What Is a Manifold Valve and Its Common Types?

A manifold valve is a device that connects one or more block valves within a hydraulic system. The valves in a hydraulic system may include a few variations, those of which are ball, needle, bleed, and vent valves. With block and bleed manifolds, the aim is to ensure that the fluids from upstream do not come into contact with the components from downstream. This can be achieved by isolating the flow of fluids in the system.

As different applications require varying forms of blockage to control valve fluids from flowing, manifolds are usually sold with a particular number of valves based on the operation at hand. The most common types are 2-valve, 3-valve, and 5-valve configurations. With this in mind, the next section will cover each briefly to better understand their use.

To begin, 2-valve manifolds are typically utilized on gauge pressure transmitters where you must isolate the transmitter and vent the pressure off. Meanwhile, 3-valve manifolds find use on differential pressure transmitters where it is necessary to block each process connection or equalize two sensor diaphragms. Lastly, 5-valve manifolds are generally implemented on differential setups and offer the ability to block, equalize, and vent two process connections.

There are a number of styles that manifold valves are available with the functions of valve, some of which include integral, conventional, and in-line.

Integral Manifolds

Integral manifolds are designed to mount directly to a pressure transmitter that lacks a process flange. Additionally, there are two subtypes: traditional and coplanar variations. Traditional manifolds consist of a process connection that comes from the side of the manifold. Coplanar style manifolds, on the other hand, have the process connection coming in from the bottom. Both of these types are available in ½” and ¼” process connection sizes.

Conventional Manifolds

Conventional manifolds are made to be mounted on the side of a process flange instead of directly to the pressure transmitter’s sensor. These types of manifolds are preferred over their counterparts when you need to leave a manifold piped in line, allowing operators to easily remove the pressure transmitter for maintenance, replacement, or repair. Furthermore, process connection styles include ½” NPT and “Football” connections.

In-Line Manifolds

Lastly, in-line manifolds are utilized on “direct-connect” style transmitters. They are available as 2-valve, ½” NPT combinations with female and male connections. In some cases, they may also be called “block and bleed” manifolds.


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