The piston valve has remained tight for 100 years

Discover the centennial success of the KLINGER KVN piston valve: a reliable and cost-effective solution for industrial plants worldwide.

Richard Klinger's piston valve invention laid the foundation for the valve industry and has made a significant contribution to the company's success for 100 years. With millions of users worldwide, the KVN piston valve has become an indispensable part of industrial plants, providing minimal maintenance and cost savings.

We usually make a toast to good health and a long life when a celebrant reaches the 100-year mark. In the case of the KLINGER KVN piston valve, the temptation is to toast to another 100 years of tightness: the flagship product from Gumpoldskirchen has now proven itself for a century as a reliable solution wherever the highest tightness requirements apply.


Contacts mentioned in the article:

Discover the KVN piston valve



Not only external elegance but also technical know-how deserves a place on the pedestal of the KVN piston valve.
Not only external elegance but also technical know-how deserves a place on the pedestal of the KVN piston valve.

Fire proof and suitable for oxygen applications

Early on in the history of the piston valve, their main application lay in steam rail traffic and the marine industries (see also the interview with Christoph Klinger-Lohr on this page). Today, the areas of application of the KLINGER KVN piston valve have expanded enormously: Whether in areas where fire resistance counts, for oxygen approvals, or for keeping the air clean — the traditional product is in use in millions and comes in different connection types (flanges, sockets, internally fitted, and welded on) and designs worldwide.


An exhibition in 1923 praises the high quality of the KLINGER piston valve.
An exhibition in 1923 praises the high quality of the KLINGER piston valve.

Minimal maintenance effort

The KVN piston valve scores with minimal maintenance and significant cost savings. Sophisticated technology makes this possible: the sealing element is formed by a stainless steel piston, which is enclosed by two elastic valve rings. The upper valve ring ensures tightness to the atmosphere, while the lower ring reliably provides sealing in the bore. The large sealing surface of the valve rings thus results in optimal sealing. The pistons of the KVN VIII series, DN 65 to 200, are produced with a pressure-balanced design in order to enable smooth operation even at high differential pressures. Upon closing of the valve, the piston pushes any impurities that may be in the medium from the inside of the lower valve ring. As a consequence, even contaminated media can be reliably sealed off, preventing damage to the sealing surface.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

  • Can the piston valve be automated?
    In a specially designed model, the KVN piston valve can be automated electrically or pneumatically with an attached actuator.

  • Can the piston valve be overhauled during operation?
    The KVN piston valve can be overhauled without dismantling it from the pipeline.

  • What pourable compound is the housing of the piston valve made of?
    The housing of the KVN piston valve is made of gray cast iron, nodular cast iron, cast steel, or rust and acid-resistant cast steel.

Valves: meeting industrial standards

Over time, sealing materials have been adapted to relevant industry standards. However, the tried-and-tested operating principle of the sealing system is still in use today. With the KVN piston valve, Richard Klinger succeeded in inventing the classic industrial valve and laying the foundation for its pioneering role in piston valve technology. We thus also wish for the celebrant to remain an indispensable part of industrial plants for many years to come!

And in this vein we say: Happy Birthday!


The development of the piston valve over the course of a century.
The development of the piston valve over the course of a century.

Christoph Klinger-Lohr, CEO of the KLINGER Group

Interview: 3 questions for

Christoph Klinger-Lohr
CEO of the KLINGER Group

  • The KVN piston valve turns 100 this year. How did the idea for the valve come about?
    It all started with the patent for a "miracle door". On November 8, 1888, my great-great-grandfather Richard Klinger, together with the engineer Victor Würth from Pfaffstätten, applied for a patent for a revolutionary invention: "A single-leaf door that can be opened either from right to left or from left to right, however not from both sides at the same time.” This patent was never officially appraised, and yet the reliable opening and closing of valves still forms the basis for the global success of the KLINGER brand to this day.

  • Where was the first spool valve used?
    Richard Klinger was a pioneer and visionary and maintained good contact with manufacturers and operators of steam engines. He noticed they had an ongoing problem with shut-off valves, and with this he could see the potential of his invention. The first applications were therefore wherever there was steam—particularly in the areas of ocean-based shipping and the railways.

  • What speaks for the great success of this product?
    The piston valve shaped KLINGER as a manufacturer of valves early on. It laid the foundation for KLINGER's success as a valve manufacturer since it made broader branding possible and helped strengthen the KLINGER brand enormously. An absolute quality feature is also the continuous production at the main location in Gumpoldskirchen — which means it has always been at home here. Design adjustments and innovations were also made here. I see it as a great achievement to always produce at the same location. That speaks for high quality from Austria! Later, KLINGER Brazil also received the license to manufacture our piston valve as a second production site.

Discover the KVN piston valve


Fact box

Did you know …

  • … the KLINGER KVN piston valve has excellent regulating properties and is reliably tight both internally as well as to the outside and therefore complies with the EN 12266-1 standard — Leak rate A?
  • ... both steam-condensate alternating operation and temperature shock operation are suitable areas of application for the KLINGER KVN piston valve?
  • … the special versions of the KLINGER KVN piston valve for oxygen applications (free of oil and grease), TA-Luft, end position detection (mechanical and inductive), are available in a regulating version with an ISO flange or with a heating jacket for the actuator assembly?

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