Chapter 7 – Pneumatic Directional Control Valves

KM

7.1 - Introduction
Pneumatic Directional control valves are used mainly to influence the path taken by air
stream. The main functions of these valves are to start stop and regulate the direction
of air flow and help distribution of air in the desired line. They are characterized by its
number of controlled connections or ways, the number of switching connections and
the method of actuation.
According to the method of construction D.C.V can be subdivided into following types:
1. Poppet valve - Here the connections are opened and closed by means of balls, discs
or cones.
2. Slide valve - Here the individual connections are linked together or closed by means
of spools.

7.2 Difference between poppet valve and slide valve
POPPET VALVE
1

SLIDE VALVE

The valve element (ball, disc or The valve element is a sliding spool
cone) sits on specially machined sliding inside a bore in the valve
and finished seat

2

Valve

finishing

housing.
is

difficult

and Valve bore and spool finishing is easier

costlier.

and simple

3

Construction is complicated.

Construction is simple.

4

Valve actuation possibility is limited. All types of actuation are easily
adaptable.

5

Higher actuating force is required to Lesser actuating force is required to
operate.

6

operate.

Wear and tear of the valve area is Valve spool and bore generally get
not uniform.

uniform wear and tear.

7.3 Symbolic representation
Ports are designated using a number system in accordance with ISO 5599. Earlier
letter system was used to designate the ports. Pneumatic component symbols are as
per ISO 1219.

1V2 etc. 2V2 etc.S 5/2 dcv 12 Y.Chapter 7 – Pneumatic Directional Control Valves KM Table 7. 0Z2 etc. 2A Processing elements and final control 1V1. Power supply elements 0Z1.B 4/2 or 5/2 DCV 3 R 3/2 DCV 5.2 A.3 – Component designations Pneumatic Actuators 1A. . 1S2 etc. elements 2V1.Z Connects port 1 Exhaust ports Pilot ports to port 2 14 Z Connects port 1 to port 4 Table 7.2 – ISO 1219 Graphic symbols 2/2 normally open DCV 2/2 normally closed DCV 3/2 normally open DCV 3/2 normally closed DCV 4/2 DCV 5/2 DCV Table 7. Input elements (or Signal elements) 1S1.3 R.1 – Port Markings Port ISO 5599 Lettering system remarks numbering system Pressure port 1 P Supply port Working ports 2 A 3/2 DCV 4.

Valve .3/2 Spool type D. 7.2 .C. A Directional control valve is generally specified as a ‘port/position valve’ where ports is the number of openings and position is the number of switching positions of the valve. In the normal position.4 – Construction of Directional control valves. 7. Here a ball in conjunction with a simple valve seat is used to control the flow. Actuation of the valve plunger causes the ball to be forced away from the valve seat and working port A is open to the pressure port P and exhaust port R gets closed.4.Chapter 7 – Pneumatic Directional Control Valves KM 7. spring forces the ball against the valve seat preventing the compressed air from flowing from the pressure port P to working port A and working port A is open to exhaust port R.4.1 – 3/2 poppet type DCV The cross sectional view of the plunger operated 3/2 DCV in the normal and actuated position is as shown in figure.

Advantages 1.5/2 Double pilot operated Suspended Disc type D.V in normal and actuated position is shown in figure. the spring gets compressed.C.The spool slides over the valve bore inside the valve housing. A pneumatic signal at pilot port Z causes the spool to switch as shown in figure b. The cross sectional view of 3/2 spool type D. A pneumatic signal applied to pilot part causes paths from P to B and from A to S to open and port R is blocked.4 . Insensitive to plugging by impurities 2. Now connected to P and R close 5. The valve element is a spool actuated by a push button and a spring .4. When the push button is pressured due to movement of spool. 2.5/3 Directional control valve. The disc seat seal connects port 1 to either port 2 or the port 4.Chapter 7 – Pneumatic Directional Control Valves KM 1.C.4. Here paths from P to A and B to R are open’.As the valve is actuated a disc seat seal connects P port to either a port or B port Secondary seals on the spool pistons close which exhaust port is not required. In the normal position P is closed and A is open to R 4. . The valve has a manual override button at each end to manually operate the valve spool. Requires low actuation force 7. valve Suspended seat valve is a 5/2 valve with sealing along different portions of the spool. When the actuating force on the push button is released the valve returns to normal position connecting A to P closes.3 . 7. 3.

Return air from the cylinder rapidly vents through the exhaust port R and silencer and thus avoids the direction control valve as it normally happens. If no signals are applied at either of the two control ports the valve remains spring centered in mid piston.Quick Exhaust Valve 1. poppet moves away from the exhaust port and seals the inlet port due to air pressure acting on the poppet. Quick exhaust valve is used to increase the speed of a pneumatic cylinder by avoiding lengthy return time through direction control valve from the cylinder so that air energy can act quickly.5 . 2. A flexible ring (poppet) moves inside the valve when pressure acts on it to block either the inlet port or the exhaust port. 5.Chapter 7 – Pneumatic Directional Control Valves KM It has five working ports and three switching positions and with these valves double acting cylinders can be stopped with the stroke range. . the exhaust port R is sealed by the poppet due to compressed air acting on it. permitting the air flow to the cylinder. 3. 7. When there is an air flow from inlet port P. 4. The valve consists of an inlet port P. This means a cylinder piston under pressure in mid position is briefly clamped in the normally closed position and in the normally open position piston can be moved unpressurised. 6. When the compressed air is to be exhausted to atmosphere. outlet port A and an exhaust port R. The principle of operation is to allow the cylinder to retract at its near maximum speed by reducing the resistance to flow of exhausting air during motion of the cylinder.

