What is the ORBIT Valve? Material, Industries That Use, and Benefits

Camerons ORBIT brand

The ORBIT valve is a crucial component that plays a pivotal role in ensuring seamless operations. This sophisticated engineering marvel has become indispensable in various industries, thanks to its precision, durability, and efficiency. In this article, we will explore the definition of the ORBIT valve, the materials to make it, the industries it serves, the multitude of benefits it offers, as well as its potential risks.


What is ORBIT Valve?

The ORBIT valve is a high-performance ball valve known for its exceptional durability, precision, and versatility. Unlike traditional ball valves where the ball simply rotates to open or close, ORBIT valves employ a unique tilt-and-turn mechanism to decrease seal rubbing. It is specifically designed to regulate the flow of fluids in industrial processes. The unique design of the ORBIT valve incorporates a spherical closure element, or ball, which is rotated 90 degrees to control the flow through the valve. This mechanism allows for quick and precise modulation of fluid flow, making the ORBIT valve a preferred choice in various applications.

The distinctive design of the ORBIT valve provides several advantages. The ball within the valve not only acts as a closure element but also serves as a seal against the valve seats, minimizing the risk of leakage. The tight shut-off capability of the ORBIT valve makes it ideal for applications where precise control of fluid flow and prevention of leakage are critical.

The material behind the ORBIT valve

Generally, valves are constructed from various materials, each chosen for its properties related to specific requirements. Some common materials used in valve construction include:

  • Stainless Steel: Known for its corrosion resistance, stainless steel is often used in valves for applications where the fluid being handled is corrosive. Different grades of stainless-steel offer varying levels of corrosion resistance.
  • Carbon Steel: Carbon steel is a robust material commonly used in valves for industrial applications. It is strong and durable, but it may be susceptible to corrosion, so protective coatings or treatments may be applied.
  • Alloy Steel: Alloy steel is a combination of various elements, including chromium, nickel, and molybdenum. This alloying enhances properties such as strength and corrosion resistance, making it suitable for demanding applications.
  • Brass: Brass valves are known for their excellent conductivity and corrosion resistance. They are commonly used in applications where the fluid being handled is non-corrosive.
  • Nickel-Alloy: Certain valves designed for extreme conditions, such as high temperatures or corrosive environments, may be constructed from nickel alloys. These alloys offer excellent resistance to corrosion and oxidation.

The choice of material depends on the specific requirements of the application, including the type of fluid, temperature, pressure, and environmental factors. It is essential to consult the valve manufacturer’s documentation or specifications to determine the exact material composition of a particular ORBIT valve model.

Types of ORBIT Valve:

The ORBIT valve comes in various types, each tailored to specific applications and operational requirements.

  • Manual ORBIT Valves: Manual ORBIT valves are operated by hand and do not require external power sources. They feature a handwheel or lever mechanism that allows operators to manually turn the valve stem, controlling the position of the ball within the valve. While manual valves offer simplicity and reliability, they may be less suitable for applications requiring frequent or remote operation.
  • Electric ORBIT Valves: Electric ORBIT valves are actuated by an electric motor or an electromechanical device. These valves provide precise control and are often used in automated systems where remote operation, programmable control, or integration with electronic control systems is necessary. Electric valves offer the advantage of being able to interface with various control systems, providing flexibility in industrial automation applications.
  • Hydraulic ORBIT Valves: Hydraulic ORBIT valves utilize fluid under pressure pressure to start the valve mechanism. The hydraulic system powers the movement of the valve stem, controlling the position of the ball. These valves are often employed in applications where a hydraulic power source is readily available or where precise control is necessary. Hydraulic actuation provides the advantage of smooth and proportional control over the valve position.
  • Pneumatic ORBIT Valves: Pneumatic ORBIT valves use compressed air or gas to actuate the valve mechanism. The pneumatic actuator applies force to the valve stem, causing the ball to rotate and control the flow of fluids. Pneumatic valves are known for their quick response and are commonly used in applications where rapid and reliable actuation is essential. They are often favored in industrial settings where compressed air systems are prevalent.

