Pressure Regulators: What You Need to Know

Pressure regulators are common in many different industrial applications. For instance, you may find a regulator in a gas grill, a home furnace, pneumatic automation systems, engines and the list goes on. A pressure regulator reduces the supply pressure to a lower outlet pressure. The point of the regulator is to maintain the outlet pressure even if the inlet pressure fluctuates.

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As you look for the right pressure regulator, you have to consider a lot of different factors. For instance, what are your operating ranges for the inlet, outlet and flow requirements? What is the temperature range or material selection? Since there is so much to consider, it’s important that you have the knowledge to make the right choice.

Types of Materials

Manufacturers use a variety of different materials for regulators. The regulators have to handle different fluids in different operating environments. Due to this, regulators come in plastic, brass, aluminum and stainless steel. Here is what you need to know about these materials.

  • Brass is more economical and suited to common applications
  • Aluminum is important when weight is important
  • Plastic is lower cost and also disposable
  • Stainless steels are resistant to corrosive environments

In addition to the regulator material, the seal material has to be correct also. Here are some common seal materials:

  • Buna-n
  • EPDM
  • Silicone
  • EPDM
  • Fluorocarbon
  • Perfluroeslastomer

Your materials are highly dependent on what you need the regulator for.

How a Pressure Regulator Works

Pressure regulators, like Arrow regulators, have three elements. These elements include:

  • A spring loaded poppet valve or restrictive element
  • A piston or diaphragm or sensing element
  • A spring or reference force element

When you know how a regulator works, you’re able to get the best regulator for the use. In order for safe use, you have to use the right regulator.

Pressure regulators are incredibly common in a variety of applications. It’s important to have basic knowledge when working with these regulators.