Figure 4-9. - Double-stage regulator.
heavy cutting, the working pressure gauge is graduated from 0 to 400.
The major disadvantage of single-stage regulators is that the working gas pressure you set will decrease as the cylinder pressure decreases; therefore, you must constantly monitor and reset the regulator if you require a fixed pressure and flow rate. Keeping the gas pressure and flow rate constant is too much to expect from a regulator that has to reduce the pressure of a full cylinder from 2,200 psig to 5 psig. This is where double-stage regulators solve the problem.
The double-stage regulator is similar in principle to the one-stage regulator. The main difference being that the total pressure drop takes place in two stages instead of one. In the high-pressure stage, the cylinder pressure is reduced to an intermediate pressure that was predetermined by the manufacturer. In the low-pressure stage, the pressure is again reduced from the intermediate pressure to the working pressure you have chosen. A typical double-stage regulator is shown in figure 4-9.
Regulators are precise and complicated pieces of equipment. Carelessness can do more to ruin a regulator than any other gas-using equipment. One can easily damage a regulator by simply forgetting to wipe clean the cylinder, regulator, or hose connections. When you open a high-pressure cylinder, the gas can rush into the regulator at the speed of sound. If there is any dirt present in the connections, it will be blasted into the precision-fitted valve seats, causing them to leak This results in a condition that is known as creep. Creep occurs when you shut of the regulator but not the cylinder and gas pressure is still being delivered to the low-pressure side.
Regulators are built with a minimum of two relief devices that protect you and the equipment in the case of regulator creep or high-pressure gas being released into the regulator all at once. All regulator gauges have blowout backs that release the pressure from the back of the gauge before the gauge glass explodes. Nowadays, most manufacturers use shatterproof plastic instead of glass.
The regulator body is also protected by safety devices. Blowout disks or spring-loaded relief valves are the two most common types of devices used. When a blowout disk ruptures, it sounds like a cannon. Spring- loaded relief valves usually make howling or shrieking like noises. In either case, your first action, after you recover from your initial fright, should be to turn off the cylinder valve. Remove the regulator and tag it for repair or disposal.
When opening a gas cylinder, you should just "crack" the valve a little. This should be done before attaching the regulator and every time thereafter. By opening the cylinder before connecting the regulator, you blow out any dirt or other foreign material that might be in the cylinder nozzle. Also, there is theContinue Reading