The full port ball valve is a relatively recent creation, only made possible by advances in forging and casting techniques that sprang up after a demand for better performing ball valves that allowed unrestricted media flow. Previous to this innovation ball valves were bored out of metal bar or rod. Manufacturers were limited the the physical dimensions of the bar used while keeping in mind the sufficient wall thickness to withstand the pressures on the body of the valve. This drastically limited the size and possible complexity of valve internals.
Pictured are full port 2'' 2006s-a and a reduced(standard) port 2017k, both rated for 1000PSI.
Note the difference in body size.
Here's a summary of the differences of the two below:
- Reduced port valves are also commonly referred to as Standard Port valves are still commonly used today where cost savings outweigh the need for greater flow capacity. By definition, the orifice of the ball measures one pipe size smaller (or more) than the nominal size of the valve. For instance, a two-inch (2”) pipe size reduced port ball valve would have a 1 1/5" or smaller orifice in the ball. Reduced port valves are also useful if valve size is a consideration as the body can be much smaller than on a full port while maintaining the same pressure rating. Our 2017K ball valve is a great example of a valve that offers a great mix of functionality and value.
- Full port ball valves are valves with a bore through the ball that is larger or nearly matching the inside diameter of the pipe it is matched with.The full port design reduces cavitation and pressure drop, ensuring a more consistent flow rate. A 2” pipe size full port ball valve would be the same 2” nominal orifice inside the valve. The vast majority of the valves we manufacture are full port. Examples include or 2 piece 1000 PSI model 2006s-a, or is seal welded 2000PSI cousin the 2006hl in addition to our Flanged end 2020S or 2020D valves and many others.
In summary, a full port ball valve offers superior flow characteristics but are more costly and have a larger body size. When selecting a valve for your application you must weigh these factors simultaneously.