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Hydraulic Circuits

# Hydraulic Circuits

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04/21/2013

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7
VALVES AND THEIR USES
7.1 INTRODUCTION
All ﬂuid power circuits incorporate valves. Many authors, e.g., [1], statethat there are three categories of valves. These are directional control,pressure control, and ﬂow control. A simple application of a directionalcontrol valve would be the valve controlled manually by an operator thatdetermines which end of a cylinder is connected to a pump. The most com-monly encountered pressure control valve is the pressure relief valve usedto protect components from excess forces caused by overloads or actuatorsreaching the end of their travel. A ﬂow control valve is used to route oil toa secondary circuit in such a fashion that ﬂow rate remains approximatelyconstant even when pressure is varying.The principle of operation of most valves is the same. A valve is avariable area oriﬁce where the oriﬁce area may be controlled by conditionsin a circuit, for example a pressure relief valve operates without operatorintervention. Alternatively the oriﬁce area may be controlled by an operatoras in a directional control valve. This categorization is a little simplisticbecause not all directional control valves are directly linked to an operator.Valves may be moved by electrical actuators and by pressure actuators.Thus many valves are quite complicated in terms of the number of partsin the valve. The valve operation is dynamic and often must be analyzedValves mayalso have feedback loops within them and the stability may have to beexamined using control theory.At the risk of being repetitive, we should brieﬂy revisit the energy equa-tion Equation 3.5. In most valves, ﬂuid at high pressure passes through apressure drop caused by the oriﬁce. Valves are an indispensable part of 163
© 2006 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC
using methods outlined later in the text (Chapters 11or13).

164
VALVES AND THEIR USES
most ﬂuid power circuits, but valves usually cause degradation of mechan-ical energy into heat, so their use leads to a reduction in eﬃciency of asystem. If a system is working in an environment where overall eﬃciency isvery important, for example an aerospace environment, then the designermight want to consider an alternative to a valve. For example, if the de-sired outcome is a shaft where the speed varies, then there are two options.The ﬂow to the motor can be regulated by a valve fed by a constant pres-sure system or the ﬂow can be regulated by using a variable displacementpump (i.e., a hydrostatic transmission). The overall eﬃciency of the hydro-static transmission will be higher. On the other hand, providing a separatevariable displacement pump may add unacceptable cost or weight to thesystem.Consider another situation where a pump delivers ﬂow to an actuatorand the actuator runs against a stop. The pump must be protected by arelief valve. If a simple relief valve is used, then there will be signiﬁcantenergy degradation because full pump ﬂow passes across a large pressuredrop. If an unloading valve is used, then it is possible to arrange thatthe actuator pressure remains high while the pressure experienced by thepump drops to a low level. In this situation, energy is conserved becausethe pump ﬂow only passes across a low pressure drop.The main objective of this chapter is to present several diﬀerent typesof valves and to show what functions these valves can perform, by showingthe valves in circuits. The material in the chapter will be largely descrip-tive. Directional control valves, however, are important components inmany circuits. The treatment of such valves has been extended to presentquantitative expressions for ﬂow forces on the spool and for linearizing va-lve performance. The reader should recognize that achieving correct valveoperation may require dynamic analysis following the methods presented
7.2 DIRECTIONAL CONTROL VALVES
The most common form of directional control valve is the spool valve shownThe simplest form of spool is a series of small cylindricaldrums on a shaft. Each drum may be called a
land
. The minimum numberof lands in a spool valve is two, but four are often used in more expensivevalves, such as the proportional type, to achieve more accurate guidance.The valve body has grooves machined in the bore. The edges of the spoollands and the grooves in the bore are machined to a vanishing small radius,so the cylindrical ring oriﬁce that is formed by the displacement of the spoolon the bore has sharp edges. It should be observed that ﬂuid passing from
© 2006 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC
later in the text (e.g.Chapters 11,12,and13). inFigure 7.1.

Chapter 7
165

Figure 7.1
: Flow through a spool valve.the pump, to the actuator, and ultimately to the drain, passes through twosequential oriﬁces.In ﬂuid power terminology,
way
is the name given to an independentpassage to or from a valve. Consequently, the valve shown in Figure 7.1is a
four way
. At ﬁrst sight, this might seem confusing because there areﬁve passages into or out of the valve. There are, however, two passages tothe drain. These two passages may be linked as shown in the ﬁgure. Anactuator with a spring return only needs one ﬂuid connection. Such a valvecould be operated by a three way valve.The basic spool valve can be produced in several diﬀerent varieties. Insome functions an actuator may only need to be in one of two positions,fully extended and fully retracted. Also, the speed at which the actuatormoves may set by the capacity of the circuit supplying the actuator. In thisapplication, the spool valve becomes a switch and only two positions areprovided, fully open in one direction and fully open in the other. Although
© 2006 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC