Hydraulic Time delay valves

Pneumatic time delay valves (Figure 4.28) are used to delay operations where time-based sequences are required. Figure 4.28a shows construction of a typical valve. This is similar in construction to a 3/2 way pilot-operated valve, but the space above the main valve is comparatively large and pilot air is only allowed in via a flow reducing needle valve. There is thus a time delay between application of pilot pressure to port Z and the valve operation, as shown by the timing diagram in Figure 4.28b. The time delay is adjusted by the needle valve setting.

The built-in check valve causes the reservoir space above the valve to vent quickly when pressure at Z is removed to give no delay off.

The valve shown in Figure 4.28 is a normally-closed delay-on valve. Many other time delay valves (delay-off, delay on/off, normally- open) can be obtained. All use the basic principle of the air reservoir and needle valve.

The symbol of a normally-dosed time delay valve is shown in Figure 4.28c.

Hydraulic Restriction check valves

The speed of a hydraulic or pneumatic actuator can be controlled by adjusting the rate at which a fluid is admitted to, or allowed out from, a device.

A restriction check valve (often called a throttle relief valve in pneumatics) allows full flow in one direction and a reduced flow in the other direction. Figure 4.24a shows a simple hydraulic valve and Figure 4.24b a pneumatic valve. In both, a needle valve sets restricted flow to the required valve. The symbol of a restriction check valve is shown in Figure 4.24c.

Figure 4.24d shows a typical application in which the cylinder extends at full speed until a limit switch makes, then extend further at low speed. Retraction is at full speed.

A restriction check valve V 2 is fitted in one leg of the cylinder. With the cylinder retracted, limit-operated valve V 3 is open allowing free flow of fluid from the cylinder as it extends. When the striker plate on the cylinder ram hits the limit, valve V 3 closes and flow out of the cylinder is now restricted by the needle valve setting of valve V 2. In the reverse direction, the check valve on valve V 2 opens giving full speed of retraction.

Hydraulic Pilot-operated check valves

The cylinder in the system in Figure 4.22 should, theoretically, hold position when the control valve is in its centre, off, position. In practice, the cylinder will tend to creep because of leakage in the control valve.

Check valves have excellent sealage in the closed position, but a simple check valve cannot be used in the system in Figure 4.22 because flow is required in both directions. A pilot-operated check is similar to a basic check valve but can be held open permanently by application of an external pilot pressure signal.

There are two basic forms of pilot-operated check valves, shown in Figure 4.23. They operate in a similar manner to basic check valves, but with pilot pressure directly opening the valves. In the 4C valve shown in Figure 4.23a, inlet pressure assists the pilot. The symbol of a pilot-operated check valve is shown in Figure 4.23c.

The cylinder application of Figure 4.22 is redrawn with pilot operated check valves in Figure 4.23d. The pilot lines are connected to the pressure line feeding the other side of the cylinder. For any cylinder movement, one check valve is held open by flow (operating as a normal check valve) and the other is held open by pilot pressure. For no required movement, both check valves are closed and the cylinder is locked in position.

Hydraulic Pilot-operated valves

With large capacity pneumatic valves (particularly poppet valves) and most hydraulic valves, the operating force required to move the valve can be large. If the required force is too large for a solenoid or manual operation, a two-stage process called pilot operation is used.

The principle is shown in Figure 4.16. Valve 1 is the main operating valve used to move a ram. The operating force required to move the valve, however, is too large for direct operation by a solenoid, so a second smaller valve 2, known as the pilot valve, has been added to allow the main valve to be operated by system pressure. Pilot pressure lines are normally shown dotted in circuit diagrams, and pilot ports on main valves are denoted Z, Y, X and so on.

In Figure 4 16, pilot port Z is depressurised with the solenoid deenergised, and the ram is retracted. When the solenoid is energised valve 2 changes over, pressurising Z; causing valve 1 to energize and the ram to extend.

