Skip to main content

CASE STUDY – Research and Academia

Oxford flow regulator enables the latest jet-engine innovation

Oxford Flow has enabled universities in the US and Korea to develop cutting edge jet-engine technology.

The clients

Pusan National University (Korea) and Virginia Tech (US), two of the largest gas turbine research laboratories in the
world, invited Oxford Flow to offer a solution for controlling
pressures in their latest jet engine research facilities.

The challenge

Professor Changmin Son, Rolls Royce Commonwealth Professor in Energy Engineering and Science at Virginia Tech, and formally of Pusan National University (PNU), explains the unique demands: “We were looking for a faster acting pressure regulator for our new transonic annular sector cascade.  Conventional pressure regulators are not fast enough.” The PNU blow-down facility is fed by a 10 bara air tank, which is discharged through the facility at 7 kg/s. The pressure at the test section must be maintained at 5 bara to within +/- 0.1%. The useful part of the test lasts no longer than 3 seconds, an incredibly short time to achieve stable and accurate pressure regulation.  This application was deemed too challenging for competitor pressure reducing valves (PRVs). The lack of any product on the market has resulted in reduced operational and cost effectiveness of the test facilities.

Pusan National University pipe network feeding Annular Sector Cascade. 6” IHF centre, bottom



The IHF gas regulator offers an even higher level of stability, accuracy, and performance in a wide range of applications in transmission pipelines, process facilities and power generation.

“The Oxford Flow regulator has met our requirements and also our expectations.  It is very satisfactory in all aspects, including the technical support from staff. I would definitely recommend Oxford Flow.”

Professor Changmin Son – Rolls-Royce Commonwealth Professor Virginia Tech

The solution: Oxford Flow’s high performance IHF valve

After seeing the success of Oxford Flow technology to control multimillion dollar jet-engine research facilities at the university of Oxford, Professor Changmin Son approved a 6 month trial of an Oxford Flow IHF Series PRV at PNU in September 2018. The Oxford Flow team modelled the PNU research facility, devising a combination of 6” Oxford Flow IHF Series PRV and bypass nozzle in order to achieve the desired accuracy, stability and speed requirements. 

From day one, the Oxford Flow IHF Series valve performed exceptionally well in this extremely challenging operating environment, able to achieve the required ultrahigh accuracy of +/- 0.1%, with inlet pressure decaying at a phenomenal 0.5 bar/s.  The test engineers were amazed with the performance. “The Oxford Flow regulator has met our requirements and also our expectations. It is very satisfactory in all aspects including the technical support from staff. I would definitely recommend Oxford Flow,” said Professor Changmin Son. A further benefit of the Oxford Flow design is that the pressure can be set precisely before the test, vastly reducing turnaround time and increasing test frequency.

The results

The Oxford Flow IHF was purchased after only 2 months of the six month trial. Following successful campaigns at PNU, the unit was transferred to a similar test facility at Virginia Tech where it joins the other IHF valves in serivce around the world as a key part of modern laboratory infrastructure.


  • Superior control accuracy and stability
  • Perfect for large supply pressure variation
  • Dramatically reduced weight
  • Modular design for redily customisable installation
  • Minimal maintenance