The industrial revolution ushered in whole new level of industry, where society has increasingly relied on advanced machinery and technology to fuel economic growth and allow us to live at a level of comfort that is unprecedented. In order to run the advanced machinery, complex processes such as radioactivity, high pressure and temperature control are needed. Fortunately, we have machines that can perform these sorts of tasks reliably and safely. One of the mainstays in industrial processes are valves. They are used to control pressure, temperature, capacity and the flow of liquids in machinery and industrial processes. One of the most useful types are solenoid valves.
Solenoid valves make use of electricity to control the rate and flow of fluids in various types of systems and machines. Electrical energy flows into a solenoid coil which results in the creation of a magnetic field that opens a plunger to allow gas and other liquids to flow through. When the electricity is shut off, the valve closes.
Solenoids are used in many different industries and a wide array of machines and processes. They are used in linear as well as rotary applications to control fluid power motors, cylinders and other types of industrial processes. Some of the major industries that use solenoids include the dental, appliance, energy, medical and transportation industries. Linear applications include the use of solenoids in brakes, vending machines, door locks, copiers, coin changers, pumps, disc drive locks, film processors and electric typewriters. Rotary solenoid applications include circuit breakers, counters, defibrillators, machine tools, and textile machinery. Solenoid valves can be found in dishwashers and washing machines where they control the flow of water. In dentist chairs they control both water and air flow. In other words, solenoids are part of our everyday life without us even knowing it.
The use of solenoids are so beneficial in a wide variety of machines and industries because of their reliability, cost effectiveness and longevity. There are also several different types of solenoid valves to meet various specific needs of industry. Solenoid valves are either direct-acting or pilot-operated valves. They also come with two or more ports. Direct-acting solenoid valves are most often used for controlling low volume valves. This is because they contain just one electromechanical control set. Pilot-operated valves are comprised of a combination of valves, making it possible to use them in higher volume applications.
The use of solenoids offers several important benefits, especially compared with other types of hydraulic and pneumatic designs. Solenoids typically operate faster and tend to be easier to install as well as maintain. In general, solenoids also offer more consistent electromechanical force over a long period of time. They are also offer reliable performance. In summary, solenoids offer the benefits of longevity, reliability, speed and ease of installation and maintenance compared to other types of industrial designs. They also tend to be quite affordable.
Solenoids are part of our everyday life without us even realizing it. The simplicity of their design actually contributes to many important aspects of our lives, from the dishes we wash, coffee we brew and brakes we use in our cars. Whether we are visiting the dentist or turning on our automatic sprinkler system, there is a good chance that solenoids are working behind the scenes to ensure the correct and safe flow of water, gas or other liquids in the machines and systems we use every day.