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  Applied Industrial Technologies can help you determine proper air valve size. The customer can view nomanclature, valve sizing for cylinder actuation direct formulas, solutions, and tables to select proper valve size from the catalog.
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How to Determine Proper Air Valve Size


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.


B                  Pressure Drop Factor 
CCompression Factor 
CvFlow Factor 
DCylinder Diameter(I N)
FCylinder Area(SQ IN)
LCylinder Stroke(IN)
p1Inlet or Primary Pressure(PS I G)
p2Outlet or Secondary Pressure(PS I G)
?pPressure Differential (p1 - p2)(psiD)
qAir Flow at Actual Condition(CFM)
QAir Flow of Free Air(SCFM)
tTime to complete one cylinder stroke(SEC)
TAbsolute temperature at operating pressure. Deg R = Deg F + 460(°R)                         

Valve Sizing for Cylinder Actuation Direct Formula

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.

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

Valve Sizing for Cylinder Actuation Direct Formula image

How to Determine Proper Air Valve SizeExample: Cylinder size 4” Dia. x 10” stroke. Time to extend: 2 seconds. Inlet pressure 90 psiG. Allowable pressure drop 5 psiD. Determine Cv.

F = 12.57 Sq. In. (Table 1)
C = 7.1 (Table 2)   B = 21.6

Cv =     12.57 x 10 x 7.1    = 0.7
             21.6 x 2 x 28.8

Select a valve that has a Cv factor of .7 or higher. In most cases, a 1/4” valve would be sufficient.

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.

After the minimum required Cv has been calculated, the proper size valve can be selected from the catalog.

Cylinder push bore area F for stanadard size cylinders table

Compression factor C and pressrure drop factor B table

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