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Choosing hydraulic valves – new and replacement ben lee

There are four main types of hydraulic valves that Hydraproducts offer, all of which are compliant with CETOP standards.  Hydraulic valves that are recognised by CETOP are interchangeable within most types of hydraulic equipment, making it easy to find a supplier that can provide valves suitable for use in your hydraulic equipment. 


Valves in hydraulic equipment control and regulate the flow of hydraulic fluid through a system, but as there are different requirements for fluid flow in certain applications it is important that the right valve is used for each purpose.  Flow control valves can be configured to regulate the flow of fluid in two directions and are adjustable to allow for fine tuning of the flow rate.  They control the movement of fluid in one direction, but in reverse the flow is free and cannot be regulated in the same was as it is when flowing forwards.  A pilot operated check valve is used to control the flow of hydraulic fluid to a cylinder, stopping it when needed to prevent unwanted movement of the cylinder.  A pressure relief valve is often used in conjunction with a pilot operated check valve or a solenoid valve to release the pressure contained by a pilot operated check valve, or to limit pressure in a control line leading to a solenoid valve.  Our solenoid valves have a four-landed control spool and are used to change the direction of fluid flow.  They are all rated to ISO4401-03-02-0-94 and DIN 240 340-A6 and can handle a flow rate of up to 60 litres per minute and pressures up to 320 bar.  With a distribution network covering the UK, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Finland, Lithuania and Bulgaria our hydraulic valves can be delivered to a wide range of locations very quickly.


Solenoid valves are often chosen over flow control valves for their ability to regulate the directional flow, instead of only being able to regulate in one direction.  A flow control valve is suitable for applications where movement of a cylinder in one direction needs to be carefully regulated, but when it returns to the starting position no control is needed over the flow and speed of movement.  They can be mounted in either direction, so it is up to the user which direction requires the control.  For applications where control is needed over the flow rate in both directions (for example, in technologies that open and close gates or doors at a set speed) a solenoid valve is better as it allows for that fine control of movement and speed in both directions.

In most cases a hydraulic valve will be replaced with one of the same type, and buying from Hydraproducts ensures you will get a valve that is ideal as a replacement even if your equipment is made by a different manufacturer.  Sometimes a hydraulic valve needs to be replaced with one of a different type when machine specifications or usage changes, an example being a piece of machinery that used to use a flow control valve, but where there are operational advantages to having better control over the hydraulic flow in two directions. 


Choosing the right type should be easy when replacing a valve, as you can use the same type as before, but when designing a new piece of hydraulic machinery, the decision is a little harder.  Understanding the basic function the machinery is required to perform is a must, but going a little further into the other functionality that may be required, or thinking about performance improvements that could be made with a different type of valve can inform a better design and result in hydraulic machinery that is more user friendly or that can fulfil more than the basic functions specified at the design stage.

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