5 Considerations When Choosing a Proportional Valve

Proportional valves are ideal when you need adjustable flow rates through the valve while supplying one inlet pressure.  A proportional solenoid valve offers consistent flow control proportional to the input signal provided to the solenoid, like a dimmer switch versus an on/off switch.

#1: Inlet Pressure

The pressure at which media enters the valve is critical to proper operation. A proportional solenoid valve’s inlet pressure should be well-regulated with only a slight fluctuation in regulated pressure.

Low inlet pressure could result in insufficient flow through the valve. Excessive inlet pressure can damage valve components and cause erratic performance, flow instability or leakage through the valve. Identifying and adhering to recommended input pressure ratings protects valve integrity and ensures safe operation.

#2: Flow Rate

Proportional solenoid valves offer exact flow control for ventilation, sedation, media mixing, dosing and process flow control functions. Inconsistent or uncontrolled flow rates can cause fluctuations during operation that could deviate from desirable outcomes.

Valves differ in their flow capacity and system requirements. Identifying application requirements will help narrow your search when selecting the correct proportional valve.

#3: Media Type

Media compatibility influences the integrity of proportional solenoid valve components. Certain chemical compositions may cause corrosion or degradation to the valve body or elastomers. That may result in possible contamination, valve failure or diminished performance, which can be especially problematic for medical and analytical processing equipment.

The “wetted” materials used in a proportional valve influence media compatibility. For example, stainless steel and anodized aluminum are designed to handle harsher media and operating conditions. Media viscosity and temperature are key factors in selecting the best proportional valve for your application requires.

#4: Back Pressure

Back pressure is the oppositional force exerted on media flow through a valve body. High back pressure reduces flow rate and valve performance. That increases the system’s overall energy consumption and should be considered in selecting the correct proportional valve.

A specific back pressure may be a system requirement or by-product. The right amount of back pressure may support precise flow control and work in your favor during system operations.

#5: Control Current

The amount of electrical input controls the position of the valve opening to manage flow rate. That variable control lets you adjust a proportional solenoid valve to a specific position to deliver media through the valve body based on the system’s needs.

You can adjust a proportional solenoid valve in real-time or set it to remain the same during operation. Controlling current allows for dynamic responses and accurate adjustments, which is crucial for ventilation, sedation, media mixing, dosing and process flow control applications.

Proportional Solenoid Valves from Humphrey Products

Our proportional solenoid valves feature low hysteresis, excellent repeatability, fast response times and tight sealing. Our expert team will work with you to customize our product to meet your unique system specifications. Contact our team to learn more about our products and request a quote. For proportional valve selection assistance, contact our Proportional Valve experts at 844-447-9009 or send us an email.

Small 2-Port Proportional Solenoid Valves by Humphrey