Valves - the Ideal and Cost effective Device for Efficient Fluid Control

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What are the Significances of Valves?

A valve is a device responsible for handling the flow of fluid-like substances such as liquids, gases, and slurries through a pipe or duct, allowing movement in an automatic device in only one direction. Valves are also known as regulators, which can be found in various different applications. Their sizes vary from basic to the most complex designs. Although technology has since advanced considerably, the use of valves dates back thousands of years.

Commonly Used Types of Valves

There are different types of valves that are used for fluid control, such as:

  • check valves - these are designed to restrict the passage of a substance to one direction only
  • control valves - used by oil and gas pipelines as they might be simple mechanical valves for operations
  • hydraulic fuel valves
  • motor-operated valves - designed to provide a reliable and long life
  • pressure regulators - includes manual pressure, dome-loaded and back pressure
  • relief valves
  • shutoff valves
  • solenoid valves - and electromechanical solenoid that actuates a pneumatic or hydraulic valve
  • safety valves- these can release very dangerous amounts of pressure
  • gate valves- these have two positions which are open and closed
  • globe valve- it is more complex as it not only controls the flow of fluid but also the amount

Rugged and Superior Construction

Valves are also used in everyday applications such as plumbing, in taps, gas control valves on cookers, and poppet valves in car engines. Valves may be operated by using a handle, lever, pedal, or a wheel, but it can be operated automatically, such as in instances when it is set to change by pressure, temperature, or flow.  More complex valves require an actuator, which will control many things based on its set-up. Valves are made up of a body and a bonnet. The valve’s body is the outside casing of most or all of the containing internal parts. The bonnet looks like the cover on top of the valve body and is the part of the encasing through which the stem passes, forming a seal for the stem. The bonnet is also either bolted or screwed to the body of the valve. The bodies of valves can be metallic, plastic, brass, bronze, steel, or iron. One of the most significant areas of concern in regards to valves is their tendency to wear out and develop leakage over time, meaning they need to be checked on regularly to ensure they are still in good shape.

Valves can either be controlled manually or by an entire system. For a car, valves open and close to allow combustible fuel to enter the cylinder. Valves usually have small springs that hold them shut until they need to be opened. In an open valve, fluid flows in the direction of higher pressure to lower pressure.

What are the Major Applications of Valves?

Valves can be used in some of the following applications:

    • controlling water for irrigation
  • industrial uses for controlling processes
    • sewage processing
    • mining
    • power generation
    • food manufacturing
    • chemical and plastic manufacturing
  • residential uses
    • on and off and pressure control
    • clothes washers
    • taps in the home
  • military and transport sectors

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