Slip-In Cartridge Valves

Objectives

In this lesson we’re going to start by defining slip-in cartridge valves and learn where and why they are used.
Next, we'll dive into the inner workings of cartridge valves and describe how the different area ratios work.

We will even do some math and learn how to calculate the opening and closing forces!
Then we will discuss logic valve circuits and how they can be an efficient and versatile replacement for directional spool valves.

What Is a Cartridge Valve?

Cartridge valves are commonly installed into a manifold block and include pressure, directional, and flow control valves. Manifold blocks are made of steel or aluminum with passages machined out and cavities for valves to be inserted into.

Manifold blocks save space, limit the number of hoses and fittings needed, and give flexibility to circuit designs.

Manifold
Cartridge Valve
Limiting the number of hoses and fittings saves space and reduces the chances of leaks, thereby reducing maintenance. If maintenance is needed, manifold blocks make changing out components/blocks much simpler.

Cartridge valves are commonly poppet valves, but can also be spool valves instead. Poppet type cartridge valves are 2-way valves, and spool type valves come in 2-way, 3-way, or 4-way designs.

Slip-In Cartridge With Poppet Valve
Screw-In Cartridge With Spool Valve
There are two main types of cartridge valves: slip-in type and screw-in type. Slip-in type cartridge valves are quite different in design and application than the screw-in type. In this lesson we will be focusing solely on slip-in cartridge valves.

Slip-In Type Cartridge Valves

Slip-in cartridge valves typically consist of a valve sleeve, poppet and spring. They slip into the manifold block and are held in by a cover plate that bolts on to the manifold, which seals it off.

Valve Sleeve
Spring
Poppet
Cover Plate
Slip-In Cartridge Valve Assembly in Action!
Two-port slip-in cartridge valves can be used independently or as part of a group to allow for a variety of control functions. They are often referred to as logic valves, which describes their on-off or open-closed function. The function of these valves could be considered the hydraulic equivalent to how a transistor works in electronics.

As simple as this valve sounds, the variety of designs and their use in circuits can get pretty complex. This has even lead to the saying:

Logic elements are both ‘famous’ and ‘infamous’. One can do practically anything with them, but they do practically anything they wish, if one does not understand their characteristics.” - Author Unknown

Let’s help to overcome that before it becomes an issue. Read on!

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