A more modern version of the globe valve design uses a piston-shaped plug inside a surrounding cage with ports cast or machined into it.
These cage-guided globe valves throttle flow by uncovering more or less of the port area in the surrounding cage as the plug moves up and down. The cage also serves to guide the plug so the stem need not be subjected to lateral forces as in a stem-guided valve design.
Cage-guided Globe Valve
A photograph of a cut-away control valve shows the appearance of the cage (in this case, with the plug in the fully closed position). Note the “T”-shaped ports in the cage, through which fluid flows as the plug moves up and out of the way:
An advantage of the cage-guided design is that the valve’s flowing characteristics may be easily altered just by replacing the cage with another having different size or shape of holes.
By contrast, stem-guided and port-guided globe valves are characterized by the shape of the plug, which requires further disassembly to replace than the cage in a cage-guided globe valve.
With most cage-guided valves all that is needed to replace the cage is to separate the bonnet from the rest of the valve body, at which point the cage may be lifted out of the body and swapped with another cage.
In order to change a globe valve’s plug, you must first separate the bonnet from the rest of the body and then de-couple the plug and plug stem from the actuator stem, being careful not to disturb the packing inside of the bonnet as you do so.
After replacing a plug, the “bench-set” of the valve must be re-adjusted to ensure proper seating pressure and stroke calibration.
Cage-guided globe valves are available with both balanced and unbalanced plugs. A balanced plug has one or more ports drilled from top to bottom, allowing fluid pressure to equalize on both sides of the plug. This helps minimize the forces acting on the plug which must be overcome by the actuator:
Unbalanced plugs generate a force equal to the product of the differential pressure across the plug and the plug’s area (F = PA), which may be quite substantial in some applications.
Balanced plugs do not generate this same force because they equalize the pressure on both sides of the plug, however, they exhibit the disadvantage of one more leak path when the valve is in the fully closed position (through the balancing ports, past the piston ring, and out the cage ports):
Thus, balanced and unbalanced cage-guided globe valves exhibit similar characteristics to double ported and single-ported stem- or port-guided globe valves, and for similar reasons.
Balanced cage guided valves are easy to position, just like double-ported stem-guided and port-guided globe valves.
However, balanced cage-guided valves tend to leak more when in the shut position due to a greater number of leak paths, much the same as with double-ported stem-guided and port-guided globe valves.