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Shuttle Valves

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Shuttle Valves for Space

Shuttle Valves for the Extreme Environment of Space

Lee shuttle valves are 3-port valves that allow fluid flow from one of two sources. They may be used to allow a second source to purge fluid lines or for a backup system to operate if the primary system loses pressure.

These valves are used for a wide variety of applications in spacecraft, and they’re proven to perform under extreme temperatures and pressures. Each valve is designed to be compact, lightweight, and offer simple installation. They feature a unique nose seal design and our field-proven controlled expansion principle, which eliminates bypass leakage without the use of O-rings. Lee shuttle valves are available in a variety of sizes and configurations to meet the needs of your space application.

Choose from spring-biased shuttle valves, detented shuttle valves, selective shuttle valves, inverse shuttle valves, or zero leak shuttle valves – you’re almost certain to find a configuration that works for you. Elastomeric seat options are available for applications where leakage must be eliminated.

Over half of the products we offer are designed for the unique needs of a specific application. Shuttle valves can be designed in custom envelopes and configurations with unique shuttling pressures, flow rates, leakage specifications, materials, and more. Contact your local Lee sales engineer to discuss your specific needs.

Spring-Biased Shuttle Valves

This valve configuration is typically used to select between the main hydraulic system and the emergency backup that’s biased in the normally closed port. Its non-interflow design means that its three ports are never open simultaneously. These valves can also be used to extend a large unequal area actuator, where reduced actuation force may be permissible in one direction. Available in sizes from 0.187 to 0.500 of an inch.

Detented Shuttle Valves

Detented shuttle valves are designed with a mechanically latched poppet that can close off one of the two inlet ports. This design is typically used where bi-directional flow may be required between either of the inlet ports and the outlet port. Detented shuttle valves are also of the “non-interflow” type. This valve comes in 0.187, 0.281, 0.375, and 0.500 inch diameters as a standard product. Zero leak versions are also available.

Selective Shuttle Valves

This is our standard non-biased loose-ball design. Available in 0.187, 0.281, 0.375, and 0.500 inch diameters, these are most economical configuration. Shuttling pressure is just 1 PSID maximum. The valves are rated for leakage of fewer than 1 mL per minute.

Inverse Shuttle Valves

Inverse shuttle valves may be used to replace two check valves in providing an anti-cavitation and anti-pressure intensification function in hydrostatic actuation systems. Unique among shuttle valves, these components flow liquid from the lower pressure port while the higher inlet pressure is blocked. They’re available in 0.250 and 0.500 inch diameters.

Zero Leak Shuttle Valves

Zero leak versions of the detented and spring-biased shuttle valves are available with polymeric valve seats to eliminate leakage. Detented shuttle valves are available with polymeric seats on both the normal and emergency ports. These polymeric seats provide a tighter seal in applications where eliminating any leakage is critical. This is particularly critical in pneumatic applications. Zero leak valves are available in 0.281, 0.375, and 0.500 inch diameters. For custom versions of a spring-biased shuttle valve with a polymeric valve seat, contact your local Lee sales engineer.

Support and Resources

Support and Resources from a Team that Speaks Your Language

Shuttle valves are vital components in any space application. Learn how to make the right choice based on your design parameters. Start with the resources below to help you identify best-fit solutions, maximize productivity, and learn about how our products are used in space exploration.