Technical Information
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comatrol hydraulic cartridge valves

Cartridge Valve Introduction


Cartridge valves are compact and economical components that can be used for directional, pressure, or flow control in systems from 0.4 L/min [0.1 US gal/min] up to 400 l/min [100 gpm], and for pressures up to 350 bar [5075 psi]. By combining standard cartridge valves almost any hydraulic circuit can be easily created. Using cartridge valves in a custom manifold, a designer can create a hydraulic integrated circuit (HIC) that provides a compact package for hydraulic control with reduced plumbing, easier installation, easier service, and fewer leak points than traditional hydraulic systems.


Each valve has several key ratings, specifications, and settings:


  • Each Comatrol cartridge valve fits a Comatrol standard cavity. These cavities are designed around SAE or metric standard o-ring straight thread ports. In many cases these cavities are interchangeable with cavities used by other manufacturers. See catalog sheets for details.  The National Fluid Power Association (NFPA) and International Standards Organization (ISO) are developing a standard, NFPA T3.5.31M-19XX, that will define an industry-wide set of standard cavities. Comatrol will manufacture cartridge valves for NFPA cavities upon formal approval of the standard.

  • The pressure rating is based on NFPA fatigue test standards and a burst test at least 3:1 safety factor.

  • The flow rating is based on the flow at a pressure drop of 7 bar [100 psi] for directional valves or a pressure rise or drop of 7 bar [100 psi] for pressure relief and reducing valves, with 32 mm2/s (cSt) [151 SUS] fluid. Note that for many valves this flow can be exceeded if the penalties of higher pressure drop and the associated heat generation are acceptable. The exceptions to this are solenoid-operated spool type directional valves and proportional flow control valves where the flow ratings indicate a performance limit.

  • The solenoid voltage is a nominal value. All solenoid valves are designed to operate at 85% of nominal voltage with full rated flow and pressure and at an ambient temperature of 60 °C [140 °F].  

  • Pressure settings for check, relief, reducing, sequence, and motion control valves, commonly referred to as the crack pressure, are set at a flow rate of 0.95 L/min [0.25 gpm] through the valve. 

  • Leakage is generally measured at rated pressure limits or in the case of relief and motion control valves at 70-80% of crack pressure setting, with 32 mm2/s (cSt) [151 SUS] fluid. See  individual catalog sheets for details.

  • Temperature ratings vary by model and options. Seal materials provide ranges of ‑40 °C to 100 °C [‑40° F to 212 °F] (buna-n or polyurethane) or ‑26 °C to 204 °C [‑15 °F to 400 °F] (viton). The recommended minimum fluid viscosity is 12 mm2/s (cSt) [66 SUS] which will override the maximum seal temperature limit for most fluids. Solenoid valves are rated for 60 °C [140 °F] maximum ambient temperature for continuous duty. Consult factory for extreme applications. 


Fluid Recommendations 

Ratings and performance data for cartridge valves are based on operating with premium hydraulic fluids containing oxidation, rust, and foam inhibitors.

These premium fluids include premium turbine oils, API CD engine oils per SAE J183, M2C33F or G automatic transmission fluids (ATF), Dexron II (ATF) meeting Allison C-3 or Caterpillar TO-2 requirements, and certain specialty agriculture tractor fluids. For further information see Comatrol publication 520L0463Hydraulic Fluids and Lubricants, and publication 520L0465Biodegradable Hydraulic Fluids Applications. 


Never mix hydraulic fluids.

Product performance will generally be within catalog limits with fluids meeting the recommended viscosity limits shown below.

Product can be operated at viscosities outside the recommended limits, however performance may be greatly degraded. Extreme conditions must be evaluated by the user to determine acceptibility of product performance. 

Contact your Comatrol representative for more information regarding fluids.

Filtration Recommendations

It is imperative that only clean oil be used with cartridge valves to maintain valve operation and prevent premature wear. System filtration capable ofcontrolling the fluid cleanliness to the limits shown below is required.

The selection of filters depends on a number of factors including the contamination ingression rate and the desired maintenance interval. Filters are selected to meet the below requirements using rating parameters of efficiency and capacity.

Filter efficiency may be measured using a Beta (β) ratio.* A filter with a β-ratio within the range of β10=10 is typically required.

