The Basics of Control Valves in a Hydraulic System

In hydraulic systems, the liquid used must be mostly incompressible, or very dense. For a variety of applications, utilizing a liquid to move machinery is more desirable than drier methods. Using a liquid will not cause the same type of wear on the system, and also will not require as many moving parts. Additionally, motion is more precise and the equipment will run much smoother than it would with more mechanic means.

Generally, hydraulic valves are classified based on their functions, including pressure, flow and directional control vales; or based on their control mechanisms, such as, on/off, servo, and proportional electrohydraulic valves. Hydraulic valves can also be classified based on their structures, such as spool, poppet, and needle valves. A hydraulic valve controls a fluid power system by opening and closing the flow-passing area of the valve.

Fluid power systems are adaptable in a variety of applications depending the on the working environment and task. For example, in industrial applications, a major concern is the noise level. Typically, a noise level below 70dB is desirable. Industrial fluid power systems commonly operate in the low (below 7 MPa or 1000 psi) to moderate (below 21 MPa or 3000 psi) pressure range and operate at a low noise level.

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