The High Purity Regulator
Industrial or technical pressure reducing regulators are made to fulfil other quality standards than commonly used in laboratory surroundings. Saving on cost often means saving on quality as well. To give you an idea, high purity (HP) pressure regulators have a gas purity of up to 6.0. Standard regulators do not meet this. They go mostly up to 4.0. For the production of HP regulators virgin material is used, Hastelloy diaphragms are used, special sealing materials are used, and surfaces are made extra smooth. For a standard regulator this goes a bit different; high-quality surface finishes are not on the TO DO list and Hastelloy diaphragms are also not commonly used. These extras are experienced as ‘too expensive’ in industrial uses.
The connections for standard regulators are plumber standard one could call it. Foer HP regulators these are gas tight and high performance connections. The pressure gauges are also special safety versions and highly accurate, unlike with the standard regulators these are of the industrial grade.
HP regulators are cleaned in ultrasound baths. They are 12 hours helium tested, and 100% on control. Standard regulators are tested to be leak tight and that is about it. Sometimes a pressure test is added, depending on the application. Also for shipment the HP regulator is treated like a princess, in welded foil, foam protected, and the In/Out connectors dust proof closed. Standard regulators are packed in a plastic bag, sealed, and put in a carton box, ready to leave.
And these differences are not strange. When the application does not require the high gas purity, a very precise measurement, or the gas does not need the smooth surface or the dust-free connection, why then pay for it? It would be the same, when you would use Ultra High Purity instrumentation in your facility. You would also be spending money in the wrong places.
Our message is to not overspend on quality & performance you do not need AND do not try to lose on quality & performance just to save on price. Often you save on the capital expenditure, though you need to pay it back in x-fold in the operational expenditure. It goes by the English saying “penny wise, pound foolish”.
When you plan to make an investment, make sure your quality standard are conform the market standard, to be on the safe side fir your staff and your facility!