What Is a Sanitary Butterfly Valve?

Everything You need to know about sanitary butterfly: application of sanitary butterfly valve, uses & material used to make it. Learn all here

Sanitary Butterfly Valve- Definition, Uses, Material, Price & Application

Sanitary Butterfly Valves are devices used to control the flow of edible liquids through pipes. They are called sanitary valves because unlike many other commercial valves these can be used for consumable food and drinks.

Sanitary Butterfly Valves are used in food 8 beverage processing industries. These valves ensure that the food and drinks remain hygienic on its complete route from manufacturing to packaging.

Valves are devices that are connected between pipes. Through the valve, you can regulate the exact amount of liquid flowing through the pipe.

What is a Butterfly valve?

Anything that can regulate the flow is a valve. The butterfly valve is a specific type of valve. It uses a rotating disc to control the flow of liquid.

The circular disc is placed at the center of the pipe whose flow we desire to control. A rod connects the disc to the actuator outside. The actuator could be a simple handle or a wheel.

In most of the modern industries, the actuators are controlled by digital electronics system attached to a pneumatic or hydraulic actuator. It can also be controlled by servo motors and gears.

When the cross-section of the disc is perpendicular to the length of the pipe, the butterfly valve is said to be in off position. By moving the actuator you can change the angle of the disc, hence the amount of liquid flowing through it.

With digital control, you can control the disc angle to small fractions of a degree. The biggest advantage of the Butterfly valve is that it is light and it costs less. Sanitary butterfly valves have successfully replaced most of the earlier designs from the food and pharmaceutical industry because of its ease of installation and control.

How are Sanitary Butterfly valves different from ordinary butterfly valves?

There are a few points of difference between Sanitary Butterfly Valves & Ordinary valves.


The ordinary butterfly valves can be made from Brass, Bronze, Cast Iron, Carbon steel and many other alloys of iron. Sanitary Butterfly valves are strictly made from high-grade stainless steel.

Stainless steels are used because they are completely corrosion resistance, they don’t react with any other substance, can’t be oxidized and can be fabricated to precision. Also, the surface treatment of stainless steel ensures that there is no chipping of the surface.


While most ordinary butterfly valves function well, they don’t maintain the highest level of finishing and policing of the surface. In Sanitary butterfly valves, the parts are prepared meticulously.

Every part is checked for the slightest of the variations and quality control ensures that parts don’t meet the highest standards are immediately rejected.

Considering the application of sanitary butterfly valves in our food, medicines, and drinks, this level of monitoring becomes necessary.


While ordinary valves are rarely taken out, sanitary valves have to be regularly checked. With the food manufacturing guidelines being very strict, the valves are designed in a way to provide for easy maintenance. It is easy to clean the sanitary valves and re-install it. The servicing is easy and parts simple to dismantle and assemble.

Applications of Sanitary Butterfly Valves

With the growth of the packaged food market, sanitary valves are used widely in all food and beverage industries. It is used everywhere hygiene and safety is the primary concern.

Some of the industries like- Pharmaceuticals, Dairy Products, Alcoholic Beverages, Biomedical, Hospitals, Edible oils, Juice 8 Soda industry, Chocolate industry and all the packaged food you see around use these valves.

Parts of Sanitary Butterfly valve

The Sanitary valve consists of four basic parts- Body, Disc, Stem, and Seat Body: The body is the housing in which the valve is present. The body is placed between two pipes by using flanges. The pipes can be connected at different angles.

Disc: The disc is the main part of the valve. This controls the amount of fluid that is allowed through the pipe. Stem: Stem is the rod on which the disc is attached. The control from the actuator to the disc is reached through the stem.

Seat: Seat is the circular cross-section that surrounds the disc. The disc touches the seat completely when fully closed and touches only at two points when fully open.

In Sanitary Valves all the parts are made from high-grade stainless steel.

Types of Sanitary Butterfly Valves The basic functioning of all the sanitary butterfly valves is the same. They vary in terms of the size and type of the actuator used.

The actuator can be a simple manual pull handle to pneumatic and electric operated. Depending on the requirement of the industry they can also be customized. Most of them are made from AISI 304.

AISI 304 contains chromium and nickel along with iron and carbon. While chromium makes it corrosion-resistant, nickel improves the ease of shaping it Nickel can also help in making it corrosion-resistant.

AISI stands for American Iron 8 Steel Institutes. This body ensures that there are international standards in stainless steel alloys. AISI 304 has Chromium in the range of 15 to 20% and Nickel in the range of 2 to 10.5%.

Are Sanitary Butterfly valves expensive?

They are certainly not cheap. Because of high-grade material and precise design the sanitary valves are expensive compared to other valves of similar capacity.

There are cheaper options available, but as it used for food and beverages, cost shouldn’t be included in the factor while making the selection. The quality and functionality should be the criteria for selecting the valve, along with its capacity to withstand pressure in the pipes.


Sanitary butterfly valves are high-quality devices used in food, beverage and pharmaceutical industries. They offer a hygienic solution to control of edible products. They should be reviewed based on high quality. There is not much margin of error when it comes to food and drinks.