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Gate valves are characterised as having either a rising or a non rising stem. Rising stems provide a visual indication of valve position because the stem is attached to the gate such that the gate and stem rise and lower together as the valve is operated. Non rising stem valves may have a pointer threaded onto the upper end of the stem to indicate valve position, since the gate travels up or down the stem on the threads without raising or lowering the stem. Non rising stems are used underground or where vertical space is limited.
Bonnets provide leakproof closure for the valve body. Gate valves may have a screw-in, union, or bolted bonnet. Screw-in bonnet is the simplest, offering a durable, pressure-tight seal. Union bonnet is suitable for applications requiring frequent inspection and cleaning. It also gives the body added strength. Bolted bonnet is used for larger valves and higher pressure applications.
Another type of bonnet construction in a gate valve is pressure seal bonnet. This construction is adopted for valves for high pressure service, typically in excess of 2250 psi (15 MPa). The unique feature about the pressure seal bonnet is that the body - bonnet joints seals improves as the internal pressure in the valve increases, compared to other constructions where the increase in internal pressure tends to create leaks in the body-bonnet joint.
Gate valves may have flanged ends which are drilled according to pipeline compatible flange dimensional standards. Gate valves are typically constructed from cast iron, ductile iron, cast carbon steel, gun metal, stainless steel, alloy steels, and forged steels.
All-metal gate valves are typically used in ultra-high vacuum chambers to isolate regions of the chamber