Explaining pressure regulators with Fluid Controls
In this educational article, PIF speaks with Fluid Controls Ltd to discuss how pressure regulators work. As well as providing a comprehensive overview as exactly what pressure regulators are, we cover how they work, typical applications and the most popular types of pressure regulators available on the UK flow control market.
What are pressure regulators
A pressure regulator is a type of valve which automatically cuts off the flow of gasses or liquids once they reach certain pressure. In the process industry, pressure regulators allow high-pressure fluid supply tanks to be reduced to usable and safe pressures for different applications types.
How do pressure regulators work?
“One of the most common questions we are asked by first-time customers here at Fluid Controls is how does a pressure work regulator work”, explains Jenny Walker of Fluid Controls Ltd. “Pressure regulators reduce inlet pressure to lower outlet pressure and work to maintain this outlet pressure, despite any fluctuations within the inlet pressure”.
“The working principle of a pressure regulator is to reduce an inlet pressure (also known as a supply pressure) to a lower outlet pressure type. They will then work to maintain this outlet pressure, despite fluctuations in the inlet pressure. With this in mind, the primary function of a pressure regulator is to match the flow of gas or liquids through the regulator to demand placed upon the chosen media type. All the while, the pressure regulator will be maintaining a constant output pressure. If the load flow was to decrease or increase, so to must the regulator flow”.
What is the main of uses of a pressure regulator?
Pressure regulators are a common tool across many different industries and applications. “For businesses within the process industry, the main reason for controlling pressure in applications is safety”, continues Jenny. “Many industrial applications make use of dangerous gases and liquids. Therefore, maintaining a controlled pressure to avoid leakage or even explosion is imperative”.
However, pressure regulators are not just useful within the process industry. Outside of the process industry, pressure regulators might be found working alongside air compressors. Here, pressure regulators will be used to adjust pressure coming out of an air receiver to match what is required for the desired task. Whereas for the aerospace industry, pressure regulators serve a major role in propulsion pressurant control for many systems. These include reaction control systems and altitude control systems, due to the presence of corrosive fluids, large temperature extremes and high vibrations. Other notable applications for pressure regulators include heating furnaces, mining, welding, gas grills and even medical and dental equipment.
What are the different types of pressure regulators available?
While pressure regulators are commonly used flow control equipment, it is important to distinguish the different types available to purchase. The three main categories for pressure regulator types are air pressure regulators, electronic pressure regulators and fluid pressure regulators.
Air pressure regulators
“Air pressure regulators are widely used in pneumatics and are used to control the pressure of instrument air”, explains Jenny. “These pressure regulators work by passing air from the filtering chamber through the diaphragm and out o the vent. This maintains a balanced pressure across the diaphragm, by moving the range spring which holds down the diaphragm until the output pressure is high enough to lift it. Also, air pressure regulators can also be used to power valve actuators, transmitters, controllers and control valves”.
Electronic pressure regulators
“Electronic pressure regulators are used to increase and decrease gas pressure to maintain correct pressure”, resume Jenny. “Using a solenoid valve to maintain the correct pressure for the desired application, these pressure regulators work by pushing a push valve and vent valve to maintain outlet pressure at the desired pressure point. While this function is performed, a digital controller will adjust the timing of the solenoid valve to maintain the pressure point”.
Fluid pressure regulators
“Fluid pressure regulators are typically found within hydraulic power systems to maintain safe and efficient pressure levels”, continues Jenny. “This is by unloading the fluid pump and regulating the operating pressure. Fluid pressure regulators consist of a housing, adjustable spring and either a piston or diaphragm valve to maintain constant through the application. For the process industry, fluid pressure regulators are ideal for use within drinking water systems, as well as pharmaceutical or wastewater applications”.
Pressure regulators from Fluid Controls
As one of the UK’s most prominent suppliers of flow control equipment and instrumentation, Fluid Controls Ltd boasts a comprehensive selection of various pressure regulators. Manufactured by some of the industries leading manufacturers such as Parker Verfilo and Thompson Valves, Fluid Controls can provide any business in the UK with any of the following pressure regulator types:
- Instrumentation pressure regulators
- Back-pressure regulators
- Dome loaded pressure regulators
- Air loaded pressure regulators
- Blanketing pressure regulators
- Low-pressure regulators
- Sanitary pressure regulators
- Pharmaceutical pressure regulators
- Filter regulators
Visit Fluid Controls website to find out more about their range of pressure regulators.
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