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Tri-flow valves limit vacuum leakage in systems where some of the vacuum cups may not be in sealing contact with the workpiece.
 
Tri-flow valves are a cross between a flow sensor valve and a dual-flow valve. Tri-flow valves are fully open until the flow sensor section closes at the factory preset vacuum flow rate. When closed, a bypass orifice meters vacuum flow to limit leakage to a manageable rate. Workpiece release is accomplished by removing the vacuum source and admitting atmospheric air which also resets any tri-flow valves that have closed to the open position.
 
Tri-flow valves can handle greater porosity flow than dual-flow valves since they’re initially held open. Another advantage of the tri-flow valve is the metering orifice is protected by an integral filter for greater tolerance of contamination.
 
 
The normal way to set up a vacuum system using vacuum cups equipped with tri-flow valves is to bring the vacuum cups into contact with the workpiece and then turn on the vacuum source. Non-sealing cups will leak and cause the associated tri-flow valve to close to orifice flow only. Tri-flow valves on vacuum cups in sealing contact with the workpiece will remain fully open to handle higher porosity flow rates (normal leakage through the part) than dual-flow valves can.
 
For a system handling non-porous parts, operation can be as described above or the vacuum source may be turned on before the vacuum cups are in sealing contact with the workpiece. Tri-flow valves can pass vacuum flow through the metering orifice to establish vacuum within the vacuum cups after they are placed in sealing contact with the work piece. At this point, the tri-flow valves will reset to fully open. This feature is also convenient for use in vacuum holding fixtures. This capability is the only advantage of tri-flow valves over flow sensor valves.
 
For mid to high porosity parts, we recommend using flow sensor valves where the closing set point can be adjusted to suit the application.

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