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What Are Hydraulic Cartridge Valves, And How Do They Work?

Hydraulic cartridge valves, sometimes known as slip-in valves, 2/2-way valves or logic valves, are extremely important for all kinds of hydraulic systems in a wide range of industries. They are a unique subset of directional control valves, which are essential for the movement of hydraulic liquid through a system.

Thanks to their compact size, intelligent design and cost-effectiveness, they are an integral component of most hydraulic systems

How Do Hydraulic Cartridge Valves Work?

Although there are several different designs of these valves available, the most common formats are pilot-operated check valves with an equal area at both ports. Typically uni-directional, these valves do no usually come equipped with communication holes through the poppet to allow fluid to get behind it.

A typical cartridge valve will consist of:

  • A Sleeve;
  • A Valve Poppet/Cone;
  • A Closing Spring;

Fluid entering from either port will push the holding poppet open, which makes this form of valve extremely easy to install in any kind of hydraulic system. Normally, the poppet is held in place by a light-weight spring during shutdown, but this can be easily overpowered to allow the fluid to transfer through the valve in an extremely easy manner. Of course, these springs are available in a range of strengths, with most designs coming in 25, 50 or 75 psi.

How Are Logic Valves Used In Hydraulic Systems?

Depending on the controller’s input, these kinds of valves can fulfil several different roles within a system, including:

  • Directional Control Valves – This includes start, stop and flow directional control.
  • Pressure Control Valves – This includes pressure relief and control, as well as sequence and unloading of said pressure.
  • Check Valves – Cartridge valves can even be used as check valves, and offer pilot-operated check capabilities.
  • Flow Control Valves – This allows the user to effectively control the flow of hydraulic fluid through the system.

Installing A 2/2-Way Valve

Most hydraulic features of this kind will need to be mounted within the manifold block, but there are several different kinds of valve which work to meet the required specifications of the hydraulic system in question.

Cartridge Designs Used As Control Valves!

In a conventional hydraulic system, the functionality of these designs is achieved via the connection of these kinds of valves in a serial or parallel fashion. The inclusion of more singular-function valves results in a system which requires more of these components in order to effectively control. This can be a problem for many systems, particularly as it requires the system itself to be much larger, weigh more and often result in a higher rate of system loss.

As these kinds of hydraulic features can be used to replicate the functionality offered by other valves, a system composing of hydraulic cartridge valves can be designed to copy the effectiveness of a conventionally designed system. Not only will this work to create much more simple hydraulics overall, but the loss in pressure through a logic valve is significantly less than that of a single-function valve. This can then help to improve the overall efficiency of a hydraulic solution.

A Diverse Range Of Hydraulic Components, From Flowfit Online!

When it comes to hydraulics, you cannot afford to use substandard or inefficient products, which are likely to break and can pose the risk of damage to users, complete systems and other components as well. For the very best in specialist and domestic hydraulics, get in touch with Flowfit Online today.

You can contact us on 01584 876 033 or, alternatively, email us directly at, and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can!

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