What are Solenoid Actuators?

Solenoid actuators are electromagnetic devices that are used to convert electrical signals or currents into mechanical linear motion. They consist of an adjustable wire-wound coil with an iron core that is connected to an electrical power supply, while a movable metal plunger is attached to a secondary mechanism. When an electric current energizes the coil, a powerful magnetic field is produced, pulling the plunger toward it and as a result, providing ample actuation movement.

These reliable devices are especially useful in applications that require remote actuation, which is a reality for a number of operations today. For example, devices that necessitate activation in compact, inaccessible locations, at long distances, or in dangerous environments, benefit from such instruments. Solenoid actuators allow remote operators or automated systems to activate components with ease.

Versatile in function and simple in design, solenoid actuators do not require frequent maintenance and have the ability to produce bi-directional linear actuation motion in just a single moving part.

Working Principle of Solenoid Valve

The solenoid valve is composed of two units. The first is a solenoid with its core and components, and the second is the valve body, where the plates and plugs are positioned to block or enable flow. Flow is determined by the movement of the core and whether the solenoid has moved or not. If the current flows, the coil pushes the core to open the valve. When there is no current, the valve remains closed.

Solenoid valves can be utilized to control hydraulic, pneumatic, and water flow. More than that, they are ideal for use in one-way flow operations with predetermined pressure values.

As previously explained, solenoids consist of a circular coil. When an electric current is passed through the wire-wound coil, a magnetic field is generated. The solenoid’s inner shaft, or plunger, is a cylindrically-shaped piston made of iron or steel. The magnetic field applies pressure to this plunger, creating a tugging or pushing motion. As the magnetic field’s energy ceases, the plunger returns to its original position. When the electric current passes through the various windings of the coil, the plunger is attracted towards the center of the coil, compressing the spring attached to one end of the plunger.

Pneumatic Solenoid Valve

This type of valve is a rotation version of a solenoid. Pneumatic solenoid valves have a magnet on their exterior, and the movement of the coil is controlled by the current flowing through it.

Hydraulic Solenoid Valve

These valves are similar to pneumatic solenoids valves with the exception that they control the flow of hydraulic fluids like oil. Solenoids are typically used in irrigation systems or household items such as washing machines.

Other applications of solenoids include fuel injectors, shutters, sorting, latching and switching, valve actuators, and more.


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December 20, 2022

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