Features of ORBIT Valves:

Orbit valves are engineered with several key features for enhanced performance and durability:

  • Rub-Free Sealing: These valves prevent rubbing between sealing surfaces, ensuring extended lifespan.
  • Tilt-Turn Operation: Employing a tilt-and-turn mechanism, Orbit valves eliminate seal abrasion, enhancing reliability.
  • Single-Seat Design: Featuring a stationary seat in both directions, Orbit valves prevent pressure trapping between seals.
  • Injectable Packing: Stem packing material can be injected for fugitive emission control during maintenance procedures.
  • Optimized Flow: With full or reduced port openings, Orbit valves improve system efficiency and mitigate erosion.
  • Longevity: Designed for longevity, Orbit valves reduce downtime and ownership costs compared to conventional valves.
  • Top-Entry Design: Their top-entry design simplifies maintenance tasks such as in-line inspection and repair.
  • Self-Cleaning: The design facilitates self-cleaning by directing flow to flush away debris, maintaining performance.
  • Dual Stem Guides: Hardened stem slots and robust guide pins ensure smooth stem action for reliable operation.
  • Low Torque Operation: Orbit valves operate with minimal torque due to the absence of seal rubbing, enhancing ease of use.

These features collectively make Orbit valves a preferred choice for various industrial applications, offering efficiency, durability, and ease of maintenance.

Components of ORBIT Valve:

Understanding the key components of an ORBIT valve is essential for appreciating its functionality and reliability.

  • Body: The main outer structure of the valve that houses internal components.
  • Bonnet: The cover or cap that encloses the valve’s internal parts, providing access for maintenance.
  • Seat: The surface against which the valve’s closure mechanism (such as a ball or disc) seals to stop the flow of fluid.
  • Bearings: These are used to reduce friction between the moving parts of the valve.
  • Stem: This is a shaft that runs through the valve body and bonnet. It is connected to the actuator and is used to open and close the valve.
  • Packing: Material placed around the stem to prevent leakage of fluid around the stem.
  • Actuator: In automated valves, an actuator is used to control the movement of the closure mechanism. This can be pneumatic, electric, hydraulic, or manual.
  • Gaskets: These are used to seal between the different components of the valve to prevent leaks.

Industries that Use ORBIT Valve :

The ORBIT valve is a preferred choice in a wide range of industries where precise control of fluid flow is essential. Some of the industries that extensively utilize ORBIT valves include:

  • Oil and Gas: ORBIT valves are commonly employed from upstream to downstream oil and gas operations. They play a crucial role in controlling the flow of oil, gas, and other hydrocarbons throughout the production and refining processes.
  • Chemical Processing: In chemical processing plants, where the handling of corrosive and abrasive substances is common, ORBIT valves provide reliable control over the flow of chemicals. Their robust construction and tight shut-off capabilities make them suitable for a variety of chemical applications.
  • Power Generation: Power plants, both conventional and renewable, utilize ORBIT valves for controlling the flow of steam, water, and other fluids in the power generation process. The valves contribute to the efficiency and safety of power generation systems.
  • Food and Beverage: Maintaining hygiene and preventing contamination are crucial in the food and beverage industry. ORBIT valves, with their smooth surfaces and leak-tight seals, are perfect for this demanding application.
  • Pulp and Paper: In the pulp and paper industry, ORBIT valves are employed to control the flow of pulp slurries and other abrasive materials.

What Should You Consider When Selecting/Purchasing?

Selecting the right ORBIT valve requires a thorough evaluation of various factors to ensure compatibility with the intended application.

  • Fluid Characteristics: Consider the nature of the fluid being handled, including its corrosiveness, viscosity, and temperature. Select materials and specifications that can withstand the specific properties of the fluid.
  • Pressure and Temperature Ratings: Assess the pressure and temperature conditions of the application. Choose an ORBIT valve with appropriate pressure and temperature ratings to ensure reliable and safe operation. For example, the stronger fluid pressure than the valve or too high or too low temperatures can cause damages to the valve. 
  • Size and Flow Capacity: Determine the required valve size based on the flow capacity of the system. Consider factors such as flow rates, pipe size, and system requirements to select the right valve size.
  • Environmental Conditions: Consider any environmental factors, such as exposure to corrosive substances or extreme temperatures, that may impact the valve’s performance. Select materials and features that mitigate these risks.

