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a part or device used to control the flow of a gas or fluid in machines and piping by altering the cross-sectional dimensions of the passage.
In internal combustion engines, pumps, compressors, and blowers, a valve is a part of the distribution mechanism or of the gas or fluid flow-control mechanism. As a variety of pipe fitting, a valve is used to control the flow of gas, vapor, or liquid.
Valves are made up of a housing, which is incorporated into the piping, and a gate, which moves within the housing and alters the dimensions of the bore (and, thereby, the transmissive capacity). Valves are used to develop a pressure differential (throttle valves), to prevent the reverse flow of a fluid (check valves), to release a certain amount of gas, vapor, or liquid when the pressure exceeds a set value (safety valves), to control pressure or flow rate (regulating valves), and to reduce pressure and keep it at a constant level (reducing valves). Valves are also used as stopper fittings to seal off piping, in engineering equipment, and in heat-and-power engineering facilities.
Depending on the design of the housing, valves are classed as pass, angled, three-way, and multipath. In terms of the nature of attachment to the piping, they may be flanged or coupled. The gate may be moved manually, electrically, pneumatically, or hydraulically.
G. G. MIRZABEKOV
A flow-control device. Valves are used to regulate the flow of fluids in piping systems and machinery. In machinery the flow phenomenon is frequently of a pulsating or intermittent character and the valve, with its associated gear, contributes a timing feature.
The valves commonly used in piping systems are gate valves (Fig. 1), usually operated closed or wide open and seldom used for throttling; globe valves, frequently fitted with a renewable disk and adaptable to throttling operations; check valves, for automatically limiting flow in a piping system to a single direction; and plug cocks, for operation in the open or closed position by turning the plug through 90° and with a shearing action to clear foreign matter from the seat. Safety and relief valves are automatic protective devices for the relief of excess pressure. See Safety valve
For hydraulic turbines and hydroelectric systems, valves and gates control water flow for (1) regulation of power output at sustained efficiency and with minimum wastage of water, and (2) safety under the inertial flow conditions of large masses of water.
To control the kinematics of the cycle, steam-engine valves range from simple D-slide and piston valves to multiported types. Many types of reversing gear have been perfected which use the same slide valve or piston valve for both forward and backward rotation of an engine, as in railroad and marine service. See Steam engine
Poppet valves are used almost exclusively in internal combustion reciprocating engines because of the demands for tightness with high operating pressures and temperatures (Fig. 2). Two-cycle engines utilize ports, alternately covered and uncovered by the main piston, for inlet or exhaust. See Cam mechanism, Internal combustion engine, Valve train
In compressors, valves are usually automatic, operating by pressure difference on the two sides of a movable, springloaded member and without any mechanical linkage to the moving parts of the compressor mechanism. Like those for compressors, pump valves are usually of the automatic type operating by pressure difference.
vacuum tubeAn electronic device that controls the flow of electrons in a vacuum. It is used as a switch, amplifier or display screen (CRT). Used as on/off switches, vacuum tubes allowed the first computers to perform digital computations. Although tubes made a comeback in high-end stereo components, they have long since been abandoned for TVs and computer monitors. See vacuum tube types, audiophile, tube amplifier and Vintage Radio Museum.
|Early Vacuum Tube|
|Early vacuum tubes were used to amplify signals for radio and other audio devices. This one was made in 1915. Tubes were not used as switches in calculating machines until 1939. (Image courtesy of AT&T.)|
|Tubes in the 21st Century|
|Many audiophiles claim vacuum tubes amplify music better than transistors. These high-end Model One amplifiers (collectively weighing 212 pounds) were designed by legendary audio engineer Mark Levinson.|
|Vacuum tubes have come in myriad shapes and sizes over the years, and the Vintage Radio and Communications Museum has one of the finest collections. (Images courtesy of Vintage Radio and Communications Museum of Connecticut, www.vrcmct.org)|
|Amazing - A Tube Could Be This Small|
|This image is from an article in the October 1947 issue of Mechanix Illustrated that highlighted the huge reduction in vacuum tube size. The article's author could not have imagined that in the future several trillion transistors could fit inside the small vacuum tube. (Image courtesy of Mechanix Illustrated.)|