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Diaphragm vs Globe Valves: An In-depth Comparison of Design, Applications, and Performance

Diaphragm valves and globe valves are commonly used industrial valves, each with unique design features and applicable applications. Understanding their purpose is critical to selecting the appropriate valve type to meet specific industrial needs.

  This article explains and compares five aspects: design and working principle, flow characteristics, sealing performance, installation and maintenance, and application fields.

Table of Contents
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    Design and Operating Principle:

    Diaphragm Valves: These valves use a flexible diaphragm, typically made of rubber or plastic, to regulate fluid flow. The diaphragm is pressed against a weir or a seat to create a seal. The movement of the diaphragm is controlled by a stem or handle, which when turned, moves the diaphragm away from the weir, allowing fluid to pass through.

    Globe Valves: They feature a movable disk-type element and a stationary ring seat in a generally spherical body. The disk moves perpendicularly to the seat, allowing fluid to flow more or less freely depending on its position. The valve stem, attached to the disk, is rotated by a handwheel and moves the disk toward or away from the seat.

    Sealing material and performance

    Diaphragm Valves: The key feature of a diaphragm valve is the use of a flexible diaphragm (diaphragm) as the primary sealing element. The valve body can be lined with various soft materials, such as rubber or polytetrafluoroethylene, etc.; the diaphragm is also made of soft materials, such as rubber or synthetic rubber-lined polytetrafluoroethylene, so it can achieve complete sealing with a smaller sealing force. 

    Provide excellent sealing capabilities as the diaphragm conforms exactly to the shape of the valve body, preventing leakages. This makes them ideal for applications involving corrosive fluids, slurries, or gases.

    Plastic Diaphragm valve Anatomical Drawing

    Globe Valves: Globe valves usually require a sealing material such as NBR or EPDM between the disc and seat for medium to low temperature and pressure applications. These valves also provide good sealing but are more prone to leakage compared to diaphragm valves. They are typically used for on/off and throttling services for liquids, gases, or steam.

    Fluid properties and control

    Diaphragm valves: Often more cost-effective to install and maintain, especially in applications involving corrosive or abrasive fluids. Because there are fewer moving parts, less maintenance is usually required. However, over time, the diaphragm may wear out and need to be replaced.

    Globe valves: have a longer service life but may require more frequent maintenance, especially in the stem and seat areas. They may be more expensive initially, especially for high-voltage models, but their durability can offset the initial cost over time.

    PVC Flange Type Globe Valve


    Diaphragm valve: Depending on the fluid characteristics and sealing material, it is commonly used in biopharmaceutical, food and beverage, and water treatment industries. They are particularly useful in applications where purity and contamination are concerns.


    Globe valves: widely used in the oil and gas industry, manufacturing, marine and pharmaceuticals depending on the fluid characteristics and sealing material. They are versatile and can handle high pressure and high temperature environments.

         I am the author of this article and the CEO and Marketing Director of SWDPLASTIC with 15 years of experience in the valve and pipeline industry. If you have any questions, you can contact me anytime.


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