Although pilot operation can be achieved with separate valves it is more usual to use a pilot/main valve assembly manufactured as a complete ready made unit. Figure 4.17 shows the operation of a pilot-operated 3/2 pneumatic valve. The solenoid operates the small pilot valve directly. Because this valve has a small area, a low operating force is required. The pilot valve applies line pressure to the top of the control valve causing it to move down, closing the exhaust port. When it contacts the main valve disc there are two forces acting on the valve stem. The pilot valve applies a downwards force of P x D, where P is the line pressure and D is the area of the control valve. Line pressure also applies an upwards force P x E to the stem, where E is the area of the main valve. The area of the control valve, D, is greater than area of the main valve E, so the downwards force is the larger and the valve opens.

When the solenoid de-energises, the space above the control valve is vented. Line and spring pressure on the main valve causes the valve stem to rise again, venting port A.

A hydraulic 4/2 pilot-operated spool valve is shown in Figure 4.18. The ends of the pilot spool in most hydraulic pilot-operated valves are visible from outside the valve. This is useful from a maintenance viewpoint as it allows the operation of a valve to be checked. In extreme cases the valve can be checked by pushing the pilot spool directly with a suitably sized rod (welding rod is ideal !). Care must be taken to check solenoid states on dual solenoid valves before attempting manual operation. Overriding an energised AC solenoid creates a large current which may damage the coil, (or blow the fuse if the solenoid has correctly installed protection).

Hydraulic Rotary valves

Rotary valves consist of a rotating spool which aligns with holes in the valve casing to give the required operation. Figure 4.15 shows the construction and symbol of a typical valve with centre off action.

Rotary valves are compact, simple and have low operating forces. They are, however, low pressure devices and are consequently mainly used for hand operation in pneumatic systems.

Hydraulic Pressure Regulator

Pressure regulators, often referred to as unloading valves, are used in fluid power systems to regulate pressure. In pneumatic systems, the valve, commonly referred to as a pressure regulator, simply reduces pressure. This type of
valve is discussed later in this chapter under pressure-reducing valves. In hydraulic systems the pressure regulator is used to unload the pump and to maintain and regulate system pressure at the desired values.

Pressure regulators are made in a variety of types and by various manufacturers; however, the basic operating principles of all regulators are similar to the one illustrated in figure 6-14.

A regulator is open when it is directing fluid under pressure into the system (fig. 6-14, view A). In the closed position (fig. 6-14, view B), the fluid in the part of the system beyond the regulator is trapped at the desired pressure, and the fluid from the pump is bypassed into the return line and back to the reservoir. To prevent constant opening and closing (chatter), the regulator is designed to open at a pressure somewhat lower than the closing pressure. This difference is known as differential or operating range. For example, assume that a pressure regulator is set to open when the system pressure drops below 600 psi, and close when the pressure rises above 800 psi. The differential or operating range is 200 psi.

Referring to figure 6-14, assume that the piston has an area of 1 square inch, the pilot valve has a cross-sectional area of one-fourth square inch, and the piston spring provides 600 pounds of force pushing the piston down. When the pressure in the system is less than 600 psi, fluid from the pump will enter the inlet port, flow to the top of the regulator, and then to the pilot valve. When the pressure of the fluid at the inlet increases to the point where the force it creates against the front of the check valve exceeds the force created against the back of the check valve by system pressure and the check valve spring, the check valve opens. This allows fluid to flow into the system and to the bottom of the regulator against the piston. When the force created by the system pressure exceeds the force exerted by the spring, the piston moves up, causing the pilot valve to unseat. Since the fluid will take the path of least resistance, it will pass through the regulator and back to the reservoir through the return line.

When the fluid from the pump is suddenly allowed a free path to return, the pressure on the input side of the check valve drops and the check valve closes. The fluid in the system is then trapped under pressure. This fluid will remain
pressurized until a power unit is actuated, or until pressure is slowly lost through normal internal leakage within the system.

