REDwire The hydraulic valves, oils and fluids beginner's cheat sheet

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Alco Valves offers a wide range of specialized valves including high pressure needle valves, high pressure ball valves, check and plug valves and super alloy valves.

Valves are designed to control the flow of liquid through a system of ducts or pipes.

While there is a diverse range of valve products based on the different purposes they serve, below is a sampler on the kinds of hydraulic valves, oils, fluids, as well as its functions.

The Three Main Valves on Tap

Directional control valves: as the name indicates, this valve directs the flow of liquid in a controlled manner.

Flow control valves: this particular valve controls the liquid flow by manipulating the size of the bores in the hydraulic system.

Pressure control valves: the force of liquid is increased by rotary motors and cylinders by adjusting the pressure at a selected level of force.

Fluid and Oil Don’t Mix - Hydraulic fluid vs. Hydraulic oil

Hydraulic fluid and hydraulic oil are not one in the same.

Hydraulic fluid is either a synthetic mix, or a water-based solution created for equipment that has an increased chance of catching fire.

Alternatively, hydraulic oil is refined petroleum oil combined with additives to prevent oxidation and foaming, which is specifically used in hydraulic machinery.

Valves: at the heart of the matter

By design, hydraulic valves are intended to work in tandem with hydraulic pumps and cylinders.

Valves let the liquid flow freely until it reaches a certain degree, after which time the valve closes to ensure enough pressure is provided to do its job properly.

Similar to valves that keep blood flowing through your heart (and not back into the chambers it had already left) so is the liquid that moves through the cylinder and pump.

Therefore, it is crucial that the lining of hydraulic valves (or heart valves) is consistently intact in their integrity so that liquid (or blood) does not leak back into the pump (or heart). Now how’s that for a combo lesson in applied and human sciences?

Get into the hydraulic flow of things by tapping into our expertise as global leaders in hydraulic valves.

Alco Valves Ltd. is an industrial valve manufacturer with more than 35 years in the business. We're also a member of the XAMOL Group of Companies.

We specialize in designing, testing, manufacturing and marketing pressurized systems for the world’s major oil and gas, petrochemical and engineering industries.

Looking to advance your valuable valve knowledge? Contact Alco Valves for all your high-pressure needle, ball, plug and super alloy valves. Visit us today at


Alco Valves Inc.

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