Terminology Explained - Proportional Valves

By Martin Lissenburg, Product Specialist

Wednesday 26 July 2017

For many, engineered products terminology can sometimes be a barrier to considering the use of the product in a design.


This article sets out to address this issue for Proportional Valves. Whilst some terms seem self-explanatory, we will give more detail to ensure the meaning is clear.


What is a Proportional Valve?

A proportional valve provides a change in output pressure or flow in the same ratio as the change in the input; for example, if the input doubles then the output will also double.

How else are they known?

The terms I/P and E/P Valves can be seen; this relates to current, I (4 to 20mA) or Voltage, E (0 to 5V or 0 to 10V), being used as the input supply to the coil which, ultimately,  gives the output pressure control.

Applications and types?

Static or Dynamic applications are quoted:

  • A static application is one where the required output pressure remains fixed for virtually the complete time of the application
  • A dynamic application has a requirement for a continually changing output pressure during the application

There are various types of operation:

  • Directly operated: The coil acts directly on the spool or piston to adjust the valve position and control output pressure
  • Air pilot operated: Air pressure is varied in a chamber to move a diaphragm; this, in turn, acts on the valve spool or piston
  • Piezo-electric operated: The crystal is deformed by application of voltage; this alters the piston or spool position

More information

Find out more by viewing our range of proportional valves.

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