Achieving Reliable Shut-Off with Gate Valves

With American Stainless, you can count on us to provide the right gate valve types to suit your industry’s unique flow control needs from leading manufacturers with an eye for quality.

Gate Valves: A Great Solution for Flow Control and Shut-Off

Across a wide range of industries, gate valves provide ample control over the flow of water, process fluids, slurries, and other materials through process systems. These valves use a sliding gate-like mechanism to regulate flow, with a compact and efficient construction that makes them ideal for shut-off applications.

When your industrial process equipment and piping systems require fast and responsive shut-off features, American Stainless is here to connect you with the right gate valve type to suit your unique applications.

Industrial gate valve with a blue handwheel, silver metallic body, and flanged ends. The valve has visible bolted connections and markings indicating its specifications.

How Do Gate Valves Work?

Unlike some types of valve like globe valves, which can incrementally change and precisely regulate the flow of fluid through your pipe systems, gate valves are primarily designed to add reliable shutoff capabilities to your flow control system. A gate either lets you in or it doesn’t, and gate valves work on the same principle.

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Full Flow Capability

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Excellent Sealing Properties

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Durability and Reliability

Choosing the Right Gate Valve Types

Factors like pipe diameter, pressure, flow rate, and friction profoundly affect how well a gate valve can function. Various gate valve types, such as rising stem gate valves, knife gate valves, and wedge gate valves, offer unique shut-off mechanisms to stand up to various conditions and environments.

Slab Gate Types

The most common, traditional gate valves fall under the category of slab gate valves, also known as flat gate valves. These valves feature gates that move perpendicular to the flow direction and are best suited for applications requiring low pressure drop and bidirectional shut-off features.

Bronze gate valve with a blue T-handle, featuring a threaded stem and female threaded inlet and outlet ports.

Rising Stem Gate Valves

The most common gate valve type, rising stem valves feature a highly visible stem that rises when the gate is open and lowers when the gate is closed. For applications in petrochemicals, oil and gas, and water treatment, rising stem gate valves provide clear visual indicators of the valve’s status.

Brass gate valve with a red handwheel, featuring engraved specifications on the body and female threaded connections at both ends.

Non-Rising Stem Gate Valves

For underground pipelines, fire protection systems, and irrigation networks where being able to visually confirm a valve’s status is less of a concern and space is a major constraint, non-rising stem gate valves provide a compact, streamlined flow shut-off system. Heavy-duty non-rising stem gate valves are used as hydrant gate valves in fire protection systems.

Stainless steel knife gate valve with a blue handwheel, featuring a clear view section in the middle and flanged connections at both ends.

Knife Gate Valves

In industries dealing with slurries or fluids containing solids and viscous media, such as mining, wastewater treatment, and the pulp and paper industry, knife gate valves use a sharp-edged gate to cut through the flow of abrasive or thick fluids and prevent clogging or blockages in harsh operating conditions.

Get the gate valve types your project needs ASAP.

Industrial Applications of Check Valves

Across a wide range of industries, the ability to quickly and automatically shut down a valve at the first sign of backflow is essential to smooth, safe operations and high-quality products and processes.

Oil and Gas

Gate valve types capable of handling high temperatures and pressures perform vital shut-off functions in pipelines, refineries, and petrochemical plants.

Water/Wastewater Treatment

From raw water intake to sewage treatment, resilient wedge gate valves offer full flow and shut-off capabilities ideal for treating and managing water and wastewater.

Power Generation

Thermal and nuclear power plants and other facilities rely on gate valves to carefully, reliably, and safely control the flow of steam, condensate, cooling water, and various other fluids.

Chemical Processing

Knife gate valves and wedge gate valves perform invaluable work in chemical processing, especially for handling corrosive, abrasive, and viscous substances.


The flow of slurries, ores, and tailings in mining operations requires sturdy and resilient slide gate valves to regulate their movements and prevent backflow or clogging.

HVAC Systems

Industrial heating, cooling, and ventilation systems rely on bubble-tight seals from gate valves to regulate the flow of fluids to ensure proper temperature control.

Should You Use Gate Valves for Throttling Applications?

Gate valves are all primarily utilized to provide shut-off and isolation capabilities to your industrial pipe systems, but can they be used for more precise throttling and flow control as well? Yes—but not very well. While it is possible for certain gate valve types to have some application for throttling, globe valves, ball valves, and butterfly valves are all generally much more suitable for fine-tuning flow rate.

Risks of using gate valves for throttling:

  • Lack of precise flow rate control

  • Increased risk of turbulence, pressure drop, erosion, and cavitation

  • Increased risk of water hammer

  • Limited control range

Benefits of using gate valves for throttling:

  • Cost-effective

  • Often more durable and resilient than other valve types

  • Offer full flow capability when fully opened, unlike some other valve types

Keep in mind that using the right valve for the right application is critical to the efficiency and smooth, safe operation of your industrial processes. There are almost always better options for throttling fluid flow than gate valves. Make sure to discuss the needs and demands of your process equipment and piping systems with valve experts to get exactly the right valve you need to get the job done.

Gate Valves vs. Butterfly Valves

Gate valves and butterfly valves are two types of valves primarily used to provide quick and reliable shut-off capabilities for flow control systems. When choosing between the two valves, it’s important to consider your budget, the space constraints in your piping systems and process equipment, pressure and temperature conditions, and other factors.

Industrial pipeline setup with two silver gate valves equipped with blue handwheels, flanking a central dark-colored strainer, all mounted on a gray background wall.

and Operation

Gate valves use a gate-like mechanism that relies on a flat plate or wedge to provide a tight seal when fully closed.

Butterfly valves use a disk rotating on a central axis to block the flow of fluids with relatively low pressure drop.

Large industrial valve with a blue handwheel, situated in a warehouse or factory setting with yellow structural beams. The valve features a prominent flanged end and is positioned on a concrete floor with other equipment in the background.

Size and Flow

Gate valves provide minimal pressure drop and unobstructed flow for large pipe sizes and high-pressure applications.

Butterfly valves suit large and small pipe diameters, but may introduce some turbulence into the flow.

Close-up of two industrial valves with blue handwheels. The valves appear to be part of a piping system, with details of their mechanism visible. The surrounding environment suggests an industrial setting.

Control and Throttling

Gate valves primarily provide on/off control and are not well suited to precise throttling or flow regulation

Butterfly valves can be used for moderate throttling applications, but have low control accuracy compared to other valve types.

Closely arranged blue industrial pipes with handwheels and green motor-driven pumps in a utility room setting.

and Maintenance

Gate valves often require more space for installation and more periodic maintenance, such as stem/gate lubrication.

Butterfly valves are relatively compact and lightweight and have a simplified design that requires less maintenance.

The Right Gate Valve Types, At the Right Time, in the Right Place With American Stainless

Whatever your industry, quality matters – when it comes to efficiency, when it comes to keeping projects on-time and on-budget, when it comes to keeping your workforce safe and your processes running smoothly, when it comes to producing quality products. And that means quality valves matter. At American Stainless, quality in PVF distribution is a way of life.

We partner with the best valve manufacturers and hold ourselves to the highest possible quality standards in order fulfillment every day to make sure you get the best gate valves for your unique applications as soon as possible, with attentive service and timely, transparent price quoting.

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