Afrox’s new generation gas pressure regulator a world first

Afrox is launching the most technologically advanced and engineered gas pressure regulator to hit the global industrial market. Called SMOOTHFLOTM, the regulator embodies unique and innovative features which ensure its market leading status worldwide.

"SMOOTHFLOTM represents years of research and development investment, clearly demonstrating Afrox's total commitment to being a leader in the gas equipment market," says Lourens Le Roux, Afrox’s Product Manager for Gas Equipment.

The SMOOTHFLOTM regulator is being launched in South Africa and thereafter to European, North American and Australian markets. "This is a truly South African developed, designed and engineered product, manufactured locally, to global standards which set new heights in the global gas pressure regulator market," says Lourens Le Roux. "SMOOTHFLOTM is the new industry benchmark, incorporating all the elements of modern technologies and safety features demanded by the mining, fabrication, manufacturing, shipbuilding, railways and automotive industries."

“We’re proud to be a world class technology exporter, rather than purely a product importer,” says Le Roux. This latest offering to the world market follows in the wake of the thousands of Afrox Series 8500 multi-stage regulators produced and exported by Afrox’s Gas Equipment Factory annually.

With safety being a key driver of the new design, the easy-to-operate SMOOTHFLOTM is one of the safest gas regulators in its class. The break-off inlet stem is designed to ensure that should a cylinder and regulator be accidently impacted by a fall, the high performing excess-flow valve will automatically safely seal off gas discharge from the cylinder into the atmosphere.

Other safety features include a piston-embedded safety valve that eliminates the need for a diaphragm. Piston-driven technology produces excellent pressure stability at higher flow rates, which allows an operator to achieve greater gas cutting speeds. The ability to go from zero to maximum operating pressure in just three turns reduces the amount of set-up time required.

The mirror configuration of the SMOOTHFLOTM regulators prevents hose overlap and reduces the potential risk of oxygen/acetylene fires. The panel mounted gauges are unique to this pressure regulator. As a result of being an integral part of the regulator, this efficient and patented design improves safety and reduces potential pressure gauge damage.

The outer casing of the gas pressure regulator is manufactured from a robust, impactresistant and fire retardant nylon-based material and affords ultimate pressure gauge protection. In addition, the outer casing serves as a tamper-proof feature, since any attempts to tamper with the gauges or regulator components would immediately be evident.

A unique lever-activated encapsulated valve with Dynamic Quadflow Stability Control technology (DQSC) offers a high level of pressure stability and reduces internal forces, for improved life and performance of the regulator.

“One of the most exciting features of this new hybrid product is the fact that multi-stage-like performance is achieved from a single-stage regulator,” comments Le Roux. “The SMOOTHFLOTM incorporates new technology in the encapsulated valve, harnessing the principle of mechanical advantage, in conjunction with piston technology that replaces the conventional diaphragm.

This is the first time that this combination of technologies has been applied to an industrial regulator, resulting in improved pressure stability across the entire working pressure range.

The SMOOTHFLOTM gas pressure regulator is backed by more than 50 years of Afrox competency in designing gas equipment, and is ISO 2503 and AS 4267 certified. The patented design has been oxygen ignition tested as well as promoted oxygen ignition tested by international inspection body Apragaz. Product certification to these standards was witnessed by TÜV Rheinland SA..