Skip to main content

Computational fluid-dynamics-based analysis of a ball valve performance in the presence of cavitation


In this paper, the ball valve performance is numerically simulated using an unstructured CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) code based on the finite volume method. Navier-Stokes equations in addition to a transport equation for the vapor volume fraction were coupled in the RANS solver. Separation is modeled very well with a modification of turbulent viscosity. The results of CFD calculations of flow through a ball valve, based on the concept of experimental data, are described and analyzed. Comparison of the flow pattern at several opening angles is investigated. Pressure drop behind the ball valve and formation of the vortex flow downstream the valve section are also discussed. As the opening of the valve decreases, the vortices grow and cause higher pressure drop. In other words, more energy is lost due to these growing vortices. In general, the valve opening plays very important roles in the performance of a ball valve.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.


  1. 1.

    Hutchison, J.W., ISA Handbook of Control Valves, 2nd ed., Pittsburgh: Instrument Society of America, 1976.

    Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Kirik, M.J. and Driskell, L.R., Flow Manual for Quarter-Turn Valves, Rockwell, 1986.

    Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    Pearson, G.H., Valve Design, London: Mechanical Engineering Publication, 1978.

    Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Ota, T. and Itasaka, M., A Separated and Reattached Flow on a Blunt Flat Plate, ASME J. Fluids Eng., 1976, vol. 98, pp. 79–86.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Kelso, R.M., Lim, T.T., and Perry, A.E., The Effect of Forcing on the Time Averaging Structure of the Flow Past a Surface-Mounted Bluff Plate, J. Wind Eng. Industr. Aerodyn., 1993, vol. 49, pp. 217–226.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Merati, P., Macelt, M.J., and Erickson, R.B., Flow Investigation around a V-Sector Ball Valve, ASME J. Fluids Eng., 2001, vol. 123, pp. 662–671.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    Davis, J.A. and Stewart, M., Predicting Globe Control Valve Performance, Part II: Experimental Validation, ASME J. Fluids Eng., 2002, vol. 124, pp. 778–783.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    Chern, M.J., Wang, C.C., and Ma, C.H., Performance Test and Flow Visualization of Ball Valve, Exp. Therm. Fluid Sci., 2007, vol. 31, pp. 505–512.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    Gao, H., Fu, X., Yang, H.Y., and Tetsuhiro, T., Numerical and Experimental Investigation of Cavitating Flow in Oil Hydraulic Ball Valve, Chinese Mech. Eng., 2003, vol. 14, pp. 338–340.

    Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    Van Lookeren Campagne, C., Nicodemus, R., de Bruin, G.J., and Lohse, D., A Method for Pressure Calculation in Ball Valves Containing Bubbles, ASME J. Fluids Eng., 2002, vol. 124, pp. 765–771.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    Launder, B.E. and Spalding, D.B., The Numerical Computation of Turbulent Flows, Comp. Meth. Appl. Mech. Eng., 1974, vol. 3, pp. 269–289.

    Article  MATH  Google Scholar 

  12. 12.

    Menter, F.R., Zonal Two-Equation Kappa-Omega Turbulence Model for Aerodynamic Flows, AIAA Paper, 93-2906 1993.

    Google Scholar 

  13. 13.

    Menter, F.R., Two-Equation Eddy-Viscosity Turbulence Models for Engineering Applications, AIAA J., 1994, vol. 32, no. 8, pp. 1598–1605.

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  14. 14.

    Menter, F.R., Kuntz, M., and Langtry, R., Ten Years of Industrial Experiencewith the SST Turbulence Model, Turb. Heat Mass Transfer, 2003, vol. 4, pp. 625–632.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to G. Xie.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Tabrizi, A.S., Asadi, M., Xie, G. et al. Computational fluid-dynamics-based analysis of a ball valve performance in the presence of cavitation. J. Engin. Thermophys. 23, 27–38 (2014).

Download citation


  • Vortex
  • Cavitation
  • Pressure Drop
  • Inlet Velocity