Needle Valves 101: Different Types, Applications, and More!

When you’re working in situations where you need to have precise control over the flow of clean gasses and fluids, you don’t want to be trying to fight with the wrong tool for the job. The ticket is to have a needle valve on hand.

Needle valves give you the ability to manage that flow as closely as you need to due to the specialized shape of their plunger. Read on to learn more about needle valves and how they can help you in your work.

What Are Needle Valves?

Needle valves allow you to control flow rates of clean gasses or fluids. They have a needle-shaped threaded plunger, which is where they get their name. There are three primary types of needle valves: standard, motorized, and angle.

Standard needle valves feature a handle that you turn manually and outputs that sit in line with each other. Motorized needle valves use an electric or pneumatic actuator to turn the plunger rather than handles for manual operation. Angled needle valves turn the output from the inlet by 90 degrees instead of keeping it in line. 

How Does It Work?

When you turn the handle of a needle valve, it raises and lowers a tapered plunger to open or seal the valve. The plunger moves up and down on threads inside the shaft of the valve, and there’s a locking nut to prevent it from unscrewing all the way out.

Because the plunger moves up and down on threads, you can very accurately control where the tapered end of the plunger sits in relation to the valve seat. This allows you to control flow very precisely between maximum and zero.

What Is It Used For?

Because needle valves are so good at managing precise flow, you’ll find them across almost any fluid control application. There are different materials and sizes that allow them to handle different gases and fluids so long as they’re clean. You often see them in propane systems to control the burn rate as needed.

Motorized needle valves are useful in a number of specific applications. If you need to be able to operate the valve remotely, put it in a closed system, or set it on a timer, this model is the ticket. 

Get the Best Equipment

Needle valves are a great tool to have on hand when you need to keep tight control on the flow you’re working with. Whether you’re working with flow-metering operations or field analog instruments, these little guys can help you keep the control you need on the job.

If you’d like to get the highest quality engineering equipment, visit the rest of our site at CPV Manufacturing. For more than a century, we’ve specialized in providing the highest quality materials to everyone from the U.S. Navy to the petrochemical industry. Check out our valve selection today and discover the quality of CPV materials for yourself.