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Pilot ratio & pilot pressure of counterbalance valves

Summary:

  • Understanding the pilot ratio of the counterbalance valves
  • Calculations the pilot pressure of the counterbalance valves for different applications

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Lower pilot ratios will increase system stability and provide better motion control. Therefore, the vast majority of counterbalance applications are satisfied with a 3:1 pilot ratio.

Higher ratios will be more efficient (reduce heat generation) but at the cost of stability and smooth motion control. This is why 10:1 pilot ratio valves, generally, should be avoided. But, sometimes, on motors high pilot ratios will provide adequate dynamic control.

Two areas work to open a counterbalance valve, the relief area (port 3) and the pilot area (port 1); the pilot area divided by the relief area equals the pilot ratio:
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