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A valve is a device that regulates the flow of fluids (either gases, fluidised solids, slurries or liquids) by opening, closing, or partially obstructing various passageways.

Valves are used in a variety of industrial, military, commercial, and residential applications.

Some valves are driven by pressure only, they are mainly used for safety purposes in Steam engines and domestic heating or cooking appliances. Others are used in a controlled way in Otto cycle engines driven by a camshaft, and they have a major part in engine cycle control.

Types of valves

Different valves may be used for a variety of purposes:

  • A flow control valve maintains a constant flow rate through the valve.
  • A heart valve regulates blood flow through the heart in many organisms.
  • A poppet valve is commonly used in piston engines to regulate the fuel mixture intake and exhaust. The sleeve valve is another valve type used for this purpose.
  • A pressure reducing valve reduces pressure to a preset level downstream of the valve.
  • A pressure sustaining valve maintains pressure at a preset level upstream of the valve.
  • A regulator is used in SCUBA diving equipment and in gas cooking equipment to reduce the high pressure gas supply to a lower working pressure
  • A safety valve or relief valve operates automatically at a set differential pressure to correct a potentially dangerous situation, typically over-pressure.
  • A three-way valve routes fluid from one direction to another.
  • Vacuum breaker valves prevent the back-siphonage of contaminated water into pressurized, potable water supplies.

Other uses of the term

See also

External links


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