In this article, we understood the symbols of Directional Valves. After reading this article you will easily identify the Directional control valve’s working positions. First of all, we see how many positions a Directional Control Valve has? There are at least two positions having any Directional Control Valve. Many times there are three positions Directional Control Valve also found in the working area. The Pneumatic Valves Manufacturer always put a symbol to read its positions and ports.


How to find the number of Positions of Directional Control Valve?

At any pneumatic Directional Control Valve, there are some symbols of boxes that can be seen on the body of the Directional Control Valve. Each box represents the valve position. In two position valve, the left side box shows the first position and the right side box shows the second position. For three position valve, the middlebox represents the first position, and the left box shows the second, and the right side box shows the third position. Each of these boxes has internal arrows, that represent the direction of airflow for that particular position.


How to Check the number of ways?

In a 2-way Directional Control valve, there are two ports, and a 3-way Directional Control Valve has three ports. 

  • The 2/2 way Directional Control valve has two ports. 
  • In the above figure port “P” or “1” shows the port for pressure and port “A” or “2” for the actuator. This will consider 2-way 2 positions Directional Valve but more often it is identified as 2/2 Directional Control Valve.
  • The two positions and three way Directional Control valve has three ports “P” or “1” would be on the bottom left, the tank port “T” which is sometimes referred to as “R” “3” for reservoir would be on the bottom right. The only port at the top identified as “A” or “2”.


Normal Position of Directional Control Valves

The Directional Control Valves are come up with a normal or an idle position. In that position, they either open or close the ports. The Directional Control Valve allows the flow to pass through in idle or normal condition called Normally open Directional Control Valve and the valve which stops the flow in a normal condition called Normally Closed. At the diagram of the Directional Control Valve, the spring side box mostly on the left side shows the valve’s normal position. 

There are also many kinds of Directional Control Valves that can be seen on the field. 4/2 way, 5/2 way, 5/3 way, etc. For each of these numbers, the number on the right side of the slash represents the positions and the right side numbers show the ports or ways the valve has.



Pneumatic Directional Control Valves are one of the most amazing devices in the pneumatic and hydraulic industries. After all, you can easily read and understand the pneumatic valve’s direction by just take a look over them. Next time we will discuss on 5/2 way Directional Control Valve, till the time stay tuned with us.