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  1. Orifice Restrictors – Types and Applications

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    Black orifice restrictor in a medical ventilator

    Black orifice restrictor vented to the atmosphere provides a controlled leak rate in the circuit.

    Orifice restrictors regulate the flow of air, gases, or liquids in a variety of applications, from pneumatic control systems to coffeemakers. They are designed and manufactured with precision holes to reduce pressure and control flow. Orifice restrictors are available as individual devices or in assemblies, kits, restrictors, or restrictor valves.

    Learn more about the different types of orifice restrictors, the materials they are made from, and the industries and applications where they are used.

    Types of Orifice Restrictors

    Air Logic offers orifice restrictors:

    • Molded orifices: These are our most popular designs. Molded orifices are the simplest way to provide flow control, and the different diameter sizes are color-coded.
    • Orifice Inserts: Subset of molded orifices, smallest option, no tubing required, push into an assembly
    • Filter orifices: These types of orifices are used to reduce upstream contamination. The integrated stainless steel filter in the precision-molded orifice can be customized for specialized applications.
    • Threaded orifices: With threaded fittings, these orifices can be easily installed into the pipeline. They are available in polysulfone material and can be customized.
    • Directional flow controls: These orifices use disks to restrict the flow of material in one direction and allow flow in the other. The flow adjusts automatically depending on the direction of the flow.

    Orifice Restrictor Applications

    Orifice restrictors are crucial devices in numerous applications. Find out more about them below.


    Orifice restrictors play an important role in many medical devices. These orifices need to provide high levels of reliability and meet hygienic standards. Common devices and equipment that use orifice restrictors include:

    • Analgesia equipment: This device administers a mild inhalation anesthetic for sedation. It relies on orifice restrictors for proper flow management.
    • Anesthesia machines: Anesthesia machines use sanitary orifice restrictors to control flow.
    • Diagnostic equipment: When diagnostic equipment needs to regulate the flow of a liquid or gas, an orifice restrictor is used.
    • Environmental controls: Medical laboratories demand strict environmental controls to minimize the risk of contamination. Certain pieces of equipment that control air variables depend on orifice restrictors.
    • Dental equipment: When administrating nitrous oxide, dental equipment uses orifice restrictors to control the rate of flow.
    • Gas control systems: From oxygen respirators to nitrogen-powered surgical tools, the medical industry relies heavily on gas control systems. Orifice restrictors properly manage gas flows and pressures.
    • Gurneys & hospital beds: State-of-the-art gurneys and hospital beds have orifice restrictors to control airflow.
    • Hydraulic pneumatic control systems: From research labs to pharmaceutical manufacturing, hydraulic pneumatic control systems are found throughout the medical industry. These systems depend on orifice restrictors to regulate flows of different media.

    Consumer Products

    If a consumer product requires the flow of liquid or gas, there is a reasonable chance that an orifice restrictor can be found in its components. From coffeemakers to CBD/THC distillation products to chemical cleaning products to ozone cleaners, the average American household is full of orifice restrictors. While many consumer products use orifice restrictors to manage flow rates and pressure drops, they can also help prevent cavitation and reduce noise levels.

    Life Science

    The life science industry is full of machinery and equipment that depend on orifice restrictors. Much like the medical industry, high levels of sanitation are required. Common devices that utilize orifice restrictors include:

    • Analytical machines: Analytical machines that need to regulate the flow and pressure of gas or liquids incorporate orifice restrictors.
    • Bioreactors: Bioreactors are used in countless applications, including processing food, feed, pharmaceuticals, and chemicals. All of these will need to control pressure and flow to varying degrees, so they use orifice restrictors.
    • Gas detection: Gas detection systems need air to easily flow without causing problems related to pressure or cavitation. Many gas detection devices incorporate orifice restrictors for adequate functionality and longevity.
    • Flow cytometry: Flow cytometry is a sophisticated technique that provides a multi-parametric analysis of individual cells. In addition to using lasers and strategic light sources, this technology relies on orifice restrictors to control the flow of media.
    • Luminescence immunoassay analyzer: This device is used to detect the presence and concentration of specific substances in a sample. Common media include blood or urine. To control the flow of the medium and regulate pressure, this machinery uses orifice restrictors.
    • Electrophoresis: Electrophoresis is a common technique used to separate RNA, DNA, or protein molecules based on their electrical charge and size. This is achieved by moving the molecules through a gel or other type of matrix. Many electrophoresis machines use orifice restrictors to manage the flows and pressures of used media.

    Flow Measurement

    Orifice restrictor plates accomplish pressure management and flow measurement. This is done by utilizing the Bernoulli principle: the pressure downstream of an obstruction (the orifice restrictor) is lower than the pressure upstream of the obstruction. With the proper engineering and design, an orifice restrictor can be used to create reliable flow measurements.

    Inkjet Printing

    Inkjet printing relies on the controlled flow of ink. Sophisticated inkjet printers may apply additional materials such as enamel and other coatings. No matter the complexity of the inkjet printer, there is a good chance that it uses an orifice restrictor.


    Nozzles use orifice restrictors to regulate both pressure and volumetric flow to meet specifications.

    Pneumatic Controls

    Unlike electronic controls, pneumatic control systems utilize compressed air. The compressed air system can send and receive signals to control an overall system. Orifice restrictors are a key component.

    Particle Counting Devices

    Particle counters are critical safety devices that are used in numerous applications, such as cleanrooms and other sensitive manufacturing environments. They test the room air for contaminants and other potentially harmful particles. As the device relies on the movement and flow of air, orifice restrictors are a crucial part of their design.

    Orifice Restrictors From Air Logic

    Air Logic is a leading provider of process flow products, including filters, check valves, relief valves, regulators, switches, fittings, and orifice restrictors. Our more than eighty years of success in the industry can be attributed to one common factor: quality.

    If you have any questions about our capabilities, contact us. If you already have a project in mind, feel free to request a quote today.

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