Cryogenic Control Valves

Learn more about Gas and Liquid Controls

We recently supplied a number of cryogenic control valves to a UK-based pharmaceutical company for use in a super-insulated vacuum pipework system

Cryogenic control valves

We recently supplied a number of cryogenic control valves to a UK based pharmaceutical company for use in a super insulated vacuum pipework system designed, built and installed by our sister company GRE.
In industries ranging from scientific research to pharmaceuticals and aerospace, there is often a need to control the flow of cryogenic fluids with pinpoint precision. Cryogenic fluids, which include liquid oxygen, liquid helium and liquid nitrogen, are substances that exist at extremely low temperatures, typically below -150 degrees Celsius (-238 degrees Fahrenheit). To manage these frigid conditions effectively engineers rely on specialized equipment, one of which is the cryogenic control valve, which plays a critical role in ensuring the safe and efficient handling of cryogenic fluids.
Working with cryogenic fluids poses several unique challenges. The extreme cold can cause conventional materials to become brittle, leading to potential equipment failure. Additionally, the thermal expansion and contraction of materials when exposed to such low temperatures can result in leaks or inadequate sealing.
Controlling the flow of cryogenic fluids is especially critical because any abrupt or uncontrolled changes in pressure or temperature can lead to catastrophic consequences. This is where cryogenic control valves come into play.
Cryogenic control valves are specially designed to handle the unique demands of cryogenic applications. They serve as crucial components in cryogenic systems by regulating the flow of cryogenic fluids through pipelines and other systems with precision and reliability. Here’s how they achieve this:
  1. Material Selection: Cryogenic control valves are typically made from materials that can withstand extremely low temperatures. Common materials include stainless steel, Inconel, and other alloys known for their cryogenic resilience.
  2. Leakage Prevention: To prevent leaks and ensure a tight seal even at cryogenic temperatures, these valves often feature specialized gasket materials and sealing mechanisms designed for low-temperature performance.
  3. Precise Flow Control: Cryogenic control valves are designed to offer precise flow control, allowing operators to adjust the flow rates of cryogenic fluids as required for the process. This level of control is crucial in applications where temperature and pressure must be tightly regulated.
  4. Safety Features: Cryogenic control valves are equipped with safety features, including emergency shut-off capabilities. In the event of an emergency or malfunction, these valves can quickly stop the flow of cryogenic fluids to prevent accidents.
  5. Low Heat Transfer: Cryogenic control valves are engineered to minimize heat transfer between the cryogenic fluid and the surrounding environment. This helps maintain the fluid’s low temperature and prevents it from warming up too quickly.
In short, cryogenic control valves play a vital role in ensuring the safe and efficient handling of cryogenic fluids in a wide range of industries. Their specialized design and materials make them indispensable components in systems that operate at extremely low temperatures.