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Basics of Directional Control Valves

Changing the direction of flowing air between a cylinder requires a directional control valve. Parts in these valves allow for a disconnect and connect internal flow passage. This is all done within the body of the valve. End actions give users total control of the direction of airflow. Pneumatic Valves

Typically, a directional control valve is a valve body with four internalized passages for flowing air (inside the sliding spool and valve body). By shifting the spool alternately, it creates a connection to the cylinder port, which is responsible for supplying pressure. When the spool is in position, supply pressure is directly connected to A and B ports and exhaust ports, which forces cylinder to extend. When the spool is in the other extreme position, supply pressure is reversed to get the cylinder to retract. Directional control valves that are used in circuits allow for a cylinder’s piston to have work performed, to be extended, and retracted. 

Flow paths, under various operating conditions, help to classify directional Control Valves (DCVs). Other important considerations include the individual number of ports, the total number of flow paths, and how the internal connections of ports work.

  1. Two-way directional valves give users on-off functions
  2. Three-way directional valves pressurize and exhaust a single actuator port
  3. Four-ways designs are the most commonly used directional valve. It is frequently used to cause reversible motions
  4. Five-ports are like four-way valves, except for the fact that five-ports offer individual exhaust ports. 

Pneumatic Valves

We sell a full line of pneumatic valves, pneumatic timers, and pneumatic indicators.


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If you are looking for Pneumatic Controls, Pneumatic Valves then look no further than Ellis/Kuhnke Controls.