Air Valves and Switches

A wide range of general-purpose pneumatic valves and pneumatic switches. Decades of experience means our on- and off-highway customers receive the most reliable and robust options available, placing our products in vehicular applications throughout the world.


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Pneumatic valves are more commonly known as directional control valves. Their purpose is to control or modulate the flow of air (or another inert gas) in a pneumatic system. They do so by controlling the air or gas at the source, regulating its flow into tubing, pipes, or devices in an automated pneumatic system. Pneumatic valves can switch single flow paths on/off in order to maintain proportional control of flow and pressure.

Pneumatic Valves Applications

At Curtiss Wright, we offer pneumatic valves that suit the most common applications, here are some of the most common:

  • Medical
  • Chemical
  • Automation
  • Corrugation

Pneumatic Control Valve Benefits

Pneumatic valves are a common component in many industries, and for good reason. They come with a host of benefits, including allowing operators to apply the exact controlled force necessary to make parts, move items, and more.

  • Fast operation
  • High accuracy and precise control
  • Fluid ease of use
  • Enhancement of safety - pneumatic valves can quickly de-pressurize a machine.
  • Extended lifespan of the valve and other components
  • Cost-saving component

Pneumatic Valve Range

At Curtiss Wright Industrial, we provide a selection of pneumatic valves classified using several different approaches. 
- the number of entry and exit ports they possess
- the number of flow paths or switching positions that are available
- the mechanism that is used to open or close the ports
- the position the valve is in when in the un-actuated state
A large class of pneumatic valves houses multiple variants and can be used in different ways. These devices can be used in various ways in a hydraulic system, including connecting or disconnecting the main compressed air supply from the system. 
From these classifications, we can identify the primary types of pneumatic valves:
- Two-Way directional control pneumatic valves
- Three-Way directional control pneumatic valves
- Four-Way directional control pneumatic valves
- Spring offset pneumatic valves


What is a pneumatic control valve?

A pneumatic control valve is a valve that regulates the flow of a fluid. It operates remotely as the correcting unit of an automatic control system.

How does a pneumatic control valve work?

A pneumatic valve works by pressurized air being held in a reservoir. The air is then fed through a compressor and pushes against an area. As the pressure heightens, it compresses springs behind the reservoir and pushes the diaphragm down, causing the stem to press downwards and close the valve. To open the valve, the air is exhausted out of the diaphragm, uncoiling the spring, and as the stem moves up, it opens the valve. 

What many types of pneumatic valves are there?

The range of pneumatic valves is vast, and there are many categories classified by their style, type, design principle, type of operation, function, size, and application. 
Nonreturn valves - These are used to control the flow of air in one direction only. 
Flow control valves
Pressure control valves - These types of control valves can control the air pressure in the valve.
Directional control valves - these are used to control the direction of flow in the pneumatic circuit. 

What are the major components of a pneumatic valve?

The major components of a pneumatic valve include a cylinder that is used to convert the energy in the compressed air to move. The valves are also integral to control the flow of compressed air, and they need to control the flow of exhaust to the atmosphere. A pneumatic system usually has two types of valves: 2/3 valve and 2/5 valves. 

How is a solenoid valve different from a pneumatic valve?

A pneumatic valve operates with the energy of an electromagnetic force, whereas a solenoid valve is entirely dependent upon electricity.

Where are pneumatic valves used?

Pneumatic valves are common in every industry, from automatic production lines, train doors, corrugation, and more. Compressed air is readily available, clean, and easy to use, so the number of industries that opt for it is no surprise. The larger sectors that use it are automation, which uses cylinders and other actuators to produce or process goods. So, for example, the food industry can take advantage of quick processing time without contaminating the final product.

How do I choose a pneumatic control valve?

When choosing a pneumatic control valve for your application, there are five key factors to consider:

  • Media: Will it be a gas or liquid controlled by this valve, and at what pressure?
  • Flow Capacity is also known as valve size.
  • Spring-Return or Detented Actuation: This is the return method the valve will take “back” to its original, un-actuated state.
  • Valve Configuration 
  • Method of Valve Actuation: The four most common methods are solenoid operated, manually operated, mechanically operated, and remote air operated.