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What Is Flow Control?

What is Flow Control?

It does exactly what it says on the tin…

In this first blog in our new series, we ask “What is flow control”?

There are a number of definitions and products and it can all get quite complicated but basically, it means exactly what it says: a way of controlling the flow (in this case – of water in all its forms).

Why should we want to control water flow?

For centuries, rivers (as a key example) have been very important to human society. Trying to control river flow has been a key part of civil engineering. This is especially true because of the need to avoid natural flooding and the desire to take advantage of the benefits that flood plains offer agriculture. In fact, flow-control structures have existed for thousands of years and some structures built by the Chinese have been in use for over 2,000 years. There are even some flow control devices dating back to 7th century BC in Mesopotamia…

What flow might we want to control?

As well as basic agriculture, flow control is now used in many different applications including:

  • water and wastewater treatment plants
  • sewers
  • industrial effluent plants
  • flood control projects
  • waterways
  • hydro-electric plants

For example – a series of concrete piers installed in a spillway to slow down the descending water so that it does not cause damage to the structure would be classed as Flow Control. This could be seen as a modern example Flow Control, Although the oldest known dam (Sadd el-Kafara) was built in the third millennium BC so ‘modern’ might be somewhat misleading!

What do we use, nowadays?

Obviously, in today’s technological age, design of Flow Control devices has progressed at a pace and the key items used currently are:

  • Penstocks
  • Valves
  • Flap valves
  • Stop logs
  • Bellmouths

IBS supply a range of flow control equipment designed and manufactured in strict accordance with the latest issue of DIN 19704 – Hydraulic Steel Structures, whilst also ensuring that our products meet the requirements of the most recent issue of BS 7775.

The IBS group have been supplying these items extensively throughout Europe since 1994, meaning that we have 25 years’ experience in their design and manufacture. We work closely with consultants, contractors, and government agencies to ensure that they receive the best possible advice when designing their projects.

Look out for our next blog in this new series, where we will examine each of the 5 major flow control products and see if – how – we use them to help our customers.

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