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What Are Gas Flow Restrictors and How Do They Work?

Optimizing Flow Rates with Gas Flow Restrictors

Flow restrictors are responsible for gas flow control and play a valuable role in many of our systems. A malfunctioning gas flow can have serious consequences, including death. Though you may be unfamiliar with the term, flow restrictors are used in a variety of industries.

What Are Gas Flow Restrictors?

Gas flow restrictors are also known as flow limiters or calibrated leaks. They are flow control products designed to regulate the flow rate of gas through an outlet. Flow restrictors are particularly useful for systems that operate with consistent volumes of gas, such as breathing machines in medicine, compressed gas lines, and air sampling systems.

Though there are many types of gas flow restrictors used across multiple industries, they all have the same purpose: to control the rate of gas flow through the device without fluctuation. The gas flow restrictor maintains a constant flow at the specified gas pressure. When designed properly, these components can handle high temperatures and pressures, with a range of potential flow rates and gas compatibilities.

Pressurized systems, as well as many other filtration systems, benefit from flow restrictors because they help prevent damage that results from excess flow and can limit the gas leak in the event of a catastrophic failure. Substances like natural gas, methane, and even compressed oxygen, can be extremely dangerous in the event of a leak, so a flow restrictor can help reduce the potential for danger.

How Do Flow Restrictors Work?

Flow restrictors control the volume of gas that leaves or enters a system.  As the volume in the supply line increases, the flow restrictors limit the area that the gas can flow through which controls the overall output. A Mott porous element has a face area many times that of an equivalent orifice which results in a very low approach velocity of the gas stream.  Any particulate will have very low kinetic energy and will not penetrate the porous material. But simply rest on the surface and will not affect flow through the leak.

In supply lines with low pressure, gas flow restrictors increase the comfort of use, while in supply lines with high pressure, they limit the gas to the appropriate amount. The most efficient gas flow restrictors have hundreds of pores for the gas to travel through, reducing the likelihood of a blockage and extending the lifespan of the system.

Gas flow restrictors are designed to function correctly despite any potential fluctuations in the gas’s pressure. They also take into account the atmospheric pressure of the surrounding air and compensate for its effect on the gas in the system. These systems are designed to withstand heavy wear from influences like temperature and pressure to prevent failure.

Where Are Gas Flow Restrictors Used?

Flow restrictors have applications in a range of industries. Current applications include:

  • Breathing systems, such as those used by firefighters and scuba divers.
  • Compressed gas supply lines.
  • Flow reduction in the event of a leak in high-purity gases.
  • Gas-to-gas chromatography analysis.
  • Flow control to thrusters on space probes.
  • Medication administration, such as ventilators and oxygen masks.
  • Flow control of xenon gas for ion propulsion engines.
  • Air sampling systems.

The potential uses for gas flow restrictors are nearly endless due to their adaptability and design capabilities. In every application, gas flow control is vital for function and safety, so choosing your gas flow restrictor manufacturer is incredibly important.

Gas Flow Restrictors from Mott Corp

Mott Corp specializes in gas filtration services to meet the needs of many different industries in nearly 100 countries. As a long-standing flow restrictor manufacturer, we are aware of the importance our products have and use only the highest quality products and manufacturing processes. We have worked diligently to combine our extensive design experience with cutting-edge technology to create flow restrictors that keep your systems running as efficiently as possible. Not only do we develop OEM flow restrictors for existing systems, but we can also design a custom flow restrictor in our innovation center to bring your new product to life.

To learn more about how our flow restrictors can meet your needs, contact the specialists at Mott Corporation.