Engineering resources

We want you to view the Provoast Automation Controls website ( as a useful engineering website that can help you do your job. Along those lines, we have created a number of helpful downloads that are aimed at Pneumatic and Electronic automation. We will continue to add to this library of helpful tools over time so please visit our website regularly to see what is new.

The tools may be in the form of sizing software or various PDF’s that contain helpful information. All of the tools on our website are free of charge and you should feel free to pass along any items you find useful to your colleagues. Some of these tools have been created by us and some we have obtained from some of the manufacturers that we represent.


Valve manufacturers list their flow rating as Cv which is a unit less number that is basically intended to allow you to compare the flow of one valve to another. For example, a valve with a Cv of 10 will flow ten times as much as a valve with a Cv of 1.0. The actual flow output is impacted by factors such as the pressure you are operating at and the pressure drop across the valve depending on the device that you are operating in the application.

Many pneumatic devices list the flow required to operate them in a volume/time format. For example, a vacuum generator may require a flow of 14 scfm (Standard Cubic Feet per Minute) at a certain pressure to create the specified vacuum level. The Paculator is a program that we created that will help you to determine the proper size valve that is needed to meet a specific flow requirement or vice verse what flow a given Cv value is equal to. The Paculator allows you to change inputs such as Imperial or Metric units, pressure, and pressure drop depending on the application that you are trying to size.

The Paculator is a free “App” that you can download and put on your desktop. Follow the link to download it to your computer.

PAC Cylinder Sizer

Selecting the proper sized valve to meet the application requirements can be challenging at time. Actuator manufacturers do not list a flow requirement in their catalogs that is necessary to operate them since there are so many variables in an application. To further complicate the sizing question, valve manufacturers rate the flow of their valves by using a unit less number called Cv but nowhere will you find a cylinder manufacturer list what Cv is required to operate their products. Cv is calculated using a lengthy formula but a general rule of thumb is that for every 1.0 Cv at 80 psi with a 10 psi pressure drop you will flow approximately 28 scfm or Standard Cubic Feet per Minute.

Cylinder manufacturers commonly have sizing software on their websites that you can use and the actuator companies that we represent are no different. PHD, Bimba, and TRD all have some of the best sizing software in the industry on their websites to help you do this and we certainly recommend that you visit them.

The PAC Cylinder Sizer is a generic Excel spreadsheet that you can use to determine exactly what minimum Cv value you need to operate an actuator and it can be used with any brand of actuator. By inputting your application parameters - such as length of stroke, bore size, rod size, input pressure, and cycle time – you can determine the minimum Cv required to be successful in the application and you can easily change input parameters to make sure that the valve is sized correctly for a range of parameters. Click here to download the PAC Cylinder Sizer.

Chemical Compatibility Table

This table, provided by our liquid valve manufacturer (Spartan Scientific), is one of the best we have seen for evaluating the suitability of various materials that will be exposed to various chemicals. The chart pairs hundreds of chemicals with over 30 different materials commonly found in automated systems.

Chemical Compatibility Tubing

If you are concerned about chemical compatibility of a particular tubing, this detailed chart from Pneumadyne will help ensure that you pick the right material. For example, you will learn that Nylon is the preferred material for contact with Toluene.

Chart of Cylinder Speed Vs. Cv Factor

This helpful downloadable PDF gives you a general idea of what valve Cv rating your valve will require for a particular cylinder bore operating at a given speed. This chart is not as precise as our PAC Cylinder Sizer but it is simple and has been a handy resource for us since we started in business in 1992. Be sure to read the note at the bottom of the chart to ensure you arrive at a valve Cv required.

Chemical Resistance Cable Type Sensors

Cables for sensors and valves come in a variety of materials which can be confusing when trying to decide which material is best for the application. Balluff has developed a chart that will show you the Chemical Resistance of Polyurethane, Polyethylene, and Polyvinylchloride (PVC) cable material to a wide variety of chemicals. To download a PDF of this chart just click on the link.

Conversion Charts for Common U.S. measurements to Metric

We represent World Class companies that compete around the globe. Our Sales Engineers and Inside Sales personnel are comfortable in whatever engineering measurements you use, whether standard U.S. Measures or Metric.

Spartan Scientific has put together a conversion table that will allow you to convert common measurements used in the United States to their Metric equivalents or from Metric units to equivalents commonly used in the United States. These charts are for Dimensions, temperature, Tap Drill Sizes, Pipe Tap Drill sizes, Metric to Standard Conversions, Density, Force, & Pressure.

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