A thermal expansion valve (often abbreviated as TEV, TXV or TX valve) is a component in refrigeration and air conditioning systems that controls the amount of refrigerant flow into the evaporator thereby controlling the superheating at the outlet of the evaporator. Thermal expansion valves are often referred to generically as "metering devices".
Flow control, or metering, of the refrigerant is accomplished by use of a temperature sensing bulb filled with a similar gas as in the system that causes the valve to open against the spring pressure in the valve body as the temperature on the bulb increases. As the suction line temperature decreases, so does the pressure in the bulb and therefore on the spring causing the valve to close. An air conditioning system with a TX valve is often more efficient than other designs that do not use one.