We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Pneumatic Control Valve?

M. McGee
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A pneumatic control valve is a valve that works via compressed gas to limit a device, preventing overloads, explosions or any number of other harmful effects. Newer control valves work through sensors that monitor the internal conditions of a device. The most common gas present in a pneumatic control valve is compressed atmospheric air. In addition to compressed air, most pneumatic control valve gases have a small amount of vaporized oil that keeps the internal parts of the valve lubricated as it functions.

It is possible to find a pneumatic control valve on a huge number of different devices and machines. These valve types are very common in industrial and factory machinery, such as in manufacturing and processing machines. In addition, they are found on heavy-duty hand-held tools like rivet guns and inside residential and commercial machinery such as heating and cooling systems.

In nearly every instance of a pneumatic control valve, the valve requires a burst of compressed air to force a plug into a set position that stops a dangerous situation from occurring. This burst typically creates a mechanical reaction that forces the plug into an opening that prevents a gas or liquid from passing. Sometimes this process also reveals a secondary opening that allows the system to bleed off the blocked material.

These systems typically respond to abnormally high heat, pressure or flow rate. Any of these situations could result in damage to the device or even an explosion. In most modern equipment, these factors are monitored by an external system that also directly controls the pneumatic control valve. When any dangerous situation begins, the system is alerted to the problem and triggers the valve.

Older systems typically had a less high-tech method of monitoring problems. These systems had a wide variation based on overall design, but they typically worked via a test module inside the machine. In many cases, as temperature or pressure increased, a system inside the device would force air or water into a connected chamber. When the substance in the chamber hit a certain level, the device would trigger the valve, which would calm the system and drain the chamber. This process would then start all over again.

Most pneumatic systems used compressed atmospheric air. Nearly any other gas, with the exception of oxygen, poses a significant asphyxiation risk should the gas leak from the system. Oxygen, in nearly any concentration higher than that in the atmosphere, is so flammable that it would likely trigger an explosion when used.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
M. McGee
By M. McGee , Former Writer
Mark McGee is a skilled writer and communicator who excels in crafting content that resonates with diverse audiences. With a background in communication-related fields, he brings strong organizational and interpersonal skills to his writing, ensuring that his work is both informative and engaging.

Discussion Comments

M. McGee

M. McGee

Former Writer

Mark McGee is a skilled writer and communicator who excels in crafting content that resonates with diverse audiences....
Learn more
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.