Hydraulic Globe Valves

Globe valves are probably the most common valves in existence. The globe valve gets its name from the globular shape of the valve body. Other types of valves may also have globular-shaped bodies. Thus, it is the internal structure of the valve that identifies the type of valve.

The inlet and outlet openings for globe valves are arranged in a way to satisfy the flow requirements. Figure 6-6 shows straight-, angle-,and cross-flow valves.

The moving parts of a globe valve consist of the disk, the valve stem, and the hand wheel. The stem connects the hand wheel and the disk. It is threaded and fits into the threads in the valve bonnet.

The part of the globe valve that controls flow is the disk, which is attached to the valve stem. (Disks are available in various designs.) The valve is closed by turning the valve stem in until the disk is seated into the valve seat. This prevents fluid from flowing through the valve (fig. 6-7, view A). The edge of the disk and the seat are very accurately machined so that they forma tight seal when the valve is closed. When the valve is open (fig. 6-7, view B), the fluid flows through the space between the edge of the disk and the seat. Since the fluid flows equally on all sides of the center of support when the valve is open, there is no unbalanced pressure on the disk to cause uneven wear. The rate at which fluid flows through the valve is regulated by the position of the disk in relation to the seat. The valve is commonly used as a fully open or fully closed valve, but it may be used as a throttle valve. However, since the seating surface is a relatively large area, it is not suitable as a throttle valve, where fine adjustments are required in controlling the rate of flow.

The globe valve should never be jammed in the open position. After a valve is fully opened, the handwheel should be turned toward the closed position approximately one-half turn. Unless this is done, the valve is likely to seize in the open position, making it difficult, if not impossible, to close the valve. Many valves are damaged in this manner. Another reason for not leaving globe valves in the fully open position is that it is sometimes difficult to determine if the valve is open or closed. If the valve is jammed in the open position, the stem may be damaged or broken by someone who thinks the valve is closed, and attempts to open it.

It is important that globe valves be installed with the pressure against the face of the disk to keep the system pressure away from the stem packing when the valve is shut.

Hydraulic Ball Valves

Ball valves, as the name implies, are stop valves that use a ball to stop or start a flow of fluid. The ball, shown in figure 6-1, performs the same function as the disk in other valves. As the valve handle is turned to open the valve, the ball rotates to a point where part or all of the hole through the ball is in line with the valve body inlet and outlet, allowing fluid to flow through the valve. When the ball is rotated so the hole is perpendicular to the flow openings of the valve body, the flow of fluid stops.

Most ball valves are the quick-acting type. They require only a 90-degree turn to either completely open or close the valve. However, many are operated by planetary gears. This type of gearing allows the use of a relatively small handwheel and operating force to operate a fairly large valve. The gearing does, however, increase the operating time for the valve. Some ball valves also contain a swing check located within the ball to give the valve a check valve feature. Figure 6-2 shows a ball-stop, swing-check valve with a planetary gear operation.

In addition to the ball valves shown in figures 6-1 and 6-2, there are three-way ball valves that are used to supply fluid from a single source to one component or the other in a two-component system (fig. 6-3).

Hydraulic Valve Troubleshooting

Listed below are areas that you can diagnose in hydraulic valves. When working on a specific machine, refer to a machine’s technical manual for more information.

a. Pressure-Control Valves. The following lists information when troubleshooting relief, pressure-reducing, pressure sequence, and unloading valves:

(1) Relief Valves. Consider the following when troubleshooting relief valves because they have low or erratic pressure:

• Adjustment is incorrect.
• Dirt, chip, or burrs are holding the valve partially open.
• Poppets or seats are worn or damaged.
• Valve piston in the main body is sticking.
• Spring is weak.
• Spring ends are damaged.
• Valve in the body or on the seat is cocking.
• Orifice or balance hold is blocked.

Consider the following when troubleshooting relief valves because they have no pressure:

• Orifice or balance hole is plugged.
• Poppet does not seat.
• Valve has a loose fit.
• Valve in the body or the cover binds.
• Spring is broken.
• Dirt, chip, or burrs are holding the valve partially open.
• Poppet or seat is worn or damaged.
• Valve in the body or on the seat is cocking.

