Alexandra Trevino Valves May 10th, 2019 - 13:50:50
Why do people use titanium valves anyway? It has been found that by lessening the valve weight of an engine, there is a big impact on the reliability of an engine, as well as its performance and longevity. There have been studies that showed the performance of an engine that has steel valves compared to one that has titanium ones. Based on the sound, an engine that has titanium ones is able to accelerate a lot more smoothly. This is due to the ability of the valve springs to keep what they call the "valvetrain" under control. When the valve weight is reduced, valve springs also tend to last a lot longer, and the lifters of the engine also become more reliable. Not to mention, engines that are overhauled and fitted with valves made of titanium look a lot better than those with steel valves do. When people also use titanium valves, they will see visible results. They will be able to see that there is less wear and tear on what is called the "camshaft drive", whether it is a belt, gears, or chain.
In most places right now, the non-rising stem as well as the rising stem valve are two of the commonly used valves. The valve is known as the rising stem is recognized through its string shaft that is turned by a handle located in the middle. The shaft is raised up when the handlebar is revolved. It rises when the valve is released and when the valve is shut, it drops down. Therefore, it is easier to know the valve shaft's length placement above.
In order to achieve the best performance of valves, manufactures must take many important design factors into consideration. These factors include actuator or positioner design, valve response time, valve type and sizing, and dead band.
The 4th valve solves some problems and adds others. The 4th valve adds 38.08 inches of tubing in the case of our 100" instrument. This is a substitute for the 1-3 combination as the 4th valve has the correct amount of tubing to be in-tune. Likewise, the 4-2 combination produces a pitch more in-tune than 1-2-3 as it only lacks about 2.54 inches of tubing from the theoretical length. So this is great, now we have all of the seven common combinations relatively in tune right? This is true, however, this 4th valve grants access to a range which three valve instruments cannot reach. When using combinations with the 4th valve, euphoniums can reach notes such as D below the staff, a note which is not possible using three valves. Now we get to the curse of the 4th valve. When using the 4th valve in combination with other valves to reach these low notes, the problem described above compounds on itself even further. To lower the pitch a whole step after depressing the 4th valve, 19.02" must be added in addition to the length of the 4th valve. Generally, the first valve would lower the pitch by a whole step, but remember the length of the first valve tubing? 13.77 inches. Again, this problem compounds as more valves are depressed. Using the 1-2-3-4 combination, which using the half-step definitions of the valves, should provide a B natural a half step above pedal Bb. However, the length of tubing for a low B natural is a whopping 203.38 inches! The combined length of all four valves only equates to 173.22 inches... Thats only enough for a slightly sharp C! Thats right, that means that B natural is not possible (without lipping from the performer) on a non-compensating 4 valve euphonium.
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In standard valves, when it is given a command to open to a certain point, there is no feedback to verify that the valve has opened to that position. With a valve positioner, the command is given and the valve positioner reads the opening, verifying the position and readjusting until it gets it to the exact position needed. This allows for great precision in the adjustment.