What Are Pneumatic Valves?
Like all valves, pneumatic valves control, regulate, and direct the flow of gas, liquids, or other materials or fluid within a pipeline. Pneumatic valves perform this amazing function by utilizing air pressure.
How Pneumatic Valves Work
A pneumatic valve's design and configuration will ultimately depend upon its application. Typically, though it can be manually controlled, a pneumatic valve is a type of actuated valve, meaning it operates automatically. Pressurized air opens or closes the valve, allowing or halting the flow of fluid in a line. This action can be performed in different ways, depending on the valve type.
Pneumatic valves generally work in one of two ways: the force of air will either create a linear--up and down--motion to move a plug (gate or disk), or a rotary motion, as butterfly and ball valves are positioned to open or close. Most pneumatic valves utilize this rotary action, turning one quarter (or 90 degrees) to open or close.
While air is the primary force, a rack and pinion assembly allows this motion. Both parts have teeth that compliment each other, acting as gears to move the valve stem--that part attached to the plug (ball or butterfly disk) which allows or halts the travel of fluid. All action is created by air pressure, or lack thereof.
Pneumatic valves--pneumatic actuation--can be found in almost every industry utilizing any kind of a pipeline where quick, precise control over a fluid or other material is essential. They are popular with pharmaceutical manufacturers and food packaging plants. They are also very common in and on production and assembly lines: a rapid burst of air can be utilized to move a part from one section of an assembly line to another in perfect rhythm. Pneumatic actuation may also be preferable to electric actuation, as the valve may be located in a hazardous area where any kind of a spark could be dangerous.
Pneumatic Valve Examples
Regardless of the power source, actuated valves differ by their action, that is, how the actuator actually works. The following valves compare and contrast Spring Return/Single Action, and another known as a DA or "Double Acting" type.
- J-Flow offers pneumatic valves in a variety of designs and configurations. One example offered is the DM2533. This is a stainless steel, flanged ball valve featuring pneumatic actuation. It utilizes spring return--also known as single action--actuation. This means the valve requires one source to of air to open the valve, and another to close it. But the brilliance of this particular single action pneumatic valve is that it offers a number of "fail" positions (how the actuator responds to loss of power).
- Bonomi Valves also offers a line of pneumatic valves. A prime example is the 8P0129, a pneumatically actuated 3 way valve, "T"-port configuration. This pneumatic valve offers a "double acting" actuation, which means air can be introduced into the valve from two inlets, rather than just one. This bi-directional design configuration presents various options for how the valve--open/close--will respond to the introduction and withdrawing of air, making it extremely versatile and ideal for numerous applications.
Where to Buy Pneumatic Valves
If you are looking to purchase pneumatic valves, and need industrial grade actuated valves, consider buying from the valve store at ValveMan.com. We are an industrial grade valve supplier, and have been in the valve business for over 50 years. We carry several name brands--all top of the line--and a wide selection of models and configurations. But, unlike our competition, we only sell valves. It's simply what we do, and we do it better than anyone else.