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Can a pressure regulator be used as a back-pressure regulator!!?

The answer is NO. Even if you reverse the inlet/outlet.

I spent some of my precious work-hours in last two days to get an answer to it. I searched the web, talked to the technician at the workshop but still couldn’t find a suitable answer. So I had no other choice then to work it out myself and post it here for mental sake of other fellas.

If you don’t know what what these regulators are, you can google(/wiki) it. Simply put, a pressure regulator will ensure the moment pressure in a vessel or system falls, the valve open up and ‘replenish’ the pressure in the system by getting more fluid (gas) from a higher pressure source connected at the inlet of the pressure regulator. Thus, pressure in the system remains constant to the set value. Contrary to this, back pressure regulator (BPR) will ensure the moment pressure in a vessel or system rises, the valve opens up and ‘vent’ the pressure from the system into a low-pressure source (atmosphere). Thus, pressure in the system remains constant. The following table taken from this link explains it all-

Type Pressure Reducing
Regulator
Back Pressure
Regulator
Schematic Pressure reducing regulator diagram back pressure regulator diagram
Controls Pressure Downstream Upstream
Opens to: Increase pressure downstream Decrease pressure upstream
Closes to: Decrease pressure downstream Increase pressure upstream

In general the Pressure reducing regulator is a ‘Normally open’ valve on the other hand the BPR is a ‘normally closed’ valve. So they respond opposite to the pressure change. This ppt explains the working of pressure regulators well. I will love to hear about your experience with pressure regulators too, so feel free to share it with me.


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