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A proportioning valve is a valve that relies on the statics to supply a reduced pressure to an output line.
A simple example is where spring load applies a reducing force so that the output pressure is reduced. Proportioning valves are frequently used in cars to reduce the brake fluid pressure to the rear brakes which are known as Brake Proportioning Valve.
The proportioning valve reduces the pressure to the rear brakes. Regardless of what type of brakes a car has, the rear brakes require less force than the front brakes.
The amount of brake force that can be applied to a wheel without locking it depends on the amount of weight on the wheel. More weight means more brake force can be applied. If you have ever slammed on your brakes, you know that an abrupt stop makes your car lean forward. The front gets lower and the back gets higher. This is because a lot of weight is transferred to the front of the car when you stop. Also, most cars have more weight over the front wheels to start with because that is where the engine is located.
If equal braking force were applied at all four wheels during a stop, the rear wheels would lock up before the front wheels. The proportioning valve only lets a certain portion of the pressure through to the rear wheels so that the front wheels apply more braking force. If the proportioning valve were set to 70 percent and the brake pressure were 1,000 pounds per square inch (psi) for the front brakes, the rear brakes would get 700 psi.
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