The term “PEX” is an acronym for cross-linked polyethylene. The material is used for a variety of industrial components, such as tubes and pipes for valves.
What Are PEX Valves?
PEX valves are highly similar to regular valves. The main difference between them is how they are connected; PEX valves can connect with PEX tubing and piping (i.e., tubing and piping made from PEX) without needing transition adapters. Typical applications for these components include shut-off, maintenance, and repair operations.
PEX Valve Tubing/Piping Material
There are three methods of producing cross-linked polyethylene. The resulting materials are designated as PEX A, PEX B, and PEX C. Each material is processed with different techniques and/or technologies, resulting in unique material characteristics depending on the method used. The differences in properties make each material suitable for different components and applications.
- PEX A. This material is cross-linked using the “Engel” process, which involves introducing peroxides to the polyethylene material before it undergoes the forming process.
- PEX B. This material is cross-linked using the silane process, which is also called steam or moisture cross-linking. The process is performed on the polyethylene after it undergoes the forming process.
- PEX C. This material is cross-linked by subjecting it to an electron beam or gamma radiation. The process is the least commonly used of the three cross-linking methods.
PEX Valve Connection Types
Valves, tubes/pipes, and fittings can be connected in a variety of ways, depending on their design. PEX valves from Red-White Valve are available with the following connection types:
These connections are manufactured according to the ASTM F1807 standard. The process of installing valves with them requires an appropriate crimp ring and PEX tube/pipe and involves the following steps:
- Sliding the crimp ring over the end of the tubing/piping
- If installing a tailpiece, mounting the union nut over the tailpiece before connecting it to the tube/pipe
- Inserting the valve into the end of the tubing/piping until it stops
- Positioning the crimp ring between 1/8 to 1/4 inch away from the end of the tubing/piping and over the ribs of the valve
- Crimping the crimp ring with a crimping tool
- Checking the crimp was made properly with a gauge
These connections are manufactured according to the ASTM F1960 standard. The process of installing valves with them requires an appropriate ring and PEX tube/pipe and involves the following steps:
- Inserting the ring onto the PEX tube/pipe
- If installing a tailpiece, mounting the union nut over the tailpiece before connecting it to the pipe
- Expanding the PEX tubing/piping and ring with an expander tool
- Inserting the expanded assembly onto the PEX valve
These connections are manufactured according to the REHAU EVERLOC+® patented system. Valves with EVERLOC+® compression-sleeve connections require EVERLOC+® PEXa compression sleeves and REHAU PEXa tubes/pipes for installation. Installation of the components should only be performed with EVERLOC+® compression-sleeve tools.
Why Should I Use PEX Valves for My Application?
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Valves are used in a wide range of applications across nearly every industry. Since they are often utilized in critical applications where failure can have catastrophic consequences, it is essential to choose the right type for the given use case. Below, we highlight some of the factors you should consider when vetting your valve options.
- Cost. Cost is a big factor in nearly every purchase. You need to pick a product that meets your application requirements without surpassing your budget restrictions. Because PEX valves do not require an adapter to connect to the PEX tubing they are generally more cost effective and eliminate leak points.
- Environment. The environment within an application plays a big role in how a product performs. Regarding valves, key environmental conditions include chemicals and temperatures. PEX valve assemblies should be manufactured using dezincification resistant (DZR) brass.
- Installation timeline. The amount of time a component takes to install affects labor costs. Since PEX valves can attach to PEX tubing/piping without transfer adapters, they are much easier and, consequently, faster to install than other valves.
If you’ve decided that you want to use PEX valve assembly for your application, you need to think about what type of tubing/piping you want to use: PEX A, PEX B, or PEX C. Some of the considerations you should keep in mind when making the selection are:
- PEX A materials offer the greatest flexibility and kink resistance.
- PEX B materials are the least flexible and kink resistant.
- PEX C materials are not as commonly available as PEX A and PEX B materials.
PEX Valves at RED-WHITE VALVE CORP.
