Directional Control Valves

Product Brand: Farris

Directional Controls Valves, sectional, pressures to 2000 psi, 2-21 sections, Power Beyond, Relief options.

Directional CONTROL valves

Functionality & Power

Directional control valves allow fluids or gases to flow into different paths from valve ports, which provide a passageway for flow to or from other components/sources. They are one of the most important parts of hydraulic and pneumatic systems. 

A directional control valve consists of a mechanically or electrically actuated spool inside a cylinder. The spool’s position allows or prevents fluid flow within the passageway; this often occurs instantly, causing fluid to accelerate and decelerate rapidly.

Direction Control Valves Ports & Positions

When selecting a directional control valve, two primary elements must be considered: the number of ports and directional positions the valve can achieve. The number of positions refers to the number of flow paths a valve can provide.


Directional Control Valves Features & Benefits:

  • Power beyond, Blocked and Open spool options
  • 4W3P - Manually Operated
  • Lightweight aluminum construction
  • Integral relief in P
  • High Flow option, 15 GPM
  • 2 – 21 sections
  • SAE #8 ports A & B
  • SAE #10 ports P & T
  • Custom porting available
  • 12 gpm, 2200 psi, intermittent

Directional Control Valve Applications

Mobile Hydraulic Directional Control Valves are used in the Agricultural, Industrial, and Mobile industries to provide smooth operation, low-pressure drop, and rapid response for precise fluid control in a lightweight constructed valve. These valves are rated at 2000 psi and flows to 10 GPM. Their applicability makes them increasingly sought after and are used in many applications, such as:

  • Car carriers
  • Machinery - Tractors
  • Assembly lines
  • Energy production
  • Marine equipment
  • Construction machines
  • Mining machines
  • Material handling cranes
  • Trucks & Rigs 

Directional Control Valve Operating Methods

There are five main operating methods used for directional control valves, all dependent on their applications: manual, spring, electrical, pneumatic, and hydraulic.

Manual valves

Manual operated valves are operated with levers or paddles that require force to open and close the valve. Occasionally spring force is required to recover the valve position. In contrast, some manual valves use a lever or external pneumatic or hydraulic signal to return the spool to its original position. 

Mechanical valves

Mechanically operated valves are more subject to wear and tear as they apply force by using cams, wheels, and rollers.

Hydraulic valves

Hydraulically operated directional control valves are much more robust than other operation methods. In addition, they are designed to be more precise as they perform at much higher pressures than a pneumatic directional control valve. 


What is the function of a directional control valve?

A directional valve exists to do three things: stop fluid flow, allow fluid flow, and change the direction of fluid flow. They are a fundamental part of hydraulic and pneumatic systems that use hydraulic oil, water, or air from various sources. A directional valve provides a flow path from the pump to cylinders and a return path from the cylinder to the fluid reservoir. 

How does a directional valve work?

A directional control valve typically consists of a sliding spool inside a cylinder that features lands and grooves. It is usually mechanically or electrically actuated, and the position of the spool restricts or permits flow, controlling the fluid path. For example, the lands on the spool block oil flow through the valve body, and the grooves allow oil or gas to flow around the spool and through the valve body. 

What are the things to consider when choosing directional control valves?

There are five major points to consider when it comes to analyzing the performance and suitability of directional control valves:

  1. Dynamic Power Limits
  2. Static Power Limits
  3. Resistance To Flow
  4. Switching Time
  5. Leakage

What are different types of directional control valves?

Directional control valves are generally classified in a few ways. 

  • The number of ports. There are three main kinds of direction valves, depending on the number of ports within a system. 2-way, 3-way, and 4-way valves are all used for channels of movement in various applications. 
  • Type of spool. The Spool is the mechanism in the cylinder, allowing the ports to open and close and allowing the flow to pass through or shut off. There most common types include poppet, rotary, and sliding.
  • Actuating method. The valve position can be changed manually via a spring of lever, electronically or even mechanically with a spring. 

Common Types of Hydraulic Directional Control Valves

  • Two-way, three-way, and four-way valves
  • Check valve
  • Pilot operated check valve
  • Manually actuated valve
  • Pilot actuated valve
  • Solenoid actuated valve
  • Shuttle valve

What is the difference between single-acting and double-acting directional valves?

Single-Acting and Double-Acting refer to the type of actuator in the directional control valve. The air output on one side drives single action valves while the other side moves with assistance from a spring or membrane. Hydraulic fluid enters via one port at one end of the cylinder, extending the rod inside, and an external force returns the piston rod.

Double action valves are driven by the output air on both open and close sides of the ports. They have a port at each end, supplied with the hydraulic fluid for retraction and extension.

What are the signs a directional control valve needs servicing?

To ensure the valve and application continue to work efficiently, we recommend conducting routine inspection and maintenance of your hydraulic systems. But, if you notice any of the following warning signs, you need to check your valve. 

  • Abnormal hydraulic function – If you spot equipment behaving abnormally, you should halt work and inspect the valve.
  • Corrosion or erosion – Probably the most common fault; if your system is exposed to weather, it should be inspected regularly.
  • Leakage – Internal and external leakage can occur for several reasons: improper maintenance, excessive pressure, and worn-down parts. 

Further information

At Curtiss Wright Valve Group, you’ll find a variety of different valve products such as Actuators & Controls, Ball Valves, Butterfly Valves, Changeover Valves, Check Valves, Control Valves, Directional Control Valves, Defense Services, Engineering Services, Engineering Software, Gate Valves, Globe Valves, Plug Valves, Pressure Relief Valves, Solenoid Operated Valves, Strainers, Specialty Valves and Accessories and Instrumentation Equipment.


To find out further information on any product, read the related documents found in the library.

Directional Control Valves
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