What’s the Difference Between Maximum Allowable Working Pressure (MAWP) and Valve Operating Pressure?

What is Maximum Allowable Working Pressure (MAWP)?

The maximum allowable working pressure (MAWP) of a control valve (or regulator) is the highest amount of pressure the valve is rated to flow. If an operator forces the valve to flow pressure above the MAWP, the components—such as springs, diaphragms, o-rings, or the body itself—may fail.

Here are examples from three of our most popular products:

What is Valve Operating Pressure?

While the MAWP of a valve is a static number, the valve operating pressure is the range for a regulator or valve pilot. Some literature also refers to operating pressure as “set point pressure.”

Using our examples above:

  • The AAR Back Pressure Regulator has an operating pressure range of  10 psi – 300 psi. In this instance, the maximum allowable working pressure is at the top end of the operating pressure. However, this is not always the case.
  • The ECP High Pressure Control Valve alone does not have an operating pressure. The pilot controlling it dictates the operating pressure.
  • The AFZ 150 PG Pilot has an operating pressure range of 150 psi – 1500 psi.

If you have any questions regarding which valve, regulator, or pilot you need, reach out to your local Kimray store or authorized distributor and we can help you find the right one for your conditions.


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Breck Swigart serves as a Product Manager at Kimray, and is responsible for Kimray’s line of pneumatic valves, pneumatic pilots, regulators and temperature controllers. He collaborates with Kimray’s engineering, manufacturing, and quality teams to optimize the performance of our products and make a difference for our customers.

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