A Brief Intro to Air Cylinder Valves

Posted on Feb 6, 2021

Air Cylinder Valve

No matter what style the air cylinder valves are, the fundamental functions are to stop and start the flows of the fluids. Besides starting or stopping the fluid flows, the valves can also decrease or increase a flow and control the direction of the flow. In addition to regulating the fluid flows, the valves process the pressure inside the piping system by preserving or relieving the pressure.

Introducing Air Cylinder Valve

A valve is a mechanical device that is designed to control the flow and pressure in a system. To be exact, the valves are the key component in hydraulic and pneumatic power machines to regulate the liquid flow or gas flow within so that the power output can be managed. An air cylinder valve, or air cylinder valves, is the valve that controls the gas flow in a pneumatic power system.

A cylinder is a tubular structure that conveys liquids, gases, vapors, etc. An air cylinder is also known as a pneumatic cylinder. In this case, an air cylinder conveys gases and the cylinder needs the air cylinder valves inside the system to manage the gas flows. There are different types and configurations of valves to meet different systematic requirements.

No matter what style the air cylinder valves are, the fundamental functions are to stop and start the flows of the fluids. Besides starting or stopping the fluid flows, the valves can also decrease or increase a flow and control the direction of the flow. In addition to regulating the fluid flows, the valves process the pressure inside the piping system by preserving or relieving the pressure.
 

What's the Anatomy of a Valve?

As mentioned, no matter how different the designs or styles of the valves are, the basic components of the valves are similar. A valve is comprised of the body, the bonnet, the trim, the actuator, and the packing of it. The valve body is also called the shell, which serves as the main element of a valve assembly to hold other parts together. When two pipes are connected through a valve, the valve body withstands the fluid pressure and deals with the inlet and outlet of the fluid.

The valve bonnet serves as the cover for the opening in the valve body. The design of a valve bonnet comes in a variety of styles. The valve bonnet connects to the valve body by either a threaded, bolted, or welded joint. Generally speaking, the valve bonnet contains the valve body in which other elements of a valve are contained. The bonnet is important for it is a pressure boundary and a good quality bonnet can prevent possible leakage from the valve body.

The valve trim is a removable and replaceable element of the valve. This is the part that gets direct contact with the fluids that pass through a valve. There are several necessary and subtle parts within the valve trim so that the trim can control the fluid flow and basic motions inside the device. The design and making of a valve trim involve the considerations such as pressure, temperature, flow rate, velocity, and other properties the fluids may possess.
 

Types of Pneumatic Valves

The air cylinder valves are also called the pneumatic valves or sometimes the directional control valves. An air cylinder valve controls the flow rate of the gases, the pressure of the gases, and the flow direction of the gases. The pneumatic valves can be divided into several subtypes based on the approach they apply to achieve the purposes listed. The major types of air cylinder valves are the two-way directional control valves, three-way valves, four-way valves, and spring offset valves.
 

Two-way Directional Air Cylinder Valves

The two-way directional air cylinder valves convey gases in two directions through two main ports. The ports can be open or closed. When the ports are closed, the gases cannot pass through the valve and once the ports open, the gases can get out of the device. The valve ports control the direction in which the gases pass by means of opening and closing. The design of a two-way valve is rather simple and basic.
 

Three-way Directional Air Cylinder Valves

The three-way air cylinder valves have three main ports and the ports each serve a specific purpose. One of the ports connects the valve to an actuator or another device. The second port connects to the airflow and the third port serves as the outlet of the valve. When the third port is closed, the gases will stay inside the valve. When the second port is open, the gases flow to the actuator.
 

Four-way Directional Air Cylinder Valves

In a four-way directional control pneumatic valve, there are four ports. In this case, two ports connect to actuators, one connects to the airflow, and the last one serves as the outlet of the valve. This type of valve is actually the most commonly seen in most pneumatic systems since the ports allow a more effective reversion of the motion from a motor or a cylinder.
 

Spring Offset Air Cylinder Valves

The spring offset air cylinder valves are in fact a subtype of the two-way valves. In the two-way valves, the entrance or exit of the airflow is controlled by the open or close of the ports. The spring offset mechanism refers to the switch of the position of the port from open to close or from close to open. An actuator is involved in the switching process to return the valve to its previous position.
 

The Solenoid Valves

The other particular type of air cylinder valves is the solenoid valve. It is also known as the electrically-operated valve. A valve as such applies electromagnetic force to operate. The magnetic field is generated when electrical currents pass through the solenoid coil. The magnetic field results in the movement of a ferrous metal rod which allows the valve to open. The valve can remain normally open or normally closed. The control of the solenoid valve is typically done by the electrical on and off switch. The switch can be both manually operated or by the automated control unit in some applications. The solenoid valves are commonly applied in industrial settings where they are introduced to industry 4.0 systems.

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