Consider the following when troubleshooting relief valves because they have excessive noise or chatter:

• Oil viscosity is too high.
• Poppet or seat is faulty or worn.
• Line pressure has excessive return.
• Pressure setting is too close to that of another valve in the circuit.
• An improper spring is used behind the valve.

Consider the following when troubleshooting relief valves because you cannot adjust them properly without getting excessive system pressure:

• Spring is broken.
• Spring is fatigued.
• Valve has an improper spring.
• Drain line is restricted.

Consider the following when troubleshooting relief valves because they might be overheating the system:

• Operation is continuous at the relief setting.
• Oil viscosity is too high.
• Valve seat is leaking.

(2) Pressure-Reducing Valves. Consider the following when troubleshooting pressure reducing valves because they have erratic pressure:

• Dirt is in the oil.
• Poppet or seat is worn.
• Orifice or balance hole is restricted.
• Valve spool binds in the body.
• Drain line is not open freely to a reservoir.
• Spring ends are not square.
• Valve has an improper spring.
• Spring is fatigued.
• Valve needs an adjustment.
• Spool bore is worn.

(3) Pressure-Sequence Valves. Consider the following when troubleshooting pressure sequence valves because the valve is not functioning properly:

• Installation was improper.
• Adjustment was improper.
• Spring is broken.
• Foreign matter is on a plunger seat or in the orifices.
• Gasket is leaky or blown.
• Drain line is plugged.
• Valve covers are not tightened properly or are installed wrong.
• Valve plunger is worn or scored.
• Valve-stem seat is worn or scored.
• Orifices are too large, which causes a jerky operation.
• Binding occurs because moving parts are coated with oil impurities (due to overheating or using improper oil).

Consider the following when troubleshooting pressure-sequence valves because there is a premature movement to the secondary operation:

• Valve setting is too low.
• An excessive load is on a primary cylinder.
• A high inertia load is on a primary cylinder.

Consider the following when troubleshooting pressure-sequence valves because there is no movement or the secondary operation is slow:

• Valve setting is too high.
• Relief-valve setting is too close to that of a sequence valve.
• Valve spool binds in the body.

(4) Unloading Valves. Consider the following when troubleshooting these valves because a valve fails to completely unload a pump:

• Valve setting is too high.
• Pump does not build up to the unloading valve pressure.
• Valve spool binds in the body.

b. Directional-Control Valves. Directional-control valves include spool, rotary, and check valves. Consider the following when troubleshooting these valves because there is faulty or incomplete shifting:

• Control linkage is worn or is binding.
• Pilot pressure is insufficient.
• Solenoid is burned out or faulty.
• Centering spring is defective.
• Spool adjustment is improper.

Consider the following when troubleshooting directional-control valves because the actuating cylinder creeps or drifts:

• Valve spool is not centering properly.
• Valve spool is not shifted completely.
• Valve-spool body is worn.
• Leakage occurs past the piston in a cylinder.
• Valve seats are leaking.

Consider the following when troubleshooting directional-control valves because a cylinder load drops with the spool in the centered position:

• Lines from the valve housing are loose.
• O-rings on lockout springs or plugs are leaking.
• Lockout spring is broken.
• Relief valves are leaking.

Consider the following when troubleshooting directional-control valves because a cylinder load drops slightly when it is raised:

• Check-valve spring or seat is defective.
• Spool valve’s position is adjusted improperly.

Consider the following when troubleshooting directional-control valves because the oil heats (closed-center systems):

• Valve seat leaks (pressure or return circuit).
• Valves are not adjusted properly.

c. Volume-Control Valves. Volume-control valves include flow-control and flow-divider valves. Consider the following when troubleshooting these valves because there are variations in flow:

• Valve spool binds in the body.
• Cylinder or motor leaks.
• Oil viscosity is too high.
• Pressure drop is insufficient across a valve.
• Oil is dirty.

