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White House Products Ltd - Hydraulic Pump Supplier
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Hydraulic Circuits: The Differences Between Mobile, Diverter, and Industrial Valves

To ensure you are getting the best performance out of your hydraulic system, it is important to determine which type of hydraulic circuit configuration is the most appropriate for your applications. There are three general types of circuit valve configurations you can use, each with its own differences.

Mobile Directional Control Valves

Motor and valve circuit in the machineMobile directional control valves allow the hydraulic fluid to flow in different directions. When one valve is open, the others are closed, and the fluid flow is directed through this valve to perform a specific function.
Conversely, when this valve is closed and another valve is open, the fluid flows through a different valve to perform a different function, such as raising and lowering a hydraulic cylinder.
This configuration consists of the hydraulic valve and manifold combined into one body. Some mobile directional control valve designs allow for customisations and include features like load sensing, pressure relief, and so on. These can be customised for each valve depending on the functions of the mobile hydraulic equipment or machine.

Diverter Control Valves

Diverter valves work well in configurations where you need to be able to do multiple functions but never at the same time.  Diverter valves are normally used for simple circuits already protected by a relief valve or secondary to a main directional control valve where one has a number of functions that will not be used at the same time that can be operated from a single section of the main directional spool valve.
In addition, you can connect multiple diverter valves together depending on the number of functions you need to perform—for example, when you have a tractor with a front loader and a rear backhoe attachment.
Since you can only operate either the front loader or the rear backhoe attachment, a diverter control valve configuration would be ideal. When you wanted to use the front loader, you would direct fluid flow to the lines that control the loader. Then when you want to use the backhoe, you would direct fluid flow to the lines that control the backhoe.
One of the primary benefits of diverter control valves is that you can still use cab controls to perform each function. You just need to ensure you have the right number of cab controls connected to the correct number of diverter valves.

Industrial Control Valves

Industrial control valves often use a parallel manifold configuration.  The manifold consists of a low pressure line connected to tank and a high pressure line connected to the pump, when one of the control valves mounted on the manifold is operated; pressurised oil is directed to the application and the low pressure return oil back to the manifold’s low pressure line.  An example of this design is the Cetop valve system.

Manifold-Mounted (Cetop) Control Valves

Manifold-mounted control valves consist of a single manifold body with multiple ports for adding control valves. This type of control valve can be found on mobile and industrial machinery and equipment because it provides a modular system due to its design.
In addition, this type of manifold incorporates the option to use hydraulic circuits to “remotely” control the hydraulic system and its various functions. The valve responds to the user’s input and directs the flow of fluid through the right flow paths.   The valves are all made to a common standard pattern of interfaces, so a Cetop 3 valve made by one manufacturer will fit in the same place as one supplied by another manufacturer.
You can have separate sets of controls in different areas, such as one in a cab and another set on the back of the vehicle.  Furthermore, you can add all sorts of modules under the directional valve such as: pressure reliefs, flow controls, check valves  in a “stacked” configuration to build specific circuits.

Cartridge Control Valves

Cartridge valves are manifold mounted valves that are normally single function but one or more can be mounted into a single manifold to perform a series of functions such as pressure control, flow control, check and directional control.  The beauty of cartridge valves is their compactness and the ability to be able to combine  within one block almost akin to a printed circuit board in electronics.

Ball Valves

Motor and valve circuitBall valves are simple control valves that are either open or closed centre.   The core of the valve being a ball, with the flow channels either cut or drilled through, makes for something that can be easily sealed whilst not being too hard to turn.   This means that they can be used at higher pressures than the equivalent size of shaft type divertor.   Normally manually operated but are also obtainable with various forms of actuator

Which Control Valve Configuration Is Best?

Deciding which control valve configuration is best for your hydraulic equipment or machinery depends on several factors, including the following:
  • How many different functions do you need to control?
  • Do you need to perform multiple functions simultaneously or only one function at a time?
  • What valve size do you need to minimise the back pressure relative to your flow rate.
For further assistance in determining which type of valves, configurations, and sizes you require, please feel free to contact White House Products, Ltd. at +44 (0) 1475 742500 today!

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