The summer 2022 issue of Valve Magazine includes a comprehensive overview of the direct sealing diaphragm valve technology that is at the core of Equilibar’s patented devices. Written by Equilibar founder Jeff Jennings, the article explains the background of this unique method of fluid control and describes how it is capable of providing robust back pressure control, vacuum control and flow control for diverse types of complex applications.
Jeff is the inventor of direct sealing diaphragm technology and holds multiple patents relating to Equilibar products. As Vice President of Innovation for Richards Industrials –Equilibar’s parent company–he continues to explore new uses for these revolutionary devices, especially in the fields of electrolysis and hydrogen energy.
The article explains how Equilibar’s direct-sealing diaphragm valves and regulators build on the technology of both conventional diaphragm valves and dome-loaded valves to create a novel design in which a supple diaphragm covers a field of parallel orifices in the unit’s body. As fluids flow through the unit, the exceptionally thin diaphragm lifts off the orifices to release pressure. When flow is minimal, only a portion of one orifice opens to release the pressure. When flow is high, the diaphragm is pushed up to engage all the orifices.
The flexibility of this design results in an unusually wide flow rate range that can provide solutions for some of the most extreme fluid and pressure control scenarios in research and industry. The design can hold pressure stable across ranges of 1,000:1 and even up to 100,000:1 for many processes. The frictionless diaphragm avoids all hysteresis, allowing for highly precise control in manual, open-loop or closed-loop control systems. Moreover, its reaction time is virtually instantaneous, and it is well suited for automation.
The article focuses on catalysis applications as an example of back pressure control, glovebox applications for vacuum control, and a complex research setup for flow control.