Have you ever wondered how valves within systems, that cannot be seen with the human eye, are able to open and close at the appropriate times? Not only does this seem miraculous, but it is also incredibly necessary for the health of the system the valve has been built into, usually one that has air, liquid or gas flowing through it. The valve control, which serves such a vital purpose, is a pressure regulator, a type of pressure transducer that responds to the changes in flow intensity and opens or closes the valve in the system when certain levels of intensity are reached. Pressure regulators are especially impressive because they are such simple, but effective mechanisms that truly are one of the most important pieces of fluid and gas systems.
Built of sturdy materials like stainless steel, brass, aluminum or plastics that are particularly prone to be chemical and water resistant, a pressure regulator’s size is determined by the system it is being installed within. If the valve it is controlling is within a large tube system within a waste water facility, then the pressure regulator is going to be significantly larger than one installed within a medical liquid release like an IV drip. Its internal workings involve pressure transducers and pressure sensors that measure the rate of flow of the liquid or gas, which is then able to activate the closing or opening of the valve when necessary. Sometimes these pressure regulators are also hooked up to alarm systems that will notify personnel running maintenance on the system, in case the problem is more advanced and requires more than a valve opening. One of the most common setups for a pressure regulator is a single stage model, which involves a diaphragm which floats within the flow within the system. When the diaphragm rises past a certain point this activates the poppet valve it is attached to to open or close to alter the flow until it lowers and the diaphragm is at the proper level again.