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What is a back pressure regulator and does it differ to how a pressure relief valve works?

Back pressure regulators and pressure relief valves both serve the same function as pressure control valves within an application. However, how a back pressure regulator does this is different from how a pressure relief valve works. PIF spoke to leading pressure and control solutions supplier,Fluid Controls Limited for their views on the back pressure regulator vs valve debate.

How does a pressure relief valve work?

A pressure relief valve is considered one of the more important pressure control valves available in the market that can provide essential protection to the system when the pressure becomes too high. When there is a build-up of pressure that becomes excessive for an application to function, a pressure relief valve opens and supplies a release point. It will later close once normal pressure is restored. It is considered to be a safety device and is usually the last line of defence, so to speak before an accident might occur.

Many systems are reliant on the pressure relief valve function, including some household items that might come as a surprise, such as boilers. However, it is in industrial applications where they are particularly valuable and are an important factor when it comes to preventing catastrophic accidents, which is why there is a demand for high quality when it comes to valve selection.

What is a back pressure regulator?

So, we have looked at how a pressure relief valve works, now let's take a look at one of the alternative pressure control valves, the back pressure regulator. Back pressure regulators accurately control the pressure of a system and is a continually moving application. Through the use of pressure sensors, it reacts accordingly to pressure levels, and when an increase in pressure is detected it opens just enough to relieve the pressure level back down to normal.

If you are looking for a control valve that can maintain a set upstream pressure then the back pressure regulator is the product you require. Its function is similar to a relief valve, however, the difference comes with the emphasis it puts on accurate pressure control provided by the use of a sensing element, rather than a spring force on a small ball or orifice.

Back Pressure Regulator vs relief valve?

The answer to this question is all about how. The function of both of these pressure control valves is to control pressure levels within an application. The difference is that a back pressure regulator is continually moving and has pressure sensors to react accordingly, whereas the pressure relief valve is more of a safety device that automatically opens or closes depending on whether the pressure has exceeded functional levels.

For more information about back pressure regulators, pressure relief valves or any of the products that Fluid Controls supply, visit www.fluidcontrols.co.uk

Company Profile

Fluid Controls
Fluid Controls Ltd

Fluid Controls Ltd is one of the UK’s leading distributors for pressure control for a wide range of industries.

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