Needle valves are similar in design and operation to the globe valve. Instead of a disk, a needle valve has a long tapered point at the end of the valve stem. A cross-sectional view of a needle valve is illustrated in figure 6-8.
The long taper of the valve element permits a much smaller seating surface area than that of the globe valve; therefore, the needle valve is more suitable as a throttle valve. Needle valves are used to control flow into delicate gauges, which
might be damaged by sudden surges of fluid under pressure. Needle valves are also used to control the end of a work cycle, where it is desirable for motion to be brought slowly to a halt, and at other points where precise adjustments of flow are necessary and where a small rate of flow is desired.
Although many of the needle valves used in fluid power systems are the manually operated type (fig. 6-8), modifications of this type of valve are often used as variable restrictors. This valve is constructed without a hand wheel and is adjusted to provide a specific rate of flow. This rate of flow will provide a desired time of operation for a particular subsystem. Since this type of valve can be adjusted to conform to the requirements of a particular system, it can be used in a variety of systems. Figure 6-9 illustrates a needle valve that was modified as a variable restrictor.