Pressure regulator

Pressure Regulator  (Wikipedia) is a device which is used to control fluid pressure (Pneumatic or hydraulic)    to a desired value. It basically reduces the pressure up to a desired value which can be set by a setting screw or knob. There are mainly 3 parts in a typical pressure regulator as follows-

  • Pressure Reducing Element such as poppet valve
  • Sensing Element such as piston or diaphragm
  • The Reference Force Element to apply necessary force such as spring with setting knob

A schematic diagram of pressure regulator is shown as follows-

There are two types of pressure regulators used-  

  • Single stage type regulator
  • Double Stage type regulator

In Single stage type regulator, there is single poppet valve with a single point spring adjustment to provide desired output, Whereas In two stage type regulators, double poppet valves with double pressure settings is used in which one setting is performed by manufacturer and another one is available for manual pressure adjustment. A single-stage regulator is ideal for relatively small reduction in pressure. They are not suitable where there are large fluctuations in inlet pressure or flow rates. Double stage regulators provide more pressure stability compared to single stage regulators against large fluctuations in inlet pressure and flow. A schematic diagram for double stage pressure regulator is shown below-

Here are some points to be remember during selection of pressure regulators such as –

  • Fluid to be used for regulation (gas, liquid, toxic, or flammable)
  • Selection of materials in pressure regulators
  • Operating Pressures
  • Flow Requirements/ capacity
  • Orifice Size
  • Size & Weight
  • Hysteresis

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