What Are the Pros and Cons of Using Air Piloted Valves?

Air piloted valves are a type of pneumatic valve that can be used in various applications. They are controlled by air pressure and regulate compressed air, liquid and gas.

It’s important to understand the benefits and potential disadvantages of air piloted valves to determine if they’re right for your job.

5 Benefits of Air Piloted Valves

#1: Easy Maintenance

Also known as air operated valves and air piloted pneumatic valves, these devices have fewer moving parts than their solenoid and manual counterparts. The simple, robust design requires less maintenance, allowing efficiency without constant upkeep. These valves have a high shifting force and tight seal, aren’t easily damaged and don’t require frequent replacement.

#2: Cost-Effective

Air operated valves are smaller and more efficient than solenoid and manually operated valves. They use less compressed air and the durable design demands fewer upgrades and repairs. They provide long-term cost savings, especially because they don’t need excess maintenance. Air piloted valves last several years when properly maintained, so you won’t have to purchase replacements frequently.

#3: Safety

These valves can handle volatile environments where electricity could result in combustion. They can be employed in operations that aren’t safe for manual valves and mounted in remote locations.

#4: Versatility in Applications

Air piloted valves can be easily integrated into automated systems. They’re available in 2-, 3- and 4-way normally opened or closed designs, making them suitable for on-off functions, pressure regulation and directional control. They function as slave and lockout valves to complete simultaneous and interlocking functions.

#5: Reliable in Harsh Conditions

Air operated valves are designed for hazardous, wet and dirty applications. For example, an air piloted valve would work well in an application where you must transition from contaminated to clean air.

You’ll find air piloted pneumatic valves in:

  • Industrial applications
  • Water treatment operations
  • Chemical processing
  • Food and beverage production
  • Power generation
  • Medical applications
  • Oil and gas refining processes

Potential Issues with Air Piloted Valves

Noise Generation

Operation-induced vibrations may make valves noisy. You could also encounter aerodynamic noise generated by the release of compressed air or gas in certain applications. That might be problematic and disruptive when used for medical equipment.

Limited Precision in Some Applications

Air piloted valves aren’t suitable for all operations. They are commonly used as an on-off switch, so they aren’t the best valve for complex functions.

Learn About Humphrey’s Air Piloted Valves

Humphrey Products offers a robust line of diaphragm-poppet valves for various processes. Our air piloted valves are available in brass and stainless steel to withstand corrosive environments and deliver consistent function.

Humphrey’s air operated valves are leak-resistant and feature a tight seal to withstand harsh wear and tear. View our catalog of air piloted valves or contact our team for assistance in selecting the right valve for your job.

Small air piloted valves