operate, due to low torque requirements.Difficult due to high-torque requirements
SealingGood (smaller sealing surface area than the plug valve)High (larger sealing surface area, provides a tighter seal than ball valve)
MaintenanceStandard Ball valves are designed to be replaced, but repaired, 3-piece Ball valves are required for serviceability Plugs can be easily removed and cleaned
LongevityLong-lasting in most applications, low-torque results in less wear. The sealing surface of the plug valve is easily worn, and high torque, and larger surface area exposes the valve to more wear & corrosion.
CustomizationThe greater margin for customization. Little room for customization

Types of Ball Valve and Plug Valve

Ball Valve types 

Ball Valves are categorized based on several parameters. 

-> 2-way, 3-way, etc depending on the circuit function. 

-> Full-port, standard port, reduced port, or V-pory based on their bore size and shape.

-> Floating or trunnion based on whether the Ball floats inside the valve body or is supported on a pivot. 

-> 1,2,3-piece ball valves based on the number of body components.

Plug Valve types

Plug valves are characterized according to whether they are lubricated and the form of the plugs.

This lubrication reduces friction and wear on the plug and body, which extends the valve’s operating life and dependability. Lubricated plug valves also offer a tight sealing facility and improved performance in high-pressure applications. 

Non-lubricated Plug Valves, on the other hand, do not require lubrication and are widely used in applications where the fluid being controlled is incompatible with the lubricant. Non-lubricated plug valves are also [referred to in applications where a lubricant may pose a contamination risk, such as in the food and beverage industry. The apertures within the plug might vary in form.

Ball Valve vs. Plug Valves – Applications

Ball Valve Applications

Ball valves are popular for automation in industries like natural gas and crude oil transfer, LNG plants, polymer production, field gas processing, turbine and compressor skids, oil refinery feedstock lines, tank farms, and hydrocarbon processing. They are simple and durable, making them widely used in piping systems. 

Ball valves are preferred for high-pressure and high-temperature systems, and are also used in sanitary applications like medical, pharmaceutical, biochemical, brewing, and food and beverage processing.

Plug Valves Applications

Plug valves are good for managing abrasive materials such as sewage, sludge, and slurries because of their large surface area and unrestricted fluid flow. They ensure a tight seal and are reliable in challenging applications. 

Plug valves feature a full-port design that allows for unfettered media flow while also providing bubble-tight shutdown for liquid, gas, and vapor media.

Which type of valve is right for your application

The function and construction of ball and plug valves, and the distinction between them, are rather basic, but it always helps to consult with an expert who can advise you. 

In short, if you require an on/off valve for low-to moderate-pressure applications, a plug valve wil provide a quick, leak-tight seal. For low-to-high-pressure applications (especially those for which keeping torque to a minimum is crucial, Ball valves are a reliable easy-to-operate solution. There are expectations in every case, but familiarizing yourself with their specific qualities and recommended use cases is a good place to start.


Ball and Plug valves regulate fluid flow through a simple on/off function or a multipath functionality. When deciding whether to utilize a ball valve vs. Plug Valve.

A Plug Valve is the best choice for sensitive applications as it offers perfect sealing and a straightforward application structure. Also, they cost less than ball valves. However, they are not as compared to ball valves and cause a pressure drop from inlet to outlet.
Choose Cair Euro Automation, we offer the best quality Ball Valves for large high-pressure applications that require easier operation. We are the leading valve manufacturer in India. They are easier to use and are more compact than plug valves but with slightly reduced capabilities.