Want more information on PEX valves? Ask the experts at RED-WHITE VALVE CORP. We supply high-quality valves, including PEX valves, to customers in various markets. Our team can answer or address any questions or concerns you may have about these products.
If you want to purchase PEX valves for your operations, we’ve got you covered. We offer a range of PEX valves:
- Ball valves
- Transition ball valves
- Ball valves with drains
- Ball valves with mounting feet
- Ball valves with drains and mounting feet
- Flange ball valves
What Is a Pneumatic Actuator?
Actuators convert potential energy into kinetic energy (i.e., mechanical motion) when prompted by a control signal. They are integrated into a variety of devices and systems to perform various tasks. There are many types available, each of which is suitable for different applications. One way of categorizing them is by their power source (i.e., what form of energy they use to produce mechanical motion).
Pneumatic actuators—also referred to as pneumatic cylinders, air cylinders, and air actuators—rely on compressed air for their operation. While all pneumatic actuators have the same basic components (a cylinder, ports or valves, and a mechanical element), they can vary in design; for example, rotary actuators convert energy into rotary motion, while linear actuators convert energy into linear motion.
Typical applications for pneumatic actuators include:
- Packaging and production equipment
- Pump systems
How Does a Pneumatic Actuator Work?
As mentioned above, a pneumatic actuator uses compressed air to produce mechanical motion. It does this by containing regular air, pressurized gas, or a combination of the two within a chamber and allowing it to expand. As the air/gas expands, it creates a pressure differential between the inside of the chamber and the surrounding environment, which energizes the air/gas. The air/gas is then directed out of the chamber toward a mechanical component (e.g., gear or piston), which actually performs the task.
Advantages of Pneumatic Actuators
Compared to other types of actuators, pneumatic valves offer a number of advantages.
- They have a simple design, which makes them easy and, consequently, cheaper to produce.
- They are highly durable and easy to maintain, resulting in lower replacement and repair costs.
- They do not require electricity or ignition to operate, making them suitable for use in environments where combustion is a concern.
- They can generate greater forces than electric actuators, which makes them better suited for handling heavier loads.
Types of Pneumatic Actuators
Pneumatic actuators can be classified according to a variety of design factors. For example, they can be categorized into three main varieties based on what type of mechanical motion they produce: linear, rotary, and combination.
Linear actuators are designed to produce linear motion. They use various mechanisms to perform this function, such as pistons and diaphragms. In piston-style linear actuators, the stroke length is dependent on the length of the cylinder. In diaphragm-style linear actuators, the stroke length is dependent on the stretch tolerance of the diaphragm.
Piston-style linear actuators can be further classified into single-acting actuators and double-acting actuators. Single-acting actuators rely on air pressure to move the piston in one direction and a spring to move it back to the original location. Double-acting actuators rely on air pressure to move the piston forward and back. The former has a simpler design, a smaller footprint, and lower compressed air requirements. The latter offers greater force capacities, faster operating speeds, and longer lifespans.
Rotary actuators are designed to produce rotary motion. Similar to linear actuators, they use a variety of mechanisms to perform this function. Some of the most commonly used are pistons, diaphragms, yokes, vanes. Piston-style rotary actuators offer a limited range of rotation, yoke-style rotary actuators offer up to 90 degrees of rotation, and vane-style rotary actuators offer up to and exceeding 360 degrees of rotation.
Combination actuators are designed to produce both linear motion and a limited degree of rotary motion. They are commonly used in work holding applications, where they are used for clamps that must be constantly engaged, disengaged, and reengaged to switch out workpieces.
Pneumatic Actuators From RED-WHITE VALVE CORP.
Pneumatic actuators play a vital role in many different devices and systems (e.g., in valve systems, they open and close the valve to start and stop the flow of fluid). Given their importance, it is essential to source them from a reliable supplier. Otherwise, they may underperform or fail, which can lead to loss of productivity and profitability.
Need pneumatic actuators you can trust in your critical valve applications? The experts at RED-WHITE VALVE CORP. have got you covered! We offer high-quality pneumatic actuators for valve assemblies used in industrial and commercial applications. To learn more about our product offerings, contact us today.