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How to Select Electronic Directional Control Valves


Selecting the appropriate valve for any application is imperative to ensure proper direction of flow, flow rate, exhaust function, and even basic valve functionality. In pneumatics there are so many terms for valves that it can seem overwhelming. Knowledge of valve function, porting, and actuation is key to obtaining the correct valve for the application. In this article, we will explain some of the common terms and options to help make it easier for you to understand which valve will meet your needs.

Valve Function

Valve function outlines the number of flow paths a valve has as well as the positions of a valve. The flow paths or ports are referred to as ways in the valve function. The number of positions is how many different positions that valve can be in. Click here to learn more about:

  • 2/2 Valves
  • 3/2 Valves
  • 4/2 Valves
  • 5/2 Valves
  • 6/2 Valves
  • 3 Position Valves

Valve Porting

Valve Porting pertains to the usability of the port and the direction of flow through the valve in different positions. There are two key points we will cover. First, the usage of the port—can we physically connect to the port? And second, the flow direction that the valve must accommodate for the application. Click here to learn more about:

  • Fully Ported Valves
  • Bi-Directional Valves
  • Universal Ported Valves

Electronic Valve Actuation Types

The actuation is what shifts the valve from one position to another and there are two popular types that need to be considered in selecting the proper valve for any application. The actuation can be any of the functions or porting discussed above and is another valve characteristic that is important to understand. Click here to learn more about:

  • Direct Acting Valves
  • Pressure Assisted Valves
  • 4/2 Valves
  • 5/2 Valves
  • 6/2 Valves
  • 3 Position Valves

Clippard Directional Valve Selection Chart

For help selecting the best valve for your application, call 877-245-6247 or contact your local distributor.

By Mike Kettering • Technical Sales Specialist • Clippard