Valves are found in virtually every industrial process, including water and sewage processing, mining, power generation, processing of oil, gas and petroleum, food manufacturing, chemical and plastic manufacturing and many other fields. People in developed nations use valves in their daily lives, including plumbing valves, such as taps for tap water, gas control valves on cookers, small valves fitted to washing machines and dishwashers, safety devices fitted to hot water systems, and poppet valves in car engines. In nature there are valves, for example one-way valves in veins controlling the blood circulation, and heart valves controlling the flow of blood in the chambers of the heart and maintaining the correct pumping action. Valves may be operated manually, either by a handle, lever, pedal or wheel.
Valves may also be automatic, driven by changes in pressure, temperature, or flow.
A valve is a device that regulates, directs or controls the flow of a fluid (gases, liquids, fluidized solids, or slurries) by opening, closing, or partially obstructing various passageways.
Valves are technically fittings, but are usually discussed as a separate category.
In an open valve, fluid flows in a direction from higher pressure to lower pressure.The word is derived from the Latin valva, the moving part of a door, in turn from volvere, to turn, roll. The simplest, and very ancient, valve is simply a freely hinged flap which drops to obstruct fluid (gas or liquid) flow in one direction, but is pushed open by flow in the opposite direction. This is called a check valve, as it prevents or "checks" the flow in one direction.
Modern control valves may regulate pressure or flow downstream and operate on sophisticated automation systems. Źródło: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valve.