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7 Top Tips for Buying Hydraulic Valves

Hydraulic valves are important components of machinery that can make a major difference in overall efficiency of the system. Here are top 7 tips for buying best hydraulic valves:

    1. Know and understand the function of hydraulic valve. It is important to understand that hydraulic valves are meant to control the pressure and flow of fluids (hydraulic) within your mechanical system. Hydraulic valves are employed in a system to direct, stop and start the flow of fluid. Hydraulic valves are usually made of spools or poppets and can function hydraulically, pneumatically, manually, electrically or mechanically. They are vital for precisely controlling the function and safety of the equipment. Having a good theoretical knowledge of hydraulic valves is vital for buying best hydraulic valves.
    2. Have an understanding of the components. Like a good driver knows the basic components of a car, knowing the components of a hydraulic valve would help you in buying the best hydraulic pumps. Generally speaking, a hydraulic valve comprises of a bonnet, seat and a disc (to prevent ay leakages).
    3. Be specific about what you are looking for. Hydraulic valves come in numerous types depending upon their application and operating principle. Look for the type that fits your system as per specifications and nomenclature exactly. A slight difference in size or specs can mean a malfunction.
    4. Always pick the right size. Be wary of the valve sizes while buying them. DO NOT rely on the manufacturer’s valve flow rating (other than OEM) as it may not be the best size guide for selecting the size of the valve. This is because each manufacturer bases its own flow rating on a certain “standard” drop of pressure (which may be variable for different manufacturers). The smartest way to pick the right size is to opt for the Original Equipment Manufacturer (though it may be a bit expensive). But, this can prove cheaper in the long run owing to longer operating periods and less maintenance time.
    5. Opt for three-position directional valves (four-way), where the operational cycle of your system allows that. This arrangement of valves is knows to bring in better efficiency. However, pressure drops through series components are additive. Look for mobile stack type valves made by quality manufacturers ( as they offer multiple combinations of parallel and series circuits for better system efficiency. However, consult a system engineer to ensure compatibility where in doubt.
    6. Improvise by bringing in smaller valves, especially when a specific actuator or machine is used less frequently. They can be a good choice to bring down valve costs without any adverse effects on the machine efficiency. However, DO NOT implement such improvisations without consulting the OEM.
    7. Opt for a brand name or OEM when the machinery is critical where the valve is required to be installed or replaced. Certain operating conditions warrant use of extreme caution in sizing, quality of material and adherence to specifications (especially when the hydraulic valves involve operation of CNC applications and units).

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