A hydraulic diverter valve is part of a fluid power system used to control hydraulic flow. Hydraulic systems are found in many types of operations, including heavy machinery, construction equipment, agricultural-type machines, and other industrial applications. These systems use hydraulic fluid transfer to transmit power and therefore, control different functions.
Parts of Diverter Valves in Hydraulic Systems
· Valve Body
The primary housing that holds and maintains the internal elements of the diverter valve. It is usually constructed of hardy substances like steel or aluminum that can resist hydraulic pressures.
A cylindrical or spool-shaped component inside the valve body that regulates flow of hydraulic fluid. The spool frequently has a variety of ports or channels machined into it, and its location dictates which ports are open.
· Actuating Mechanism
The mechanism driving the spool within the valve body. This may be a lever, knob or other manual control in diverter valves which are operated by human hands. It could be a solenoid, hydraulic pilot or some other actuation method in which automated valves are electrically controlled.
The entrance and exit paths are where hydraulic fluid enters and leaves the valve through openings in its body. The number and configuration of ports are determined by the particular application of the diverter valve.
O-rings are used as seals, or other types which prevent the leakage between moving parts and stationary components. The integrity of the hydraulic system depends on the seals.
Springs can also be used to transmit return force for the spool or overcome resistance in moving it into a specific position. They participate in the ensuring that valve returns back to its state when it has not been actively controlled.
· Pressure Relief
Certain diverter valves have a pressure relief system. The system ensures that the hydraulic system does not overload by diverting excessive pressures into a low-pressure reservoir or return line.
· Control Elements
Such control elements as solenoids, hydraulic pilots, and sensors may be incorporated in the case of electrically or hydraulically controlled diverter valves. They are meant to influence spool position.
· Body Connectors
Inlet and outlet piping that allows for the inclusion of a diverter valve in the hydraulic system.
The function of Diverter Valve in Hydraulic Systems
1. Flow Control
Diverter valves help to control the movement of hydraulic fluid. Such that you can manipulate the amount of liquid sent into various components in a system. This valve is critical for controlling the actuators, motors, or cylinders to manage their velocity and force.
2. Directional Control
Diverter valves direct the flow of hydraulic fluid and thereby supply movement direction in a hydraulic cylinder. Directional control is crucial for controlling various components of a machine or system.
3. Component Isolation
Diverter valves allow the isolation of specific hydraulic components or circuits. This allows channeling fluid through one set of components while keeping another idle. This is most important for effective optimization of the functioning of complex hydraulic systems.
4. Function Sequencing
You have some systems where they use diverter valves to sequence different hydraulic operations. Through control of the sequence in which hydraulic components are activated, a diverter valve assists with accomplishing certain movements or operations.
5. Pressure Regulation
There are certain types of diverter valves that control and regulate the pressure level in hydraulic systems. They may use pressure relief mechanisms to ensure that the system is protected from conditions of overpressure.
6. Hydraulic Power Distribution
The diverter valves distribute hydraulic power effectively by channeling the flow of hydraulic fluid to parts that need it most urgently. This guarantees that the various sections of such a system receive adequate amounts of power to ensure proper functioning.
7. Emergency Operation
Emergency operations can be a part of some applications for diverter valves. It enables manual or automatic bypass of the hydraulic fluid in case of system failure or emergency.
8. Multi-Functional Control
Many hydraulic systems in different machines have dual functionality. Diverter valves are essential in coordinating and controlling these functions by enabling the operator to change various aspects of the operation.
How Hydraulic Diverter Valve Works
· Valve Body and Ports
The body of the hydraulic diverter valve is referred to as a ‘valve body’, and contains several ports. Ports are holes in the valve that hydraulic fluid passes through.
· Spool or Rotating Element
In most diverter valves, the spool is a movable part that slides or rotates within the body of a valve. The spool has passages or channels corresponding with the ports in various locations.
· Actuation Mechanism
The spool is linked to an actuator that activates its motion. This process can be manual involving use of levers or knobs. It can also be hydraulic where a pilot valve is used for controls or electric with solenoids as part of the electrical control system.
· Default or Neutral Position
Without any external forces or control inputs, the diverter valve usually reverts to a default/rest position. In this situation, the spool blocks or passes certain ports depending on valve design hence directing the hydraulic fluid.
· Flow Control
Once the actuation mechanism is activated (by hand or automatically), it takes the spool to another location. This realignment changes the orientation of these channels inside the spool relative to the orifices in the valve body controlling hydraulic fluid flow.
· Directional Control
The spool’s movement controls the direction in which hydraulic fluid is supplied. It is possible to control the direction of movement in hydraulic cylinders or rotation in hydraulic motors. This can be done by opening and closing selected ports with diverter valves.
· Flow Path Options
Diverter valves can be engineered with various flow path options. It makes it possible for hydraulic fluid to be sent to various parts of the system such as individual components or circuits.
Like any other valve type, a hydraulic diverter valve can perform various functions as you have seen in the guide above. However, the type of hydraulic diverter valve you choose should be able to perform all the functions required for your applications. Also, be sure to consult the experts for advice before you decide to go for a hydraulic diverter valve.