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.


Filter Products:

Williams Controls

Pneumatic Valves: Purpose & Functionality

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. They can switch a single flow path on and off in relation to proportional control of pressure and flow and maintain pressure too. 

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 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


How does a pneumatic 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, 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 motion. 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.