Since each system is unique, the filtration requirement for that system will be unique and must be determined by test in each case. It is essential that monitoring of prototypes and evaluation of components and performance throughout the test program be the final criteria for judging theadequacy of the filtration system. For further information see Comatrol publication 520L467Design Guidelines for Hydraulic Fluid Cleanliness 




Standard Pressure Settings

The tables below detail coding for standard pressure settings. Use these tables for when filling in valve ordering options for valves with selectable pressure settings. Use the table on this page for valves that specify pressure in psi—typically those beginning with the letters CP. Use the table on the next page for valves that specify pressure in bar—typically those that do not begin with the letters CP.


Standard settings for valves set in psi
Crack Pressure 
(code x 10 = psi)
Crack Pressure,
psi [bar]
Crack Pressure 
(code x 10 = psi)
Crack Pressure,
psi [bar]
001 10 psi [0.69 bar] 150 1500 psi [103 bar]
002 20 psi [1.38 bar] 160 1600 psi [110 bar]
003 30 psi [2.07 bar] 170 1700 psi [117 bar]
004 40 psi [2.76 bar] 180 1800 psi [124 bar]
005 50 psi [3.45 bar] 190 1900 psi [131 bar]
006 60 psi [4.14 bar] 200 2000 psi [138 bar]
007 70 psi [4.83 bar] 210 2100 psi [145 bar]
008 80 psi [5.52 bar] 220 2200 psi [152 bar]
009 90 psi [6.21 bar] 230 2300 psi [159 bar]
010 100 psi [6.9 bar] 240 2400 psi [166 bar]
012 120 psi [8.28 bar] 250 2500 psi [172 bar]
014 140 psi [9.66 bar] 260 2600 psi [179 bar]
015 150 psi [10.34 bar]


2700 psi [186 bar]
016 160 psi [11.0 bar] 280 2800 psi [193 bar]
018 180 psi [12.4 bar] 290 2900 psi [200 bar]
020 200 psi [13.8 bar] 300 3000 psi [207 bar]
022 220 psi [15.2 bar] 320 3200 psi [221 bar]
024 240 psi [16.6 bar] 340 3400 psi [234 bar]
025 250 psi [17.2 bar] 350 3500 psi [241 bar]
026 260 psi [17.9 bar] 360 3600 psi [248 bar]
028 280 psi [19.3 bar] 380 3800 psi [262 bar]
030 300 psi [20.7 bar] 400 4000 psi [276 bar]
035 350 psi [24.1 bar] 420 4200 psi [290 bar]
040 400 psi [27.6 bar] 440 4400 psi [303 bar]
045 450 psi [31.0 bar] 460 4600 psi [317 bar]
050 500 psi [34.5 bar] 480 4800 psi [331 bar]
060 600 psi [41.4 bar] 500 5000 psi [345 bar]
070 700 psi [48.3 bar] 520 5200 psi [359 bar]
080 800 psi [55.2 bar] 540 5400 psi [372 bar]
090 900 psi [62.1 bar] 560 5600 psi [386 bar]
100 1000 psi [69.0 bar] 580 5800 psi [400 bar]
110 1100 psi [75.9 bar] 600 6000 psi [414 bar]
120 1200 psi [82.8 bar] XXX Pressure code stamped
on valve; Pressure not set
130 1300 psi [89.7 bar]
140 1400 psi [96.6 bar]    


Standard settings for valves set in bar

Crack Pressure 
Code (bar)
Crack Pressure,
psi [bar]
Crack Pressure 
Code (bar)
Crack Pressure,
bar [psi]
10 10 bar [145 psi] 140 140 bar [2030 psi]
15 15 bar [218 psi] 150 150 bar [2175 psi]
20 20 bar [290 psi] 160 160 bar [2320 psi]
25 25 bar [363 psi] 170 170 bar [2465 psi]
30 30 bar [435 psi] 180 180 bar [2610 psi]
35 35 bar [508 psi] 190 190 bar [2755 psi]
40 40 bar [580 psi] 200 200 bar [2900 psi]
45 45 bar [653 psi] 210 210 bar [3045 psi]
50 50 bar [725 psi] 220 220 bar [3190 psi]
55 55 bar [798 psi] 230 230 bar [3335 psi]
60 60 bar [870 psi] 240 240 bar [3480 psi]
65 65 bar [943 psi] 250 250 bar [3625 psi]
70 70 bar [1015 psi]


