All pneumatic products manufactures manufacture direction control valve. Pneumatic direction control valve is an integral part of a pneumatic system. As the name suggests, a direction control valve controls the direction of the movement of piston in an actuator. Major companies manufacturing Pneumatic direction control valve are SMC, FESTO, CKD, JANATICS, COMOZZI, PNEUMAX, PARKER, SPAC, NORGREN and others.
Direction control valves can be of various types. Selection of direction control valve for a particular application will depend upon various selection parameters. This blog is trying to provide an overall understanding of the types of pneumatic direction control valves used in the industry. Depending upon the type of actuation mechanism, direction control valves can be either solenoid valve or air operated valve or mechanical valve. We will discuss Mechanical valve in another blog. Here we will limit our discussion to Solenoid valve or Air operated valve. Air operated valve is also known as pilot operated valve. Solenoid valve can be single solenoid valve or double solenoid valve. Solenoid valve can be direct operated or internal pilot assisted. There are many voltage ratings for solenoid valve to operate like 24V DC, 110V AC, and 220V AC etc. Flow rate is one of the important selection criteria for a direction control valve. Value of Cv or Kv is an important parameter to decide the valve type. To operate large bore size cylinder, valve with higher flow rate is required. Air operated valve or pilot operated valve can be either single pilot valve or double pilot valve.
Another classification of pneumatic direction control valve depends upon the number of ports and position of the valve. Valve with 5 port and 2 position is commonly referred as 5/2 valve. Similarly 5 port 3 position valve is referred as 5/3 valve. 3 port 2 position valve is referred as 3/2 valve and 2 port 2 position valve is referred as 2/2 valve. 3/2 or 2/2 valve can be either N.C. (Normally closed) or N.O. (Normally open) valve. Based upon internal construction, direction control valve can be either spool valve or direct poppet type. Valves conforming to ISO standard are known as ISO valves. Based upon communication, solenoid valves can be serial transmission system. There are many related items like manifold, blanking plate, valve interface etc which are used and selected based upon the application. There are solenoid valves which are explosion proof and intrinsically safe for specific application. Based upon the type of seal, valves are identifies as metal seal valve or rubber seal valve.
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