How the Gas Pressure Regulator Helps You Get the Most out of Compressed Gases

Compressed gas producers often make significant effort to fulfill their customer’s specific needs when it comes to accuracy, purity, and various other specifications. The majority of these gases are shipped in traditional high-pressure cylinders, and others are shipped in bulk, smaller containers, or dewars. Regardless of the delivery method, these gases will eventually face handling, distribution, and regulation by the consumer. Throughout this, the gases face several different types of equipment and methods of handling that will either reduce or maintain its purity.

Gas handling systems can range from being extremely complex to quite simplistic. But regardless of its configuration, the gas delivery system can have a significant effect on the purity of the gas and is a component that should never be underestimated. Likewise, the employment of certain dangerous gases can present safety hazards if they are not utilized with the proper equipment.

The purpose of gas regulators in gas delivery systems is to decrease the pressure from a high-pressure origin to a pressure level that is suitable for use. The proper regulator is capable of maintaining purity of the gas while simultaneously delivering it safely. Because of its importance, there are several different matters to take into consideration when choosing the best regulator for an application.

The first element to take into consideration when selecting a regulator is the level of purity that is needed for the application. There are three categories under which these requirements usually fall: general purpose, high-purity, and ultra-high purity.

As an example, if an application calls for high-purity gas, then a high-purity regulator should be used rather than a general-purpose or other insufficient regulator. At the very least, regulators that are utilized in delivery systems should be cleaned by the supplier to assure both cleanliness and safe employment.

Another matter that needs to be taken into consideration when choosing the proper regulator is the regulator’s body type. The bodies of regulators can be either produced from barstock or forged. Forging is utilized with only brass; barstock, on the other hand is employed for stainless steel, brass, and additional materials. There are several reasons for which barstock bodies are favored for high-purity applications. One reason is its small internal volume which makes it easier to purge, thus enabling impurities and moisture to be removed. Additionally, barstock has a smoother internal surface which reduces the amount of contaminants that are retained inside. Lastly, the grain structure of the metal is tighter in barstock, meaning it is less likely to absorb moisture and impurities.

In regards to materials of construction, brass is the material used most often in pressure regulators. In certain higher-purity applications or in situations where brass is incompatible with the gas being used, other materials such as stainless steel are used. Gases with corrosive properties might need corrosion-resistant materials for all wetted parts, but flammables and inert gases are typically compatible with brass and most other materials. 316 stainless steel is most commonly utilized in applications that call for corrosion-resistant materials.

Forged brass bodies are most commonly utilized with the lowest-purity gas, and in the lowest-cost regulators. Brass barstock bodies, on the other hand, have smoother internal finishes and smaller internal volumes allowing them to maintain noncorrosive gases with higher purity levels. For semi-corrosive or corrosive gases or gas mixtures and higher-purity requirements, stainless steel should be employed. For gases that are highly corrosive, Monel or Hastelloy should be the materials that are used as they enable more corrosion resistance.

PurityPlus offers a large selection of gas regulators and other specialty gas equipment to ensure that our customers accomplish all of their specialty gas applications using the safest, most efficient, and most reliable tools. To learn more about PurityPlus' specialty gas equipment and other specialty gas products offered by PurityPlus, browse our catalog or contact us via our website or at 877-81P-PLUS (877-817-7587).