Functions of Control Valves in Hydraulic Systems

Blog | March 15th, 2016

In order to manipulate unwieldy mechanical assemblies, we employ hydraulic systems, a hefty amount of fluid-dominated engineering wizardry. The mechanical assets are moved by pistons and the fluids that power these parts are regulated by special devices that modulate pressure and/or flow rate. Control valves in hydraulic systems achieve this goal by leveraging a specific set of operating characteristics. The fluid regulating devices function as pure ON/OFF switches, allowing pressure to vent to separate branches. They also function as proportional control elements, opening in degrees to vary the load-carrying characteristics of key output stages, perhaps on a mobile crane.

Actualizing Characteristics

Different valves deliver entirely different operating characteristics. The bulk of these energy-regulating devices are manufactured as “Normally Closed” channels, meaning they need to be actualized in order for the valve to reach its energized “Open” setting, at which point the main pressure line is released. The “Normally Open” class reverses this operating dynamic, keeping the output stage actualized until the unit is energized. Of course, modern control valves in hydraulic systems employ greater latitude. Cartridge systems and modular fixtures replace older fixed variants, which adds dual-flow properties, variable opening attributes, and a number of additional input/output ports to the device.

Functions of Fluid Regulating Devices

In employing the different switching configurations and flow characteristics of the valves, countless tasks become possible. Valves open as a part of a binary process to reach a maximum pressure and start a mechanical sequence. Directional control valves close one branch and activate another or change the feedback characteristics of a fluid loop to direct the fluid elsewhere. Speed is addressed by multiple spool settings and the incorporation of a pressure regulating element, and all of these parts work in tandem, feeding off of each other to carry out single output tasks or sequential operations. In controlling the controller, electric power directs an energized coil (solenoid) to open the valve. If electricity isn’t on the cards, the pilot pressure of a pneumatic or secondary hydraulic line is employed.

The tubes and pipes of a fluid energy process are regulated by control valves in hydraulic systems, devices that change the direction, flow rate and pressure of a particular section of the network. Analogous to electrical control elements, the actualized mechanical valves open or close to move loads, push pistons and articulate multi-segmented assemblies, acting as the fluid-controlled elements that manipulate everything from digger scoops to commercial jet aircraft undercarriages.

Mobile Hydraulic Specialties Pty Ltd

Factory 89, 38-40 Popes Road
Keysborough, Victoria, 3173

Phone: (03) 9798-6511

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