Directional control valves are one of the most fundamental parts in hydraulic machinery as well and pneumatic machinery. They allow fluid flow into different paths from one or more sources. They usually consist of a spool inside a cylinder which is mechanically or electrically controlled. The movement of the spool restricts or permits the flow, thus it controls the fluid flow.
The spool (sliding type) consists of lands and grooves.The lands block oil flow through the valve body. The grooves allow oil or gas to flow around the spool and through the valve body. There are two fundamental positions of directional control valve namely normal position where valve returns on removal of actuating force and other is working position which is position of a valve when actuating force is applied. There is another class of valves with 3 or more position that can be spring centered with 2 working position and a normal position.
Directional control valves can be classified according to-
Example: A 5/2 directional control valve would have five ports and two spool positions.