How to Select the Right Actuator Valves

In the US, the valve manufacturing industry revenues reached $35 billion last year. An important
segment of that is valve actuators, which are necessary for the opening and closing of valves.

How many industries utilize valves and valve actuators? You might guess the automotive industry,
government military, oil, and gas. The list goes on.

Do you know how to choose the correct type of actuator to fit your needs? Do you have an idea of
how many actuator types there are out there?

There are more kinds of actuated valves than you would imagine. Here are some tips on how to
pick the right actuator valves for your needs.

Selecting the Right Actuator Valves

Before selecting an actuator valve, you need to understand the various types available and the
functions of each. Let’s take a look at what they do and some of the different types of actuator

What is an Actuator Valve?

When there’s a valve, there has to be a way to operate it. That’s where actuators come in to play.
Manual actuators are controlled by people. Automatic valve actuators work through various power

Automatic options available include: the electric valve actuator; the pneumatic actuator, which is
powered by compressed air (this is the type most commonly supplied by CPV); and the hydraulic
actuator which works with the flow of oil. The need for a person to operate them is removed.

Why is Choosing the Right Type of Actuator Important?

The actuator valve is very important in the overall functioning of the valve. Engineers have a key
role in making the right choice for the system to operate in a cost-effective and efficient manner.

Two Main Types of Valve Operation

Because there are two ways for a valve to operate, a clear understanding of how they work is
necessary before making a choice.

1. Linear Operation

In this type of operation, the valve works through linear motion. Examples include globe and pinch

2. Rotary Operation

Rotational motion allows the valve to work. Examples include butterfly and ball valves.

What to Consider When Choosing an Actuator Valve

  •  Where it’s going to be applied
  •  What is its usage
  •  Accessibility
  •  Temperature
  •  Frequency of operation
  •  Speed of operation
  •  Special requirements
  •  Valve size
  •  Available power source
  •  Safety
  •  Cost
  •  Reliability

Once all of these things have been considered, the correct actuator valve can be chosen. For
example, a pneumatic actuator would be the best for use in a hazardous area because they are
unlikely to explode. They can also operate in temperatures up to 250 degrees.

Conversely, an electric valve actuator will work in temperatures down to -40 degrees. If there is no
electricity available, pneumatic or hydraulic valve actuators must be used. In these cases, there
must be adequate air supply or fluid pressure.

The Right One for the Job

Now you’ve learned how to select the right one of the different types of actuator valves. We at CPV
Manufacturing can help you with any of your valve needs. Contact us today.