A solenoid is an electric output device that converts electrical energy input to a linear mechanical force.
At the basic level, a solenoid is an electromagnetic coil and a metallic rod or arm. Electrical current flow through the coil produces a magnetic field, the force of which will move the rod. The movable component is usually a part of the operating mechanism of another device. This allows an electrical switch (controller) to regulate mechanical movement in the other device and cause a change in its operation. A common solenoid application is the operation of valves.
|Solenoid valve basic parts|
A plunger solenoid contains a movable ferrous rod, sometimes called a core, enclosed in a tube sealed to the valve body and extending through the center of the electromagnetic coil. When the solenoid is energized, the core will move to its equilibrium position in the magnetic field. The core is also a functional part of valve operation, with its repositioning causing a designed change in the valve operating status (open or close). There are countless variants of solenoid-operated valves exhibiting particular operating attributes designed for specific types of applications. In essence, though, they all rely on the electromechanical operating principle outlined here.
A solenoid valve is a combination of two functional units.
- The solenoid (electromagnet) is described above.
- The valve body contains one or more openings, called ports, for the inlet and outlet, and the valve interior operating components.
Flow through an orifice is controlled by the movement of the rod or core. The core is enclosed in a tube sealed to the valve body, providing a leak-tight assembly. A controller energizing or de-energizing the coil will cause the valve to change the operating state between open and closed, regulating fluid flow.
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