PCV. The control chain is as follows Signal output ( Actuators – Cylinders and motors.Pneumatic Circuits The structure of the circuit diagram should correspond to the control chain whereby the signal flow is represented from the bottom to the top.6 . Final control element) Signal processing (DCV. limit switch valves) Power supply (air service unit) Direct control of Cylinders Cylinder is actuated directly through a manual or mechanically operated valve without any intermediate switching of additional DCV. and FCV) Signal input (Push button.Chapter 7 – Pneumatic Directional Control Valves KM 7. This type is limited to cylinder with piston diameter smaller than 40mm. Circuit 1: Direct Control of Single Acting Cylinder Component Component name designation 0Z FRL unit 1S 3way 2position DCV 1A Single acting cylinder .

valve shifts back to initial position and the cylinder rod retracts. When the push button is pressed. In the initial position pressure is supplied to the cylinder rod side and the pressure on the piston side is exhausted from ports 4 to 5. Hence air from the piston chamber is exhausted from port 2 to 3. When the push button of the D.C.V is pressed supply air passes through the valve from 1 to 4 and the piston rod advances. . Once the push button is releases the 5/2 valve shifts to initial position and the piston rod retracts. 3/2 valve shifts the position.Chapter 7 – Pneumatic Directional Control Valves KM Operation 1. As soon as the push button is released. 2. 3. The displaced air flows to atmospheres through ports 2 to 3. 3. Circuit 2: Direct Control of Double Acting Cylinder Component Component name designation 0Z FRL unit 1S 3way 2position DCV 1A Double acting cylinder Operation 1. The buildup of pressure causes the piston rod of cylinder to extend against the force of the cylinder return spring. A 5/2 Direction control valve controls the double acting cylinder. In the initial position the air supply is shut off at port 1 and the cylinder rod is retracted by spring return. The air supply now gets connected to single acting cylinder port from 2. 2.

port 1 of the valve 1V is closed. In the initial position the single acting cylinder is retracted. Manually actuated valve will not be suitable for such large valves as the force will be too less to move the spool. port 2 is open to exhaust port 3. Circuit 3 – Indirect Control of Single Acting Cylinder Component designation Component name 0Z FRL unit 1S 3/2 push button operated spring offset DCV 1V 3/2 pilot operated spring offset DCV 1A Single acting cylinder Operation 1. Pressure . which will provide the force necessary to switch the main valve. When the push button is pressed valve 1S and pressure is applied to pilot port 12 of the valve 1V.Chapter 7 – Pneumatic Directional Control Valves KM Indirect control of cylinders Cylinders with a large piston diameter requires high air and the control element required to actuate it must have high nominal flow rate. Hence indirect control is preferred for such cylinders. 2. Port 1 of the valve 1V now gets connected to port 2. In this method signal is generated by another small valve.

Chapter 7 – Pneumatic Directional Control Valves KM applied to the cylinder piston causes the rod to extend. Main valve 1V1 also returns to initial position and return spring causes the cylinder to retract. port 1 of the valve 1V is connected to port and rod end is pressurized. port 4 is open to exhaust port 5. 2. Air from the cylinder is exhausted through main valve. Circuit 4 – Indirect control of double acting cylinder Component designation Component name 0Z FRL unit 1S 3/2 push button operated spring offset DCV 1V 3/2 pilot operated spring offset DCV 1A Double acting cylinder Operation 1. Port 1 of the valve 1V now gets connected to port 4. Pressure . When the push button is pressed valve 1S and pressure is applied to pilot port 12 of the valve 1V. signal air in the pilot line connecting to 12 is exhausted to atmosphere through port 3. 3. 4. The signal at port 12 remains as long as the push button is operated. valve 1S returns to the initial position. In the initial position the double acting cylinder is retracted. When the push button is released.

