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A hydraulics valve is a vital part of any hydraulic system, regulating or directing the flow of hydraulic fluid to motors and cylinders. The direction of the hydraulic fluid is determined by the position of a spool inside a cast iron or steel housing. The spool slides to different positions in the housing, intersecting grooves and channels route the fluid based on the spool's position.
The spool has a central (neutral) position maintained with springs; in this position the supply fluid is blocked, or returned to tank. Sliding the spool to one side routes the hydraulic fluid to an actuator and provides a return path from the actuator to tank. When the spool is moved to the opposite direction the supply and return paths are switched. When the spool is allowed to return to neutral (center) position the actuator fluid paths are blocked, locking it in position.
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