We’re surrounded by interesting engineering, but some of it is sealed inside a housing, away from easy inspection. A case in point; the humble gas regulator. It’s in equipment all around us, from a propane grill to welding gear. It’s a sealed unit — have you ever seen the inside, to know how it really works? Well thanks to [FarmCraft101], we get to do just that, in the video after the break.
To let the cat out of the bag, it’s essentially a hydraulic lever. A large diaphragm is pressurized by the low pressure side of the regulator, and is held back by a spring. When the pressure compared to ambient atmosphere is high enough to overcome the spring tension, the lever is tilted, closing the high pressure valve. Hence, pressure is determined by spring strength. We also get a look at how the system can fail — in this case it seemed to be some grit interfering with the valve. We find hidden engineering to be supremely satisfying, particularly when we get to understand it so clearly as we do here. Enjoy!