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Pneumatic Valve vs Electric Valve – What’s the Difference

Pneumatic Valve vs Electric Valve

Valves are crucial components in any machinery or system involving fluid or gas flow. They regulate the volume, pressure, and direction of flow. Though there are various valves, pneumatic and electric valves are two of the most commonly used in various industries. In this blog post, we’ll explore the differences between pneumatic and electric valves to help you make an informed decision while choosing the right valve for your application.

What is Pneumatic Valve?

Pneumatic valves use pressurized air or other gases to open and close a valve. This type of valve can be found in various applications, from industrial process control to medical equipment, and is characterized by its relatively low cost and ease of maintenance. While pneumatic valves offer excellent performance in many applications, they are unsuitable for high temperatures or hazardous environments.

What is Electric Valve?

An electric valve is a device used to control the flow of fluids, such as water, steam, oil or air. It consists of an actuator which drives a mobile throttle element within the valve body that opens or closes by varying the position of its inner gate. Electric valves are powered by electricity and are used in industrial settings for precise and reliable control functions. They can also be found in domestic settings, such as automated central heating systems, where they provide convenience and energy-saving capabilities.

Difference Between Pneumatic Valve and Electric Valve 


Pneumatic valves use compressed air or gas to control fluid or gas flow, while electric valves use an electric current to operate the valve. The electric valve requires an external power source, making it more suited for areas with a stable and clean power supply. On the contrary, pneumatic valves are generally less expensive and more straightforward to install but require an air compressor to power the valve.

Speed and Precision:

Electric valves are more precise and faster than pneumatic valves and can regulate fluid or gas flow in real-time. Moreover, electronic valves can be integrated with programmable logic controllers (PLCs) for faster and more accurate control. Conversely, pneumatic valves are slower than their electric counterparts and may need to be more accurate as they rely on air pressure.


When operating in hazardous environments such as chemical plants meant for explosive or corrosive materials, pneumatic valves are preferred to electric valves. This is because pneumatic valves do not produce electrical sparks that could ignite or lead to corrosion. In contrast, electric valves can produce electrical sparks or cause short circuits, leading to electric shocks that can be hazardous and may cause injuries.


Another factor to consider while choosing between pneumatic and electric valves is the application. Pneumatic valves are ideal for applications that require low to medium pressure, while electric valves are suitable for high-pressure applications. Electric valves are common in applications such as steam, gas, and other media that require high accuracy and quick response.


Pneumatic valves are generally easier to maintain than electric valves. They are less complex, require less technical expertise, and are suitable for harsh or dirty environments. On the other hand, electric valves can be more durable but tend to require more frequent maintenance. Electric valves often contain complex electronic components such as solenoids or sensors that can malfunction, thus requiring a more skilled technician’s attention.


In conclusion, when choosing between pneumatic and electric valves, it’s essential to consider the application, operating conditions, and the level of control accuracy required. While electric valves are more precise and faster, they require a steady power supply and can be more expensive. At the same time, pneumatic valves are more affordable and compatible with harsher environments. The valve choice ultimately depends on your specific application requirements and the environment in which the valve will be installed.

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