A solenoid valve is made up of different parts, each serving an essential function. Understanding these components can enhance your knowledge about how solenoid valves work. That, in turn, would help you to care for the valve better, or even service it. Solenoid valve designs, sizes, and working mechanisms vary across different valve types. However, the main parts do not. A typical magnetic valve will have the following parts.
1. Solenoid Valve Body
This is the part of the valve to which the solenoid assembly is connected. The valve body connects to the circuit that carries the fluid to be regulated. It also contains openings to known as solenoid valve ports that attach to the line. The valve body conveys the media involved in the circuit and should be capable of doing so without damage. That’s why manufacturers usually use the most suitable and high-grade material to make this part.
2. Coil Windings
It’s a length of wire that’s wound around a magnetic core. The coil is the solenoid valve actuator assembly. It produces the movement that displaces a disc or seal and restricts the flow of media through the valve.
The solenoid valve coil comes in different sizes, which among other factors, affects the strength and closing power of the valve.
A solenoid valve plunger is the part of the valve that moves to close or open the valve. It’s usually cylindrical in shape and made of ferromagnetic material. When the solenoid coil energizes and produces a magnetic field, the plunger moves up or down.
Depending on the action required and the working mechanism of the valve, the plunger movement controls the media in the valve. It may allow the fluid to pass, block it, or regulate the amount that passes through. The plunger houses a seal that closes the orifice. The seal can be metal or rubber material. Rubber seals are the most common.
4. Inlet Port
As the name indicates, the inlet port of a solenoid valve is the entry point of the media. It’s the opening through which fluid enters the valve before it encounters the closing or opening action of the valve seal or disc.
A solenoid valve will have one or more inlet ports depending on the required function.
5. Outlet Port
This is the port that provides a way out for the regulated fluid. It’s the part of the valve that receives the media that has been allowed through by the valve, either fully or partially.
Just like with the inlet port, the number of outlet openings can be one or more depending on the type of solenoid valve.
6. Solenoid Coil
It’s the body or assembly of the solenoid valve coil. Usually round and hollow, this part consists of a metal body and houses the coil windings.
The solenoid coil is the electromagnet assembly and made from either steel or iron. It supports the coil wire and magnetizes to move the plunger.
7. Solenoid Spring
The spring provides the tension that’s required to keep the plunger in place. When current ceases to flow in the coil, residual magnetism may cause the plunger to remain stuck up or down the sleeve in which it moves.
The spring prevents that by pulling the plunger back to the original position when the current stops flowing. It also prevents the plunger from moving down the tube due to gravity.
8. Lead Wires
A solenoid valve uses an electric actuator to work. That means there will be wires to convey current. These are the lead wires, the external connections that attach to the valve’s electrical circuitry on one end and the power supply on the other.
When the action of the plunger is required, current is made to flow through these lead wires and into the solenoid valve.
It’s the opening between the inlet and outlets ports. This is the part of a solenoid valve that’s operated by the plunger, restricting the flow of media in and out of the valve.
A solenoid valve will have one or several orifices. It depends on the required action, or working principle employed.
Other important parts of a solenoid valve include:
Sealing disc or gasket– it can be part of a solenoid valve plunger, diaphragm, or be inside a seal gasket housing. This component provides the part that shuts the valve. The seal comes into contact with the medium being controlled. As a result, it should be of a premium material that can withstand corrosion. It also needs to be kept free from dirt, or the valve may not close fully.
Diaphragm- found in pilot operated solenoid valves, this part closes the main orifice from the action of pressure differences. Being a moving part, the diaphragm needs to be kept clean for the valve to operate as needed.
Armature tube- this is the hollow component acts as the plunger guide. Due to the tight clearances, any imperfections in the tube can cause the plunger to jam. Dirt can also affect the movement of the plunger, leading to valve damage due to the resulting and heat.
The different parts of a solenoid should be present for the valve to operate. They should also be installed correctly.
That’s because a missing components can cause a valve to malfunction. The same case with wrongly installed parts. Solenoid valves can be simple or complex assemblies and consist of many different parts.
The components explained here are the main ones- those that make up a typical solenoid valve.
Knowing what each of these main parts does improves your overview of these important devices.