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A Ball Valve is a valve with a spherical disc, the part of the valve which controls the flow through it. When the valve is closed, the hole is perpendicular to the ends of the valve, and flow is blocked. The handle or lever will be inline with the port position letting you "see" the valve's position. Ball valves are durable and usually work to achieve perfect shutoff even after years of disuse. They are therefore an excellent choice for shutoff applications (and are often preferred to globe valves and gate valves for this purpose). They do not offer the fine control that may be necessary in throttling applications but are sometimes used for this purpose.The body of ball valves may be made of metal, plastic or metal with a ceramic center. The ball is often chrome plated to make it more durable.