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What is a Valve

DATE:2016.01.01
    
A valve is a device which can be used to control the flow of liquids, gases, and slurries. Also known as regulators, valves can be found in almost any situation: chances are that you are sitting within a few feet of a mechanical valve right now. There are a number of different designs for valves, depending on how they are being used, and they can be found in a range of sizes from smaller than a pinky to gigantic. Valves also vary from the extremely basic to the extraordinarily complex, and they are one of the oldest mechanical designs; basic valves have been in use for thousands of years.
 
The term "valve" can be used to refer to human anatomy as well as a mechanical device. Valves throughout the body regulate the flow of blood, oxygen, and body fluids. Valves in the body include the extremely important heart valve, which works with the heart to pump blood through the body. Individuals with heart disease may have their heart valves replaced with artificial ones to perform this vital body function. The numerous valves in the human body work together to keep things running smoothly in your daily life.
 
Pneumatic valves have come a long way since the development of the compressor over a century ago. Starting with large manual and mechanical valves, they migrated to individually wired electric solenoids and ultimately ended up with plug-into-the-base electronics allowing for a single multi-pin connector or fieldbus installation. Today's valves are smaller, faster and more advanced than their predecessors and offer many advantages that can be easily overlooked. With advancements in ISO valve standardization, collective wiring solutions and diagnostic capabilities, both end users and original equipment manufacturers  are seeing significant cost reductions resulting from multi-vendor support, wiring simplification and decreased machine downtime.
 
Numerous permutations of the pneumatic mechanical valve exist, but the following are common valves you probably see and use on a daily basis. The most basic mechanical valve is a gate valve, which has two positions: open, and closed. A globe valve is slightly more complex, controlling not only the flow of liquid, but also the amount, and is also called a throttle. For example, most taps are forms of a globe valve, allowing users to turn the water on and determine how much water is going to flow out. Manufacturers also make check valves, designed to restrict the flow of a substance to one direction only, and safety valves, which can release dangerous levels of pressure.

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