Flow Control Valve Necessity

Flow control is an essential part of industrial system operations. The ability to regulate where a gas or liquid goes at any point is crucial to production. Frequently, the volume of flow needs to be controlled in addition to the direction of flow. A flow control valve is able to allow a company to manipulate the flow of a fluid substance that runs through their piping system.
A flow control valve is able to allow liquid to pass through an opening, or to prevent passage by blocking off that opening completely. Additionally, partially open control valves affect the volume of flow without stopping it completely. These are all operations that can be performed quickly, as parts of a flow control valve are moved in response to the need for varying amounts of liquid.
A flow control valve is generally powered by a type of actuator, which provides the necessary motion for the valve to open or close to the necessary angle. The different types of actuators that are used to power flow control valves include pneumatic actuators, hydraulic actuators, and electric actuators. These actuators are powered by either gas, liquid, or electricity, respectively. In each industrial system design, the amount of space available for the size of the operation needs to be considered before deciding which type of actuator to implement. While electric actuators are smaller and easier to wire and control, they are not always able to provide the same amount of pressure and power that pneumatic and hydraulic actuators can offer. Actuators employing the use of gases and liquids, however, also require the installment of a pump system to manipulate them accordingly.
The actuators that power the shift in movement of a flow control valve determine how much liquid is able to pass through that particular area. Usually, this movement is determined by information sent from a sensor in the system. These sensors measure the flow volume and temperature within a system. Based on these measurements, more or less liquid may be required to achieve the desired balance for production, circulation, refinement, or any other industrial function. The actuators are able to quickly respond to the sensor feedback, and provide the movement necessary to facilitate changes in liquid volume passing through that section of pipe.
There are many different types of control valves available, and each company ultimately needs to choose the flow control valve that will be most appropriate for their particular system. Some of the available valves that regulate flow include ball valves, gage valves, and butterfly valves. These types of valves are all available in different sizes, and can be composed from a variety of material types. A flow control valve will work most effectively if it is properly selected for both the size of the pipes within which it will be located, and the types of materials and substances with which it will be in contact. Other concerns, such as the pressure and temperature of a system, should also be considered when selecting a specific type of flow control valve.