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Directional control valve options

Learn about different directional valve designs

Topics and outcomes

Expected outcomes: Understand the different types of directional valve with examples of the issues and how they are used.

Level: 2-4 Novice to improver

Topic covered: Check valve ciruits

  • 2 way 2 position valves
  • 3 way 2 position valves
  • 4 way 3 position valves
  • Importance of loads on valve selection

Check valve load holding experiment

load holding check valve circuit

Question: What function does a check valve perform?

Experiment: Open circuit Directional/1_Check Valve Testing. Operate the solenoid valve to understand how the check valve and circuit control the cylinder. (Note! Lowering starting can take longer than real life)

Experiment Link

4 way 3 position valve experiments

4 way valve circuit

< Question: How important are actuator loads in valve selection?

Experiment: Open Directional/6_4way 3posn Valve. Click on the cylinder rod to see the loads on the actuator. Cylinder friction is set to 1000N e.g. 3-4 bar seal friction.

Experiment Link

Question: Why is seal friction useful?

Experiment: Reduce the seal friction to 10N and observe what happens. Move the test gauge to see where the pressure comes from and consider why the cylinder moves.

Experiment Link

Question: Do loads consist of a mass or force?

Experiment: Loads can be a mass * gravity, for set cylinder angle or a +/- force. This simulation does not calculate acceleration forces or reflected mass but you will need a proportional valve if operating at the highest speeds.

Experiment Link

Question: Will directional valves support all loads?

Experiment: Observe what happens when you increase the mass to 2000kg, then change the angle to 90.

Experiment Link

Question: What pressure does the load generate?

Experiment: Move the test gauge over the directional valve. Raise and lower the cylinder and read the A and B line pressures.

Experiment Link

Question: How do forces differ from mass loads?

Experiment: Change the force to both positive and negative values. Compare load pressure with calculated mass equivalent.

Experiment Link

Question: Which center condition is best?

Experiment: Click the directional valve and change the center condition using the drop-down menu. Explore how each type performs with different loads.

Experiment Link