Understanding Compressor Valve Dynamics

Valves are a key component of most fluid delivery systems. A firm understanding of compressor valve dynamics helps technicians analyze problems, devise solutions, and choose the correct parts. The science of compressor valve dynamics allows installers to design efficient, reliable solutions in new installations.


The Heart of a Compressor Valve

Although the functionality of valves is quite simple, the implementation of valves can be somewhat complex. The valve generally consists of a circular disk with a beveled edge. The valve seats at the top of a hollow cylinder with a matching bevel. A spring forces the valve disk onto the seat.

The valve spring works in opposition to the fluid flow force. This force has two components. The first results from the viscosity of the fluid flowing between the valve and seat bevel. The other comes from the suction force as the valve moves toward or pulls away from the seat. These forces contribute to the key factors of valve design, including:

  • Proper valve timing
  • The immunity of the valve to flutter
  • The reliability and lifetime of the valve

Dealing With Compressor Valve Flutter

Valve flutter is one of the major contributors to degradation in performance and lowering of reliability. The mechanism is not unlike swinging a baseball bat against a well-seated metal pole. At the moment the bat strikes the pole, there is a chatter that sends a high frequency vibration up the arms of the person swinging the bat. This happens because the bat does not reach a dead stop when it first hits the pole, but bounces just a little.

Valve flutter is also a high frequency opening-and-closing action that works against a smooth and solid valve close action. It also increases the stress and wear of the valve components.

Well-designed components eliminate flutter by manufacturing the specifications to a specific window of operating conditions. Technicians can ensure high-performance, high-reliability installations by carefully choosing the valve which matches the specific conditions of the installation. For complex systems, designers often work with the on-site engineers at the provider site to ensure proper part selection.



  • Metallic Plates

    KB Delta manufactures and stocks a complete range of metallic compressor valve plates and rings for the natural gas, refrigeration and P.E.T. industries.

  • Thermoplastic Plates

    Our specialized precision tooling and proprietary lapping process gives our customers the highest quality thermoplastic plates and rings in the industry.

  • Springs

    We manufacture our own springs and stock over 2 million springs for a variety of OEM spring styles, forms and materials.

  • Peripheral Valve Internals

    KB Delta offers one of the most complete lines of valve internals in the industry. All of our parts are manufactured to OEM Standards in performance and efficiency.

  • Complete Valve Repair Kits

    KB Delta offers a full line of valve repair kits for all the major reciprocating compressor manufacturers.

  • P.E.T. Compressor Parts

    KB Delta specializes in manufacturing compressor valve parts for high pressure air compressors used in the P.E.T. plastic bottle manufacturing industry.

Industries we serve

Natural Gas Industry

The processing and refining of Natural Gas into a marketable products, by separating gas into pipeline-quality natural gas and a stream of mixed natural gas liquids and the transportation of natural gas to through a series of reciprocating compressor stations and pipes, and from there to end users.

Blow Molding Industry

This industry manufactures blow molding machinery. Injection stretch blow molding process has two main different methods, a single-stage and two-stage process; these are the methods by which hollow plastic parts are formed.

Medical Technology Industry

The medical technology industry is an important part of the healthcare sector. It includes most medical devices which aid the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases and illnesses. Established centers of this industry include the United States and Western Europe.