The Benefits of ORBIT Valve :

The adoption of ORBIT valves in industrial settings brings forth a myriad of benefits, contributing to enhanced efficiency, safety, and cost-effectiveness.

  • Precise Flow Control: The design of the ORBIT valve allows for quick and precise modulation of fluid flow. This level of control is crucial in processes where accurate flow regulation is essential for optimal performance.
  • Tight Shut-off and Leakage Prevention: The sealing mechanism of the ORBIT valve ensures a tight shut-off, minimizing the risk of leakage. This feature is particularly valuable in industries dealing with hazardous or valuable fluids, where leakage can have severe consequences.
  • Versatility in Applications: The versatility of ORBIT valves makes them suitable for a wide range of applications across different industries. Whether handling corrosive chemicals, abrasive slurries, high-pressure steam, or high temperatures (-104°C to 427°C). Therefore, ORBIT valves reduce downtime and demonstrate efficiency (multiple uses without fail).
  • Simple design: Orbit valves are engineered with a straightforward design, facilitating easy repair procedures. Their simplicity allows maintenance personnel to quickly identify and replace components, minimizing downtime and maintenance costs in industrial settings.
  • Self-cleaning: The self-cleaning feature of Orbit valves ensures continuous and efficient operation by preventing the buildup of debris and contaminants on the sealing surfaces.
  • Cost-Effective Solution: The long lifespan and minimal maintenance requirements of ORBIT valves make them a cost-effective solution in the long run. Their ability to withstand harsh operating conditions adds value to industrial processes, reducing the need for frequent replacements.

 Disadvantages of orbit valves

  • Higher Cost: Orbit valves tend to be more expensive compared to alternative valve options, potentially increasing initial procurement expenses.
  • Critical Application Requirements: In critical applications, strict adherence to manufacturer’s instructions is necessary to prevent potential environmental damage or hazards, requiring meticulous operation and maintenance protocols.

The potential risks of ORBIT valve

  • Fluid leakage poses environmental and safety hazards, especially if the valves handle hazardous substances. 
  • Corrosion and erosion can weaken valve components over time, impacting performance and potentially leading to failure. 
  • Mechanical failures may occur due to wear and fatigue. Improper installation, inadequate training, and exposure to severe service conditions can also contribute to operational risks. 

Regular maintenance, proper training, and adherence to industry standards are crucial for mitigating these risks and ensuring the safe and reliable operation of ORBIT valves in various industrial applications.

 Troubleshooting ORBIT Valves:

  • Structural Breakage: Handle, stem, or end connection breakage could result from frozen movements or external impact. Identify the source and rectify it accordingly. Ensure proper alignment of the system components.
  • Body Damage: Check for misalignment, excessive internal pressure, or chemical compatibility issues that could lead to body breakage. Align the system correctly and verify internal pressure within recommended limits.
  • Internal Leakage: Address thermal damage concerns by verifying the operating temperature range and assessing external heat sources. Inspect for internal obstructions like debris or sediment buildup and clean as needed.
  • Difficulty in Valve Operation: Internal obstructions, such as debris or sediment accumulation, may hinder valve operation. Remove and clean the valve to resolve this issue. Ensure correct valve rotation direction as per manufacturer guidelines.
  • Valve Failure to Shut Off: Verify valve closure direction and check for faulty automation, especially in automated valves. For semi-automatic valves, consider manual closure if automation fails or seek technical assistance for actuator repair.

Conclusion :

The ORBIT valve stands out due to its unique design, meticulous manufacturing process, and widespread applications across diverse industries underscoring its significance in ensuring the smooth and efficient regulation of fluid flow. As industries continue to evolve and demand ever more stringent control measures, the ORBIT valve remains a trusted ally, contributing to the seamless operation of critical processes around the globe.