What Are The Different Parts Of A Valve?
Whether your compressor is working properly or not, it is important to understand the individual parts of a valve that make up the machine.
This will allow you to identify whether there is a problem, diagnose the problem, and choose the correct replacement part.
All of this knowledge will save you time and money, and bring the satisfaction of knowing the right tool for the job.
Few compressor parts are less understood than the valves.
These deceptively simple-looking parts contain a lengthy list of parts. Each part is not only crucial for optimum performance, but also comes with the risk of failure.
By understanding the different parts of a valve, you can determine if your compressor is functioning properly.
Is My Valve Working Properly?
Know how your compressor runs before you begin to look at each part. Finding each valve and understanding their use is important to understanding if they are working properly.
Compressors come in many different sizes and styles, and compressor valves have even more variety.
By familiarizing yourself with your machine, troubleshooting will feel more like an adventure than a hopeless maze.
There are three quick tests to see if your machine is running efficiently:
- Listen closely to the compressor and ensure that it is not making any unusual noises. Often, a compressor will leak air at lower pressures, but have to problem with higher pressure use. Your valves may need inspected.
- Track how often the valve is having issues. Compressor valves should be durable and not need frequent replacement parts. If it has been replaced recently, the issue could be coming from another area of the compressor. Understand, however, that compressor valves undergo a large amount of use. In 24 hours of operation, your compressor valve could open an enclose over a million times.
- Check the efficiency of the valve. This can be measured using volumetric efficiency, which looks at spaces in between the piston and head, as well as the spacing under the valves. The efficiency is increased with a Hi-Flo valve, which uses a V-shaped ring to decrease resistance. While this test is difficult to use to determine valve error, it can be used if you suspect a slight inefficiency. It is not necessary if you believe there is a larger issue with the valve or compressor.
After these tests, it should become clear whether your valve is operating correctly or not. Valves issues can often be symptoms of a larger issue with the machine.
When checking parts of a valve, be sure to inspect other areas of the compressor as well. Once you identify the correct malfunctioning valve, it is time to remove the valve and take a closer look at the individual parts.
What Are The Common Parts Of a Valve?
A valve is made of dozens of different parts, and there are a wide variety of valves available.
Each valve is engineered for its specific purpose, so the parts list will vary.
This should not be seen as an exhaustive list, but rather a starting point to understanding the basic parts of a valve commonly found.
The common parts of a valve include:
- Profile Rings
- Spring Plates
- Dampening Plates
- Additional Parts
A guard is the outer area which functions to protect the internal parts of a valve.
Subjected to both high and low temperatures, plates must be made of durable material in order to operate efficiently. These stainless steel plates are made with very precise measurements, so the exact size will vary between different types of valves.
Any damage to this will likely cause the additional internal damage. If your valve plate is cracked or broken, be sure to carefully inspect every other valve part before reinstallation.
O-rings and gaskets form a seal for the valve. Along with gaskets, these are often the culprit if you believe your valve is not sealing properly.
If the valve is not sealed, it could cause additional damage in other areas of the compressor.
3. Profile Rings
Another key area of sealant is the profile ring.
This uniquely shaped seal needs to withstand high temperatures, so it is often made of PEEK or carbon PEEK.
This part is less likely to cause an improper seal, but be sure to check it as well as the O-rings and gaskets. Profile rings can also be made of Nylon or MT.
4. Spring Plates
If your valve is sticking and remains either open or closed, the spring plate is likely to need replaced.
Springs are made from a durable material, like phosphor bronze, stainless steel, or grade 5 titanium.
The spring plate is pressed by a lever, which allows the plate to open and close efficiently and effectively. If any of the springs are damaged, misaligned or missing, it damage the valve and other parts of the compressor.
5. Dampening Plates
In order to reduce friction, valves need dampening plates. These sturdy plates, along with cushion plates, are vital for a long lasting and effective valve.
Dampening plates are made of stainless steel to endure the pressure and friction of continuous operation.
6. Additional Parts
This list is far from being complete, but it will give you a good idea of the different parts of a valve and their functions.
Additional parts include washers, lock nuts, lentoid rings and ported plates. Parts can vary greatly depending on the type of valve and its use.
Understanding Valve Materials
Different parts of a valve are made from a wide variety of materials.
Each part has a different function, which requires a different composition. Most valve parts are metallic or thermoplastic.
Metallic parts are used for their durability. These parts are often subjected to extreme temperatures and need to withstand extreme pressure.
Thermoplastic parts are created using injection moulding in order have the precise dimensions necessary.
Each part can be replaced, but the trick is knowing problem, identifying the source and choosing the exact replacement part to fit your needs.
Often, it is easier to buy replacement kits for your valve. This will help you avoid making multiple purchases as you continue to problem solve a faulty valve.
It is far less expensive to replace a few parts of a valve than it would be to purchase a new valve.
Once you begin to understand the purpose of each part of a valve, you can make an informed decision on choosing the correct replacement part(s).
Be sure to inspect other areas of the compressor as well. A new valve part will soon be compromised if there are problems with other compressor parts.
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