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What are Control Valve Actuators and Their Common Types?

A control valve is a specialized valve type that is capable of managing the flow of fluids through their ability to change the size of their passage. With all types of control valves, a control system serves to relay commands for adjusting the size of the opening. The force that enacts these changes is made possible through control valve actuators which act directly on the valve or through the use of a control valve positioner. In this blog, we will discuss the primary types of control valve actuators that are used for flow changes, allowing you to find the best fit for your particular needs.

In general, there are five common types of control valve actuators, each featuring different methods of enacting force. The pneumatic control valve actuator is a type that features a flexible diaphragm where pressure is induced to the actuator spring. When the actuator is given a signal from the control system, a force will be generated that surpasses the force of the spring, ensuring that the actuator stem can be adjusted. Pneumatic control valve actuators can come in two forms based on their action, those being direct and reverse types. Direct action actuators press down on the actuator stem and allow the spring to push it up, while reverse action stems move up while the actuator spring brings it back down.

Pneumatic control valve piston actuator types are similar in their operations to actuator diaphragm assemblies and springs. Rather than use a diaphragm, however, a piston actuator is relied on instead. These control valve actuators feature linear and rotating actions, the linear action moving the actuator element in a straight line while rotating actions turn the element.

Beyond the use of pneumatic power, some control valve actuators may take advantage of electricity. Electric control valve actuators are a type in which a motor and gearbox work together to produce the torque necessary for adjusting the valve up and down. Typically, electric control valve actuators serve linear and rotating control valve components.

Meanwhile, electric-hydraulic control valve actuators take advantage of both electric signals and hydraulic units to operate efficiently. As the signal is provided to the device from the control system, a flow of oil will open and close the valve with the use of a flapper-nozzle type system. Fully hydraulic control valve actuators are also an option, featuring operations that are similar to pneumatic actuators. With their use of fluids to create force within the system, hydraulic control actuators are often present within linear and rotating control valves.

With the use of control valves and control valve actuators, gas, steam, water, and various chemical compounds can be managed within a system in regard to fluid flow. Benefiting a variety of applications relating to refineries, pharmaceuticals, specialty chemicals, and more, it is crucial that such assemblies are regularly inspected and maintained for their performance and reliability. When it comes time to begin sourcing the various fluid application components that you require, Purchasing Union is here to assist you with our unmatched pricing and lead-times.

Purchasing Union is a website owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, and we are your sourcing solution with over 2 billion new, used, obsolete, and hard-to-find items readily available for purchase. Take the time to explore our offerings as you see fit, and you may request quotes for your comparisons at any time through the submission of an Instant RFQ form as provided on our website. With our team members being always available for customer needs, responses to requests will be given in just 15 minutes or less, 24/7x365. Initiate the purchasing process today and see how Purchasing Union can serve as your strategic sourcing partner.


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May 5, 2021
January 27, 2021

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