Pilot valves are intermediary components in a pneumatic system, comprising a small valve that can control the flow of air to a different piloted valve. What this means is that air coming in at a low pressure can be controlled via a pilot valve, before it is redirected to another valve controlling a higher pressure or air flow feed. These valves can be manually operated, pneumatic operated or electrically and are often used for controlling larger actuator valves. Some of our pilot valves are also NAMUR port pattern meaning they can be fitted directly to process valves with NAMUR pattern fittings.
Pilot valves are a useful feature that allows a gradual pressure control via a feed which is small and easily operated, to control a feed with a much higher flow rate or pressure. Without a pilot valve, this higher pressure or flow would need to be operated by a much larger force, even if a solenoid is employed to operate the main valve. Pilot valves are a form of solenoid valve that have a low power consumption and can therefore function using smaller controllers, power supplies or even batteries. Their flow capacity and pressure rating are designed to be sufficient only for the shifting or piloting of larger working or process valves, such as those used to control gases, fluids or large bore cylinders. Pilot valves constitute a cost effective and highly efficient pneumatic interface between the control units, such as Programmable Logic Controllers and the work valves.