Gate Valves work by inserting a rectangular gate or wedge into the path of a flowing fluid. They are operated by a threaded stem which connects the actuator (generally a hand wheel or motor) to the stem of the gate. If the valve has a rising stem its position can be seen just by looking at the position of the stem.
This valve type is generally used to completely shut off fluid flow or, in the fully open position, provide full flow in a pipeline. Thus it is used either in the fully closed or fully open positions. A Gate Valve consists of a valve body, seat and disc, a spindle, gland, and a wheel for operating the valve. The seat and the gate together perform the function of shutting off the flow of fluid.
All valves are designed to meet a designated internal permissible leak rate standard (FCI/ANSI). There are six (6) permissible leak rates or Classes numbered 1 through VI. The higher the leak rate number, the lower permissible internal leak rate.
Identifying the permissible internal leak rate for a valve has to be one of the top priorities when choosing the correct valve. A valve with a high leak rate, will cause excessive wear. The valves with a high leak rate will internally pass more medium and result in premature valve failure.
There are six different seat leakage classifications as defined by ANSI FCI 70-2.