One must be aware of the environment when choosing a regulator. Some materials will work better than others based on humidity, chemical exposure, sunlight, and temperature. Not only do you have to be concerned with the type of gas being controlled, but the environment can be equally important. Pressure regulators can be made from a variety of materials, depending on the application and the type of gas or fluid being regulated. Some common materials include:
- Brass: Brass is a popular material for pressure regulators because it is relatively inexpensive, durable, and corrosion-resistant.
- Stainless steel: Stainless steel is often used for pressure regulators that will be exposed to corrosive gases or liquids. It is also resistant to high temperatures and has a long lifespan. This material is often used for applications near or on the ocean and in washdown environments.
- Aluminum: Aluminum is lightweight and corrosion-resistant, making it a good choice for pressure regulators that will be used in portable applications. Most aluminum components are epoxy painted to increase resistance to corrosion. Some may be impregnated to help eliminate any leakage that may be caused by porosity in castings.
- Diecast Zinc: Diecast zinc is generally stronger and more durable than cast aluminum. It has a higher hardness and tensile strength, which makes it better able to withstand high pressure and impact loads. On the other hand, cast aluminum is lighter and has better heat dissipation properties.
- Engineered Polymers: Some pressure regulators are made from plastic materials such as polycarbonate. Plastic regulators are often used in applications where the gas or fluid being regulated is not corrosive or high-pressure and where cost may be a concern.
Environmental factors such as extreme temperatures, humidity, chemical exposure, and sunlight can affect the performance of a pressure regulator. These factors can cause the regulator to malfunction or deteriorate, resulting in safety issues or decreased efficiency. It is important to choose a pressure regulator that is appropriate for the specific environmental conditions in which it will be used.