A pressure compensator maintains a constant pressure drop across a metering device regardless of the load induced pressure on the function. There are only two types of compensation methods used in hydraulic flow control functions. These are pre- and post-style compensation. Pre and Post refer to the position of the pressure compensating element relative to the metering element. A pre-style pressure compensator is positioned upstream of the metering element (a proportional valve) and a post-compensator is positioned downstream of the metering element. There is also a sub-category of these, which adds load sharing (this is sometimes called flow sharing). Using current cartridge valve technology, load sharing is limited to post-compensation circuits.
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