How to Find the Best Valve Actuator for Your Situation

You’re the owner of an oil pipeline that suffered an explosion. The explosion didn’t hurt any crew members. However, oil leaks into the environment, and your crew is working tirelessly to fix it.

In the meantime, your manager is conducting a full investigation. A single faulty electric actuator valve caused the explosion and spillage. 

Actuator valves play a crucial role in regulating the flow of fluids. Without functioning actuator valves, work sites can suffer from improper fluid regulation, resulting in mishaps.

But choosing the right valve actuator is another crucial factor. For example, automatic valve actuators are the best choice in unsafe environments. 

This article will show you which valve actuator is the best choice for your circumstance. 

Basic Actuator Valves

Before choosing the best valve actuator for pipelines or other infrastructure types, one must know the designated purpose of manual and automated functions. A manual actuator requires no power source to operate it.

Rather, the operator uses a lever or wheel to push various gears. This causes the ratio to commence high-output torque. Note the following manual actuators that you can choose from:

  • Linear Actuator Valves: The linear types have different stroke lengths and seating thrusts. Regarding stroke length, it measures the effort necessary to open or close the valve fully.
    • Actuators with fewer strokes will cause a short stroke in the valve itself. The actuator valve must have enough force to surpass pressure within the system.
  • Rotary Actuator Valves: Rotary actuators vary in terms of motions, ranges, and actuator torque. For instance, the motion range can be 90 degrees.
    • The 90-degree turn amounts to a quarter of a turn. The torque also refers to the needed force to move the rotary. 

Manual actuator valves are also cheaper than the automatic variety. 

Automated Efficiency

Choose an automatic actuator valve if the valves need heavy torque.  Additionally, the automatic types can keep personnel out of hazardous conditions. Consider the following types of automatic valve actuators: 

  • Pneumatic: Pneumatic valves rely on pressurized air to manage a valve properly. This type is the most popular due to its basic design, lower cost, and reliability. 
    • You can also store the power in case a power loss occurs. The disadvantages include slower speeds and inconsistent shaft movements.
  • Electric: The electric type includes solenoid or electric-motor actuators. The motor steers the stem of the valve via gear couplings. They’re also ideal in cold climates that can freeze condensation within the air supply lines.
    • The electric variety can produce large amounts of torque and consistent operating speeds. However, the electric operation is more complicated. Also, electric operators tend to have slower operating speeds.

Also, consider an automatic actuator that allows you to manually override it if necessary.

Finding the Best Valve Actuator

Choosing the best valve actuator depends on such factors as environment or power sources. Manual valves are cheaper, but they require more effort to use. Automatic valves are more expensive, but they produce more torque than the manual type.

In terms of safety, automatic valves allow remote control. Remote control keeps workers out of unsafe conditions. Choose an actuator from a reputable company that offers high-quality products.

To learn more about actuator valves and commercial shutoff valves, contact us today.