Q. Should a check valve be used on a cylinder to prevent back flow?
A. In order to answer this we need to look a little deeper at the application and understand the two major types of check valves.
The first type of basic check valve allows flow in one direction only. If we use that type of valve to supply flow to a cylinder, the cylinder will go in one direction. Since the check valve will block reverse flow, the cylinder will be locked in that position.
The second type of check valve is a pilot operated check valve. It will also only allow flow in one direction and hold the cylinder in place. This type of pilot operated check valve also includes a release when a "pilot" signal is applied to allow reverse flow.
There are additional styles of valves designed to control the load of a cylinder. When you get into applications where you need to hold loads overhead or the load could run away from the cylinder, enlist the support of your Applied® certified fluid power specialist at 1-877-279-2799.