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How a three-way valve works

Video Transcript

The three-way valve in pneumatics is one of the more common valves you're gonna find in pneumatic systems. And the average configuration, it consists of an in which is where the air goes in an out, which is where the air goes out to do whatever you're gonna do, and an exhaust. So a good. Useful thing that they would do would be a cylinder.

So you might turn on the valve actuator with a push button with a solenoid, which is electricity or whatever, and the cylinder goes up and it stays extended as long as the valve is on air is flowing. But when you turn the valve off air is still flowing to the valve, but it's no longer flowing out of the.

and what happens is that exhaust and the cylinder would slowly or quickly, depending on how you set it up, come back down. So you, you wanna be careful with that, especially if you're underneath the cylinder. The other major use for three-way valves is what we call piloting another larger valve. So in this case, think that you maybe have a big gargantuan six inch valve.

And it's driven by air pilot. And let's say it's flowing something that's flammable or something that's, uh, liquid. And so you need a much larger valve and you have this little air valve that uses the air on and off to turn the big valve on and off. So it's called piloting and it goes into an air pilot when error hits the air pilot.

It actuates the larger valve. When you take air off, you need it to exhaust so that it can change the state of the larger valve. And those are kind of the two major ways that a three-way valve was used. It's a very versatile valve. There are a number of other things that you would use that for in a pneumatic system, and we will go over that at a later time.

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