Valves are often designed to have a single inlet and a single outlet, and the valve is used to control the flow of the air, liquid or steam through the system either in one direction or in two directions.
The pneumatic shuttle valve is different, with three ports on the valve body. This configuration allows air to come in from one of two inlet ports on either side of the valve and exit from a central outlet port. This allows the movement of air in a pneumatic system or liquid in other systems to move through the valve from two different lines or sources.
At the same time, the design of the system ensures that air can only come from one inlet at one time. This eliminates the risk of any backflow or contamination from the two airlines coming into the pneumatic shuttle valve, while also eliminating two sources supplying the outlet port at the same time.
The Operation of the Valve
The pneumatic shuttle valve is designed with a ball or a specific type of blocking element in the valve body. This ball or blocking element moves along the valve body through pressure from either of the inlet ports. The port with the highest pressure forces the ball or blocking element to the other side of the outlet port and seals the alternative inlet port.
If the pressure differential changes between the inlet ports, the ball or blocking element moves along the interior of the valve body, allowing for continuous pressure through the pneumatic system.
For any application where consistent pressure is required through the airlines, the shuttle valve offers a simple, effective and automatic way to maintain the pressure through the outlet line, even if the pressure drops on one of the inlet ports.