There are many different types of valve actuators available in the market. Where there is a valve, there is always a means to properly operate it. There are many ways to do this and most of them include levers, gears, and hand wheels. Interestingly, for operating valves, valve actuators are preferred by many mechanics because they can be easily automated and this eliminates the need for direct human interactions with the car. In emergency conditions, such automatic and remote operation becomes really important as the shutdown mechanisms of valve actuators can greatly reduce human involvement in dangerous situations.
Now there are four types of valve actuators in general. Most process engineers mostly choose between either an electrically actuated valve or a pneumatically one for process systems. Each of these has its own benefits, but you must always choose the valve actuator that perfectly fits the application at hand. This depends on several usage factors such as:
Compatibility (power source)
The first determinant of choosing a valve actuator is the available power source. Generally a 110 VAC power supply is required for electric actuators. Still, a valve actuator can also be purchased with other sized DC and AC motors.
If you are considering pneumatic actuators, you will be needing an air supply between 40 and 120 psi. Remember, in most cases higher air pressures are difficult to attain and lower pressures usually require a larger diameter piston to create the needed operating torque.
While both types of valve actuators offer a wide temperature range, experts claim that pneumatic actuators can operate efficiently in temperature up to 120 degrees Fahrenheit keeping the right seals, grease and bearings. On the other hand, electric actuators are known to withstand operations even in temperatures that go as down as -40 degrees Fahrenheit.
Most experts claim that having an electric valve actuator can sometimes be hard to justify in a hazardous environment. They still can be required in cases of where there is a lack of compressed air or the pneumatic style is unable to operate as needed. In such cases, an electric valve actuator can be used. But it must have a NEMA VII enclosure because that will keep it protected from explosions. Most mechanics claim that the pneumatic actuators are explosion-proof and deem them as a more practical choice in such hazardous situations.
Remember, safety is the primary reason for opting for a valve actuator, but still there can be other reasons that may compel one to go for them. They include the following:
- Need for reliable operation
- Greater control and process system performance
- Valve’s location in an inaccessible or remote area
- Most cost efficient solution available
One can easily find many valve actuators online but if you want to buy one from a reliable store, the kind the actually delivers what it promises, then we recommend autodoc.co.uk. The valve actuators offered here are much better that those found on other stores and are comparatively economical as well.