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Trunnion Ball Valve vs Floating Ball Valve – What’s the Difference

Trunnion Ball Valve vs Floating Ball Valve

When choosing the right valve for your industrial applications, many factors must be considered. One of the most important decisions is choosing a trunnion ball valve or a floating ball valve. Both valves have unique advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to understand the differences between them to make an informed decision. This blog post will look closely at trunnion and floating ball valves, including their key features, advantages, and disadvantages.

What is Trunnion Ball Valve?

A trunnion ball valve is an isolation or control valve with two seated sealing surfaces with a floating or trunnion-mounted ball. It utilizes a port opening, providing better flow characteristics and pressure drop than other valves. The design also provides tight shutoff and low-torque operation for extended periods.

What is Floating Ball Valve?

A Floating Ball Valve is a type of valve that uses a floating ball to control the flow of fluids. It features an outer body with two openings, one for inlet and one for outlet, through which sealed valves operate, thus allowing multiple liquids or gases to be routed for various purposes. The floating ball acts as a seal between the fluid and the valve stem, thus preventing leakage and controlling the flow rate.

Difference Between Trunnion Ball Valve and Floating Ball Valve

Design and Function

The key difference between trunnion and floating ball valves is their design and function. Trunnion ball valves have a fixed axis or trunnion, which keeps the ball in place and allows it to rotate around its axis. In contrast, floating ball valves have a free-floating ball seated against the downstream seat. The ball can freely move in any direction to seal against the upstream seat.

Pressure Rating

Another important difference between these valves is their pressure rating. Trunnion ball valves are designed to handle higher pressure and flow rates than floating ball valves. This is because trunnion ball valves can use a more robust ball-to-stem connection, which provides greater support and durability in high-pressure applications.


Trunnion ball valves and floating ball valves also differ in terms of their maintenance requirements. Floating ball valves are generally easier to maintain because their design allows easier access to internal components. In contrast, trunnion ball valves have a more complex design, making maintenance more challenging and time-consuming.


The cost of trunnion and floating ball valves can also vary significantly. Trunnion ball valves are typically more expensive than floating ball valves due to their heavier construction and higher pressure ratings. However, the higher price tag may be worth it for applications requiring additional durability and strength of trunnion ball valves.


Finally, it’s important to consider the specific application when choosing between trunnion ball valves and floating ball valves. Trunnion ball valves are often used in applications that require high-pressure and high-performance capabilities, such as oil and gas pipelines, power plants, and petrochemical refineries. In contrast, floating ball valves, such as water and wastewater treatment facilities, are typically used in applications requiring lower pressures and flow rates.


In summary, trunnion and floating ball valves have unique advantages and disadvantages, and choosing between them depends on various factors, such as pressure ratings, maintenance requirements, and cost. Ultimately, the best choice will depend on the specific application and the needs of your operation. By understanding the differences between these valves, you can make an informed decision that will help you optimize your industrial processes and ensure long-term success.

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