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Valves

How to Determine Proper Air Valve Size


Most manufacturers catalogs provide flow ratings for valves in
Cv, based on National Fluid Power Association (NFPA) standard
T3.21.3. The following tables and formulas will enable you
to quickly size a valve properly. The traditional, often-used
approach of using the valve size equivalent to the port in the
cylinder can be very costly. Cylinder speed, not port size, should
be the determining factor.

Select a valve that has a Cv factor of .7 or higher. In most cases,


a 1/4 valve would be sufficient.

The following Cv calculations are based upon simplified formulas which yield results with acceptable accuracy under the
following standard condition:

After the minimum required Cv has been calculated, the proper


size valve can be selected from the catalog.

Air at a temperature of 68 F (20 C)


Absolute downstream or secondary pressure must be 53% of
absolute inlet or primary pressure or greater. Below 53%, the air
velocity may become sonic and the Cv formula does not apply.
Nomenclature:
B
Pressure drop factor
C
Compression factor
Cv
Flow factor
D
Cylinder Diameter
F
Cylinder Area
L
Cylinder Stroke
p1
Inlet or Primary Pressure
p2
Outlet or Secondary Pressure
p
Pressure differential (p1- p2)
q
Air flow at actual condition
Q
Air flow of free air
t
Time to complete one cylinder stroke
T
Absolute temperature at operating
pressure. Deg R = Deg F + 460

(I N)
(SQ IN)
(I N)
(PS I G)
(PS I G)
(psiD)
(CFM)
(SCFM)
(SEC)
(R)

Valve Sizing for Cylinder Actuation Direct Formula


Cylinder Area (F)
(Sq. In.)
(See Table 1)

Cylinder Stroke
(L)
(In.)

Compression (C)
Factor
(See Table 2)

Pressure Drop
(B) Factor
(See Table 2)

Time to
Complete
Cylinder Stroke
(Sec)

28.8

Cv =

Example: Cylinder size 4 Dia. x 10 stroke. Time to extend: 2


seconds. Inlet pressure 90 psiG. Allowable pressure drop 5
psiD. Determine Cv.
Solution:
F = 12.57 Sq. In. (Table 1)
C = 7.1 (Table 2)
B = 21.6

Cv=

12.57

10

7.1

21.6

28.8

It is considered good engineering practice to limit the pressure


drop Dp to approximately 10% of primary pressure P1. The
smaller the allowable pressure drop, the larger the required
valve will become.

Table 1:
Cylinder push bore area F for standard size cylinders
Bore Size D (In.)

Cylinder Area F
(Sq. In)

3/4

0.44

12.57

0.79

4 1/2

15.90

1 1/8

0.99

19.64

1 1/4

1.23

28.27

1 1/2

1.77

38.48

1 3/4

2.41

50.27

3.14

10

78.54

2 1/2

4.91

12

113.10

3 1/4

8.30

14

153.94

Bore Size D (In.) Cylinder Area F (Sq. In)

Table 2:
Compression factor C and pressure drop factor B
Inlet
Pressure
(psiG)
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
90
100
110
120
130
140
150
160
170
180
190
200
210
220
230
240
250

Pressure Drop Factor B for Various


Pressure Drops p
Compr.
Factor C
1.7
2.4
3.0
3.7
4.4
5.1
5.8
6.4
7.1
7.8
8.5
9.2
9.8
10.5
11.2
11.9
12.6
13.2
13.9
14.6
15.3
16.0
16.7
17.3
18.0

2
psiD
6.5
7.8
8.9
9.9
10.8
11.7
12.5
13.2
13.9
14.5
15.2
15.8
16.4
16.9
17.5
18.0
18.5
19.0
19.5
20.0
20.4
20.9
21.3
21.8
22.2

5
psiD
11.8
13.6
15.3
16.7
18.1
19.3
20.5
21.6
22.7
23.7
24.7
25.6
26.5
27.4
28.2
29.0
29.8
30.6
31.4
32.1
32.8
33.5
34.2
34.9

10
psiD
18.0
20.5
22.6
24.6
26.5
28.2
29.8
31.3
32.8
34.2
35.5
36.8
38.1
39.3
40.5
41.6
42.7
43.8
44.9
45.9
46.9
47.9
48.9

15
psiD
23.6
26.4
29
31.3
33.5
35.5
37.4
39.3
41.0
42.7
44.3
45.9
47.4
48.9
50.3
51.7
53.0
54.3
55.6
56.8
58.1
59.3

20
psiD
29.0
32.0
34.8
37.4
39.9
42.1
44.3
46.4
48.4
50.3
52.1
53.9
55.6
57.2
58.9
60.4
62.0
63.5
64.9
66.3
67.7

= 0.7

Industrial Supplies and Expertise

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