Consider the following when troubleshooting volume-control valves because of erratic pressure:

• Valve’s poppet or seat is worn.
• Oil is dirty.

Consider the following when troubleshooting volume-control valves because of improper flow:

• Valve was not adjusted properly.
• Valve-piston travel is restricted.
• Passages or orifice is restricted.
• Valve piston is cocked.
• Relief valves leak.
• Oil is too hot.

Consider the following when troubleshooting volume-control valves because the oil heats:

• Pump speed is improper.
• Hydraulic functions are holding in relief.
• Connections are incorrect.

Hydraulic Valve Installation

Since a flow-control valve meters flow in one direction only, the inlet and outlet ports must be correctly connected in a circuit in relation to the flow direction to be metered. A valve’s drain connection must be piped to a tank so that a connection will not be subjected to possible pressure surges. The location of a flow-control valve with respect to workload has an affect on a circuit’s operating characteristics. The three basic types of flow-control valve
installations are the meter-in, meter-out, and bleedoff circuits.

a. Meter-In Circuit (Figure 5-37). With this circuit, a flow-control valve is installed in a pressure line that leads to a work cylinder. All flow entering a work cylinder is first metered through a flow-control valve. Since this metering
action involves reducing flow from a pump to a work cylinder, a pump must deliver more fluid than is required to actuate a cylinder at the desired speed. Excess fluid returns to a tank through a relief valve. To conserve power and avoid undue stress on a pump, a relief valve’s setting should be only slightly higher than a working pressure’s, which a cylinder requires.

A meter-in circuit is ideal in applications where a load always offers a positive resistance to flow during a controlled stroke. Examples would be feeding grinder tables, welding machines, milling machines, and rotary hydraulic motor drives. A flow-control-and-check valve used in this type of circuit would allow reverse free flow for the return stroke of a cylinder, but it would not provide control of return stroke speed.

b. Meter-Out Circuit (Figure 5-38). With a meter-out circuit, a flow-control valve is installed on the return side of a cylinder so that it controls a cylinder’s actuation by metering its discharge flow. A relief valve is set slightly above the operating pressure that is required by the type of work.

This type of circuit is ideal for overhauling load applications in which a workload tends to pull an operating piston faster than a pump’s delivery would warrant. Examples would be for drilling, reaming, boring, turning, threading, tapping, cutting off, and cold sawing machines. A flow-control-and-check valve used in this circuit would allow reverse free flow, but it would not provide a control of return stroke speed.

c. Bleed-Off Circuit. A typical bleed-off circuit is not installed directly in a feed line. It is Td into this line with its outlet connected to a return line. A valve regulates flow to a cylinder by diverting an adjustable portion of a pump’s flow to a tank. Since fluid delivered to a work cylinder does not have to pass through a flow-control valve, excess fluid does not have to be dumped through a relief valve. This type of circuit usually involves less heat generation because pressure on a pump equals the work resistance during a feed operation.

d. Compensated Flow. The flow-control valves previously discussed do not compensate for changes in fluid temperature or pressure and are considered noncompensating valves. Flow rate through these valves can vary at a fixed setting if either the pressure or the fluid’s temperature changes. Viscosity is the internal resistance of a fluid that can stop it from flowing. A liquid that flows easily has a high viscosity. Viscosity changes, which can result from temperature changes, can cause low variations through a valve. Such a valve can be used in liquid-powered systems where slight flow variations are not critical consideration factors.

However, some systems require extremely accurate control of an actuating device. In such a system, a compensated flow-control valve is used. This valve automatically changes the adjustment or pressure drop across a restriction to provide a constant flow at a given setting. A valve meters a constant flow regardless of variation in system pressure. A compensated flow-control valve is used mainly to meter fluid flowing into a circuit; however, it can be used to meter fluid as it leaves a circuit. For clarity, this manual will refer to this valve as a flow regulator.