a closable exhaust 3 and an outlet 2. Air from the cylinder is exhausted through port 5. signal air in the pilot line connecting to 12 is exhausted to atmosphere through port 3. 5. Exhaust port 3 of 1V opens and air rapidly exhausts through the large exhaust port 3. When the push button is released. This blocks the path to the DCV.Chapter 7 – Pneumatic Directional Control Valves KM applied to the cylinder piston causes the rod to extend. 3. The circuit consists of quick exhaust valve 1V installed in the path connecting to the cylinder. compressed air closes the exhaust port 3 of 1V and is passed to the piston end from outlet port 2 and the piston rod advances. When the push button is pressed. valve 1S returns to the initial position. 3. (Draw FRL unit at the bottom for the circuits from 5 to 9) Circuit 5 – Use of Quick Exhaust Valve in Single Acting Cylinder Component Component name designation 1S 3/2 push button operated spring offset DCV 1V Quick exhaust valve 1A Single acting cylinder 1. To bring the exhaust blasts within the allowed noise level efficient silencers are installed. quick exhaust valve senses pressure at port 2 and closes port 1 by pushing the poppet. The signal at port 12 remains as long as the push button is operated. bypassing the normal exhaust route through the direction control valve. The valve has a closable supply connection 1. The compressed air makes loud bang of noise when exhausted rapidly to atmosphere. Main valve 1V1 also returns to initial position and air supply to port 2 causes the cylinder to retract. Rapid release of pressure in the piston end causes the cylinder to retract very fast. 4. When the push button is released. 4. . 2.

3. 2. 4. When the push button is released. .Chapter 7 – Pneumatic Directional Control Valves KM Circuit 6 – Use of Quick Exhaust Valve in Double Acting Cylinder Component Component name designation 0Z FRL unit 1S 5/2 push button operated spring offset DCV 1V Quick exhaust valve. 1A Double acting cylinder 1. Hence extension speed of the cylinder increases over the normal speed. When the push button of 1S is pressed. The retraction speed is normal as the air from the piston will pass through the DCV. Air rapidly exhausts to atmosphere after passing through the silencer from port3. The circuit consists of quick exhaust valve installed near the cylinder rod end to increase the extension speed of double acting cylinder. compressed air passes to the piston end and the piston rod advances. Quick exhaust valve reads the pressure at port 2 and closes port 1. air supply closes exhaust port 3 and the air supply to the outlet port 2 causes the cylinder to retract.

. signal is generated at pilot port 14 of the main valve. When the push button of the pilot valve 1S1 is pressed. Compressed air is now supplied to rod side of the cylinder and the position rod retracts. Push button is released as soon as the cylinder starts extending. Piston side of the cylinder is supplied with compressed air and the piston rod advances. Signal at port 14 is now lost but the valve 1V1 remains in the same position by friction until an opposing signal is received. 3. The valve switches back to initial position. When the push button of the pilot valve 2 is pressed.Chapter 7 – Pneumatic Directional Control Valves KM Circuit 7 – Memory valve circuit Component designation Component name 0Z FRL unit 1S1 and 1S2 3/2 push button operated DCV 1V1 5/2 double pilot operated DCV 1A Double acting cylinder 1. 2. Push button is released immediately and the cylinder retains the position due to memory function. Signal air exhausts through port 3 of the valve 1S1. signal is generated at port 12 of 1V1.

When pilot signals appear simultaneously at both pilot ports 14 and 12 of the main valve. One way flow control valve throttles the air flow in one direction only. retraction speed of the cylinder is controlled. When the push button is released. Flow control valves They influence the volumetric flow of compressed air in both directions. 4. 3. When the push button is operated compressed air passes through needle valve of 1V1 and the extension speed is controlled. A check valve blocks the flow of air in the bypass leg and the air can only flow through the regulated cross section. The two fundamental types of throttling circuits for double acting cylinders are: supply air throttling and exhaust air throttling. In the opposite direction. Here the flow control valve is installed in such a way that supply air entering the cylinder at either strokes is throttled. Circuit 8 – Supply air throttling Circuit Component Component name designation 0Z FRL unit 1S 3way 2position DCV 1V1 and 1V2 One way flow control valve 1A Double acting cylinder 1. Flow from the rod freely passes through check valve of 1V2. 2. A load in the direction of movement of the cylinder accelerated beyond the set value due to free escape on the outlet side. These valves are used for the speed regulation of actuators. they produce equal and opposite forces on the valve spool and the latter tends to remain stationary until one of the signals goes off this problem is called signal conflict.Chapter 7 – Pneumatic Directional Control Valves KM 4. the air can flow freely through the opened check valve. .

air supply passes through one way flow control valve. 4.Chapter 7 – Pneumatic Directional Control Valves KM Circuit 9 – Exhaust air throttling circuit Component Component name designation 0Z FRL unit 1S 3way 2position DCV 1V1 and 1V2 One way flow control valve 1A Double acting cylinder 1. 2. 3. In this circuit one way flow control valve is installed on either ends in such a way that air exhausting from the cylinder is throttled. If the push button is released. As the cylinder starts retracting speed is controlled depending on the needle valve setting of valve 1V1. Extension speed of the cylinder is controlled depending on the needle valve setting of 1V2. Here piston is loaded between cushion of air the first cushion of air is due to supply air entering the cylinder through check valve and the second cushion effect is due to exhaust air leaving the cylinder at a slower rate. When the push button is pressed. it bypasses needle valve and goes through check valve in to the piston end and piston rod starts advancing. air supply bypasses needle valve of 1V2 and goes through check valve into the rod end. 5. This type is most commonly used for speed control of double acting cylinder because smooth motion of cylinder is gained in this case. Not suitable for small volume cylinders as effective pressure cannot build up sufficiently .