Automotive Air Conditioning Expansion Valve
The expansion valve is located in the inlet tube, of the evaporator, or in the liquid line, between the outlet of the condenser, and the inlet of the evaporator. The point at which the expansion valve can be located is in the area between the outlet condenser and the inlet of the evaporator that suddenly makes a change from hot to cold. Small dimples are usually also a sign to where the expansion valve is, which are used to keep it from moving around. Most expansion tubes measure three inches in length and are made out of a small brass tube, surrounded with plastic, and covered with a filter screen at both ends. Having small debris get caught in these tubes is not uncommon which is why it is a good idea to install a larger pre filter in front of the expansion valve to minimize clogging. Expansion valve filters act like a small filter and restrictor inside the air conditioning system. The expansion valve works by letting coolant gas pass through the small mesh screens of the tube which trap debris such as metal shavings that come from normal wear and tear of the compressor. The expansion valve works closely with the compressor to limit the amount of refrigerant that enters things such as the evaporator. The expansion valve also helps lower refrigerant pressure before it enters the evaporator to help improve cabin heat absorption. When heated refrigerant enters this device it experiences partial vaporization and expansion.
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