A particular kind of valve that can be used to control the flow of a substance, such as water or gas, through a system or appliance is called a needle valve. There are many crucial applications for these valves, frequently involving gases like propane stored in tanks.
How Does a Needle Valve Work?
The operation of needle valves can be either automatic or manual. The incorporation of a tiny, needle-shaped plunger with a miniature handle or "handwheel" is a special feature that makes turning the valve simple and accurate.
When fully attached, the valve's long end perfectly fits into the seat of the appliance element being controlled. As the valve is turned, however, a gap forms between the needle and the seat, allowing a predetermined amount of substance to pass through.
Most needle valves require a significant amount of turns to make even a little amount of room open up, through which liquid or gas can move, in order to offer accurate, precise, and gradual control. Better regulation is made possible by this feature, which can also protect gauges from harm due to rapid bursts of liquid or gas.
Certain needle valve types can be controlled automatically when they are connected to a system. To control the closure and opening of the valve as needed, they will either run on timers or react to outside data. They are present in a wide variety of engines and gas pipelines. This makes it possible for the valve to operate as well as it can for the substance and system for which it is intended, and it also lowers the risk of damage from improper valve action.
Needle Valve Materials
Robust materials like copper and steel are common materials of needle valves, as they are known to be strong and long-lasting - beneficial for most circumstances. There are, however, instances where plastic or brass valves are required.
Uses of Needle Valves
Needle valves are used to regulate the pressure inside a device. They can be found in various systems and applications such as carburettors and some water heaters. Their use can help to ensure that the appliance is running at maximum efficiency, without excess water or gas being used. In larger-scale usage and delivery to numerous consumers, needle valves can be used to regulate the delivery of a product and relieve pressure on the systems used to distribute the relevant substances.
Needle valves can also be used in vacuum systems, specifically to release a steady, controlled supply of gas without a great amount of pressure. The valve allows the supply of gas to be slowed down considerably before being shut off which helps to minimise stress and strain on internal machinery and components.
Types of Needle Valves
There are various types of needle valves to consider for different applications. These include:
- Manually Operated Threaded Needle Valve: Commonly used.
- Angle Needle Valve: These can be controlled remotely or set up with a timer.
- Motorized Needle Valve: These valves turn the inlet flow by 90 degrees, allowing for easier system integration.
Are there Disadvantages to Needle Valves?
While useful, there are disadvantages to using needle valves in some applications. For one, there is often no way to know the precise amount of pressure within a system, as the operation is entirely internal. Using sight alone, you won’t be able to make a judgement on this, which often requires an additional device installation to monitor pressure levels. On the other hand, this is not so much of a problem when considering automated needle valve systems.
Needle valves are designed precisely to allow pressure to be added or relieved in very small increments, making them extremely useful in countless situations to prevent significant internal damage.
TC Fluid can also provide a number of alternatives for a range of uses, including ball valves and modular valves. Browse our stock today.