260 bar [3770 psi]
75 75 bar [1088 psi] 270 270 bar [3915 psi]
80 80 bar [1160 psi] 280 280 bar [4060 psi]
85 85 bar [1233 psi] 290 290 bar [4205 psi]
90 90 bar [1305 psi] 300 300 bar [4350 psi]
95 95 bar [1378 psi] 310 310 bar [4495 psi]
100 100 bar [1450 psi] 320 320 bar [4640 psi]
105 105 bar [1523 psi] 330 330 bar [4785 psi]
110 110 bar [1595 psi] 340 340 bar [4930 psi]
120 120 bar [1740 psi] 350 350 bar [5075 psi]
130 130 bar [1885 psi] XXX

Pressure code stamped
on valve; Pressure not set

Mechanical Valve Adjustment Options

Adustment options - CP valves


Adjustment options - other valves




Cartridge valve installation procedure



Refer to specific pages within this catalog to ensure proper port identification for cartridge functions. Inspect the valve cavity to be sure it is free of burrs, chips or other contamination.



Check the cartridge to ensure it is free of external contamination, and the O-rings and back-up rings are intact. Dip the cartridge in clean oil to the top of the threads to lubricate the O-rings.



Insert and screw the cartridge into its cavity by hand. It should turn easily up to the top O-ring. If it does not turn easily, the cavity has been machined improperly and the body should not be used. Torque all cartridges per specification shown on catalog sheet. Torque all coil nuts to 5-8
N•m [4-6 lbf•ft] unless otherwise specified.



Test the entire system to ensure that the cartridges are performing correctly and to check for leaks.





Hydraulic integrated circuits



Cartridge valves can be installed in custom designed manifolds to create a Hydraulic Integrated Circuit (HIC). HICs provide many advantages over traditional hydraulic control systems:


  • HICs are compact packages that simplify machine plumbing.

  • Costs for fittings, tubes, hoses, and seals are dramatically reduced.

  • Installation costs are dramatically reduced.

  • Leak points are eliminated.

  • Service time and costs are dramatically reduced. Components can be replaced without disturbing machine plumbing.

  • HICs can be centralized on a machine or strategically located. Using a custom HIC provides the designer unlimited flexibility to optimize machines for assembly, plumbing, wiring, service, and weight distribution.

Comatrol designs and manufactures the highest quality custom HICs in the world.





A custom HIC can be designed to your circuit requirements. Contact your Comatrol representative for circuit design consultation.


  • Manifolds are designed using the most advanced 3-D solid modeling CAD software.

  • Advanced quality planning concepts are used throughout the design stage including product and process failure mode and effects analysis and design for manufacturability. A preproduction approval process is followed and initial sample inspection reports are used for first production pieces. Statistical process control is used to control critical features. Control plans and gauge reliability and repeatability programs are used to ensure continued quality.

  • Industry-leading rapid prototyping is available to support your test program requirements. Most prototype manifolds can be delivered to meet your schedule requirements.



  • In HIC assemblyManifolds are machined from 6061‑T6 or 2011 aluminum (for pressures to 210 bar [3,000 psi]), high

strength aluminum (pressures up to 240 bar [3,500 psi]), or ductile iron (pressures to 480 bar [7,000 psi]).

  • State-of-the art flexible CNC machining centers are used to maintain the highest quality standards.

  • All manifolds go through extensive deburring and cleaning operations.

  • Aluminum manifolds can be finished with clear or color anodizing on request for added cleanliness,
    enhanced corrosion resistance, and improved appearance.

  • Steel and ductile iron manifolds are zinc plated.

  • HICs, on request, can be 100% tested on automated computerized test stands. Performance  requirements and test specifications are often unique for each custom HIC and are agreed to by Comatrol and the customer prior to production.


  • HICs can be supplied with hydraulic fittings installed on request.

  • HICs can be supplied with custom electrical wire harnesses on request. These can be designed for HICs with two or more solenoids to provide the end-user with a one-point electrical connection to reduce
    assembly time and eliminate potential wiring mistakes.

  • All HICs are identified with a Comatrol part number and manufacturing date code.  HICs can be identified with customer specified part numbers, logos, etc., on request.




Product Documents and Downloads
Download this file (01-IN_Introduction.pdf)Introduction Catalog576 kB09-28-2015

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