In this article, you will learn what is flow control valves? Its parts, working, and types of flow control valves are explained with pictures.

You can also download the PDF file at the bottom of this article.

What is Flow Control Valve?

The valves which are mainly used to regulate the flow of fluid in hydraulic

In hydraulics, flow control valves are used to control the amount of oil supplied to various parts within a hydraulic system. In this way, the momentum of a cylinder or the rotational speed of a hydraulic motor can be controlled.

However, a basic flow control valve has an opening that can be changed to increase or decrease the flow rate. The many benefits of using flow control valves include the variety of materials from which they can be made (such as brass, carbon steel, stainless steel, and zinc).

Flow control valves can provide many choices for simple and complex systems that adjust for pressure, temperature, and other flow variables.

Parts of Flow Control Valve

Following are the parts of the flow control valve:

  1. Body
  2. Bonnet
  3. Trim
  4. Disk and seat
  5. Stem
  6. Actuator
  7. Handwheel
  8. Valve packing

#1 Body

It is the main part of the flow control valve, in which all other parts are kept together by a structure called the body. The piping in the valve body is achieved with the help of bolts and welded joints. It is usually made of cast iron and is also called a valve shell.

#2 Bonnet

The bonnet is a cover that is used for the opening in the body and is divided into two parts which are fastened together. Some valve bonnets are used only as covers while some of them are used for valve interior accessories.

#3 Trim

The trim is usually presented on the inside of the valve and consists of the stem, sleeve, seat, and disc. Valve performance can be detected by the seat and disc interface.

#4 Disk and Seat

A disc is an essential part of the flow control valve that allows and restricts fluid flow. If the disc is in the closed state then the total system pressure is applied to the disc and the pressure is exerted towards the outlet.

#5 Stem

These are liable for the connection of the actuator and the disc, which holds the disc in position. The connection is done by the threads and welded joints. Generally, two types of the stem are used which are non-rising stem and rising stem.

#6 Actuator

This is the main part of the flow control valve, which is driven by the stem and disc assembly. Control valve actuators may be operated manually or by an electric motor.

#7 Handwheel

It is a common type of valve actuator. A valve handwheel is used to manually control the opening and closing of the valve.

#8 Valve Packing

It is a sealing system, that has a deformable material in the solid form or split rings held in a packing box. These are used for packing in valves which consequently prevents leakage between stem and bonnet.

Working of Flow Control Valve

The flow of the fluid can be controlled by changing the place through which it is passing. In this, a pressure drop occurs and this must be considered when choosing a flow control valve.

In a hydraulic circuit, the pressure fluctuates across the load, sometimes more or less. Although the inlet pressure is constant, the pump is delivering fluid at constant pressure but the outlet pressure can vary.

To avoid this fluctuation in load we can easily install a pressure compensated flow control valve. By using this flow control valve, the flow rate can be kept constant even under variable loads.

These valves have a spool and by changing the position of the spool, the field direction of the passage can be adjusted. Therefore, the required flow can be maintained during the flow of the fluid through the control valve.

Types of Flow Control Valves

Following are the types of flow control valves:

  1. Gate valve
  2. Plug valve
  3. Needle valve
  4. Non-return valve
  5. Butterfly valve
  6. Pressure compensated flow control valves
  7. Pinch valve
  8. Globe valve
  9. Diagram valve
  10. Ball valve

#1 Gate Valve

The valve controls the flow of the oil in a pipe by moving a flat plate called a gate or disc valve. Gate is built perpendicular to the length of the pipe with the help of a handwheel.

This mechanism is achieved by connecting the gate with the handwheel through a threaded spindle that rotates in the valve body. The advantage of a gate valve is that it offers little or no resistance to flow when it is fully open. It is usually made up of gunmetal.

#2 Plug Valve

As the name suggests, this valve is having a plug. This plug can be turned to move its ports to control the flow of oil and it features to reduce the friction between the plug face and the body seat when the turning of the plug.

The valve consists of a tapered wedge mechanically seated in the body. The tapered edge has a rectangular window. When the valve is fully open rectangular window aligns itself with the holes running through the valve body.

#3 Needle Valve

It is a kind of screw-down stop valve. Its use is restricted to small sizes which have the body ends in line or right angles with each other or maybe oblique type.

Here disc is in the form of needlepoint. By rotating the handwheel, the tapered needle advances, and the area of the valve seat decreases. Hence the oil flow is gradually reduced. These valves are used in hydraulic systems in lines of delicate pressure gauges.

#4 Non-return Valve

The non-return valve permits flow in one direction and stops the flow completely in one direction and stops the flow completely in one direction. It consists of a valve body, a poppet, a spring, and a seat.

When the force of fluid is available at the inlet port exceeds the strength of the spring and the backpressure of oil the poppet is pushed up and the valve opens to permit the flow through it. When the oil is flow is reversed, the valve piston is pushed back to its seat, completely blocking the flow.