Solenoid Valves

What are solenoid valves?

The solenoid valves, also known as the solenoid controlled relief valves, are a type of valve that helps regulate the fluids that flow in between the applications that are connected to the inlet and outlet respectively. The solenoid valves regulate the flow of the fluids by means of the pressure differentiation and flow of electric current, in order to open, close, distribute, or mix the media that flow through it.

There are a variety of valves that are widely adopted for various applications, which come in different designs and are operated with similar or different principles. No matter what kinds of valves there are, or how they are operated for the applications, they all have the same purpose, which is to regulate the flow of the media by providing a channel for them to flow through.

Depending on the design of the valves, as well as the materials that these valves are made of, the compatible media of each one of them are different, which means one valve cannot fit all media. Some are suitable for clean fluids with low viscosity, and others may be better choices for the mixture fluid with high viscosity.

Among all the types of valve, the solenoid valves are suitable for the delivering of clean fluids or gases, which mean only the media with low viscosity, can be regulated with the assistance of the solenoid valve. 

In addition, most of the valves work with the differentiation of the media pressure, while the solenoid valves are additionally capable of utilizing the electric current to create suitable environments for the media due to the design of the solenoid, which is the electric coil in conjunction with a ferromagnetic plunger on this type of valve. 

How does a solenoid valve form?

A solenoid valve delivers media from the inlet and outlet. Depending on the requirement related to the purposes of using the solenoid valves, these valves can be differentiated into two categories, including the two-way solenoid valves and three-way solenoid valves. 

In general, the two-way type has one inlet and one outlet. As for the three-way type, there might be several diversions, such as two inlets and one outlet, one inlet and two outlets, and the above two with different configurations.

No matter the two-way or three-way form the valve is categorized in, each of them generally consists of a valve body, a plunger, a seal, the shading rings, a spring, an iron core, and an electromagnetic coil.

● Valve body
The valve body is at the lower part of the valve, which is the main channel for the media to flow through, and contains the lower part of the plunger on the connecting area of the upper part of the valve body.

● Plunger
The plunger is connected to the valve body with a special designed configuration. It does the motions of opening and closing the orifice of the valve, in order to allow or restrict the media that are supposed to flow through the valve. 

● Seal
The seal is at the bottom of the plunger, which is used to close the orifice of the valve when the media are not required to flow through, and facilitate the flow of the media as the plunger is pushed and moved upwards.

 Shading rings
The shading rings are set upon the plunger, which is used to prevent the vibration and humming of the electromagnetic coil.

● Spring
The spring is in charge of the movements of the plunger. With the changes between the energized and de-energized states, the spring causes the plunger to move upward or downward, so as to open or close the valve.

 Iron core
The iron core is on the center of the solenoid, and supports the coil by allowing it to be wrapped around the core.

● Electromagnetic coil
The electromagnetic coil is the part that provides the pressure for the plunger and the spring as it receives the electric current that energizes the valve, or allows for the electric current to be released and de-energizes the valve.

How does a solenoid valve work?

1. Two-way solenoid valve

● Direct acting

The direct acting working principle is to allow spring to be forced and enable the seal to be lifted when the electric current energizes the coil and creates an electromagnetic field.

● Indirect acting
For the indirect acting type, the part that opens or closes the route of the media is replaced with a membrane, or diaphragm, which is driven by the differentiation of pressure.

● Semi-direct acting
The semi-direct acting type combines the principles of the above two types, which receives the electric current and is driven by the pressure differentiation at the same time.

2. Three-way solenoid valve
The operating principle of the three-way solenoid valve is similar to the two-way form, but different in the configuration of the ports. For the diverting valve, which is to distribute one medium to two ports, there would be one bottom left inlet and the other two outlets. For the mixing valve, which mixes two kinds of media into one, there would be two inlets and one bottom left outlet. As for the universal valve, the inlets and outlets allow the media to flow in either direction.

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