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Regulators reduce high-pressure gas in cylinders or process lines to lower, usable levels as it moves to another piece of equipment. Regulators may be specialized for use with a variety of special materials, as is the case with cryogenic regulators and balloon-filling regulators.
- Gas pressure regulators consist of three main components: a loading mechanism, a sensing element and a control element.
- Loading mechanisms, usually springs, determine the setting of the regulator delivery pressure. When a hand knob is turned, the spring is compressed. The force applied to the spring is communicated to both the sensing element and the control element.
- Sensing elements, usually diaphragms, sense the force placed on the spring and set the delivery pressure. Diaphragms may be composed of elastomers or metal. The sensing element communicates the change in force to the control element.
- The control element is a valve that reduces inlet pressure to outlet pressure. When the hand knob is turned, the loading mechanism is compressed. The spring displaces the sensing element and the diaphragm then pushes on the control element, moving it away from the regulator’s seat. The orifice then becomes larger, providing the flow and pressure required.
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