A Comparative Study of Pressure Control Valves

Pressure control valves are used in hydraulic systems for obtaining pressure-related regulation and control tasks. The control tasks include limiting the maximum operating pressure in a hydraulic system, reducing the pressure in a part of a hydraulic circuit, unloading pumps, establishing the sequence movements of actuators, counterbalancing overrunning loads, and braking hydraulic motors while running on inertia. Accordingly, PRVs manifest themselves in a variety of forms.

Types of Pressure Control Valves

According to their function in hydraulic circuits, pressure regulating and control valves can be categorized into many basic types. They are (1) pressure relief valves, (2) pressure reducing valves, (3) unloading valves, (4) sequence valves, (5) counterbalance valves, and (6) brake valves. The symbolic representations of these valves are given in Figure 1.

Figure 1: Symbols of pressure control valves

Comparison of Pressure Control Valves

A basic comparison of some of the pressure control valves is highlighted below, in a most generalized way.

Figure 2: A comparison table for pressure control valves


Joji Parambath

Author / Trainer



A detailed explanation of pressure control valves and their circuits in multiple positions is given in the books ‘(1) Industrial Hydraulic Systems and Circuits -Basic Level (In the SI Units), (2) Industrial Hydraulics -Basic Level (In the English Units),’ (in Paperback/hardcover/Kindle eBook versions) authored by Joji Parambath and published through the Kindle Direct Publishing.

Many books (37 Nos) on Pneumatics and Hydraulics in paperbacks, hardcover, and Kindle eBook formats authored by Joji Parambath are published through the Kindle Direct Publishing platform for systematic and quick understanding of the subject of Pneumatics and Hydraulics. 

All books are available at Amazon marketplaces and other dealers.

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