A flow control valve is hydraulically operated and throttled to maintain a pre-set flow rate or to limit the maximum flow rate in spite of changing upstream and downstream pressures. The main valve that is always in the throttled position is controlled by an adjustable flow control valve that senses pressure across an orifice plate.
The flow or pressure of any fluid passing through pipes is regulated by the flow control valve. Flow control valves usually respond to signals generated by independent devices that measure the passing liquid flow such as temperature gauges or flow metres.
Flow control valves are usually fitted with positioners or actuators, such as pneumatically-actuated globe valves. These types of valves are widely used for control purposes in most industries. With some industries, they also use quarter-turn types such as a modified ball or butterfly valves.
Flow Control Valves for Hydraulics
A flow control valve will also work with hydraulic actuators or hydraulic pilots. These are valve types that are also called automatic control valves. These hydraulic actuators will respond to changes of pressure or flow and operates by opening or closing the valve.
Hydraulic flow control valves are mostly automatic and do not require an external power source. This means that the fluid pressure is enough to open or close the valve. This type includes pressure reducing valves, flow control valves, back-pressure sustaining valves, altitude valves, and relief valves. Altitude valves are less common and used only in particular industries. An altitude valve controls the level of a tank. This type of valve remains open while the tank is not full but will eventually close when the tank reaches its maximum level.
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