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.