Air pressure regulators basics: purpose, working principle, and more FAQ

Air pressure regulators basics: purpose, working principle, and more FAQ

Posted by ShopTransmitter on 25th Oct 2022

1. What is the purpose of an air pressure regulator?

Air pressure regulators are pneumatic devices, that have a function of reducing the air pressure. The purpose of this is to make sure that the air tool gets a smooth and consistent flow of air at the right pressure for its operation. Air pressure regulators help to reduce air consumption and the compressed air waste.

2. How air pressure regulators work?

Air pressure regulators reduce the supply of air pressure to a lower outlet pressure and maintain it despite fluctuations in the inlet pressure. Compressed air comes in through the inlet and flows out the the regulator outlet. Outlet pressure is made exactly the same as the set pressure. This is called pressure equilibrium.

The regulators are managed with the help of a gauge and an adjusting knob. The purpose of air gauge is displaying the set and current pressure and the adjusting knob is used for manual pressure adjusting. Once the pressure is set to a lower pressure, the air pressure drops, and vice versa.

3. How to choose the right air pressure regulator?

When choosing an air pressure regulator, it is important to consider some important technical specifications. First of all, (1) the required pressure has to be established before buying your regulator. There are regulators with varying ranges of pressure, so it is important to make sure you chose the one that can handle the required pressure. (2) Flow in the system is another important point to keep an eye on, when choosing a regulator. Bigger regulators usually are able to handle higher flows and maintaining the correct pressure, but smaller regulators are just as efficient, when used in appropriate system flow. Knowing the right (3) port (thread) size is a simple yet very important part of choosing air pressure regulator. You have to make sure the device will have the right port to connect it to the system. (4) Ambient temperature in the system is another important factor to consider. If your system is under extreme temperature conditions, you should pay attention to the device‘s temperature ranges. Finally, (5) materials in the system may be an important aspect as well. Chemical incompatibility between the system‘s media and the device‘s material, as well as a lack of resistency in some materials may harm the longevity of the regulator.

4. What are the types of air pressure regulators?

  • Precision regulators – used for precise control and adjustment of pressure.
  • Filter regulators – used as a single unit combination of a filter and a pressure regulator, and is very useful when saving space.
  • General purpose regulators – used for maximum flow capacity and maintenance of the outlet pressure with reasonable accuracy.

Other ways of classifying air pressure regulators are used according to a certain feature or slightly different working principle the device has. For example, back-pressure regulators are used when the pressure is regulated upstream and pressure-reducing regulators are used when the pressure is regulated downstream. Vacuum pressure regulators are used to maintain the desired vacuum pressure in a system. Differential pressure regulators maintain a certain pressure differential between two locations in the system.