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Flow dividers application in hydraulic system

Flow dividers provide a unique solution to a specific problem in hydraulic applications — splitting flow while limiting its tendency to take the path of least resistance. Without a flow divider, any time you wish to split flow to two or more downstream subcircuits, the path with the lowest pressure will steal most (if not all) of the flow. Common designs include spool or gear type flow dividers that input a single flow path and output two or more at a given ratio. Other designs include radial piston and volumetric types.

Gear type flow dividers are essentially hydraulic pump/motors connected by a common shaft. That single shaft ensures each gear section rotates at the same speed, thereby each flowing equally. Gear-type flow dividers tend to be more efficient than spool-type flow dividers. Less fluid is lost from one outlet port to the other, whereas with spool-type flow dividers, the clearances are larger to allow for lubrication of the spool.

Gear type flow dividers come with up to eight sections or sometimes more, which is an advantage over spool-type, which primarily offer just two outlet ports. However, for gear-type flow dividers to synchronize, you must install relief valves at each outlet port to send the fluid back to the flow divider inlet from a stalled actuator.