The Unique Pressure Control Valve: The Solenoid Valve

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What is a solenoid valve?

A solenoid valve is a type of pressure control valve that is electrically controlled. The valve gets its name from the solenoid or electric coil in its centre. This coil acts as a movable ferromagnetic core or plunger. In the rest position, the plunger shuts off a small orifice. An electric current that runs through the coil creates a magnetic field. This field exerts an upward force on the plunger to open up the orifice. This is the basic principle that opens and closes solenoid valves.

Some fast facts about solenoid valves:

  • Solenoid valves are only used for clean liquids and gases.
  • It is an indirectly operated valve that requires a pressure differential to function.
  • The valve is used to open, close, dose, distribute, or mix any liquid or gas with two or more inlets or outlets.
  • Solenoid valves are fast-acting.
  • The valve has options for manual overrides, ATEX, gas approval, and liquid or gas separation.
  • This valve can get hot as it requires energy to switch and stay in position.
  • The valve is standard in heating systems, compressed air, vacuum, irrigation, and car washes.

How do solenoid valves function?

A solenoid valve functions by controlling the flow of liquids or gases in a positive and fully-open or fully-closed mode. The valve is used to replace manual valves or can be used for remote control. Part of the valve’s function is to open or close an orifice in a valve body that allows or prevents flow through the valve. A plunger locks or opens an orifice by lowering or raising a sleeve tube by energising the coil.

Solenoid valves consist of a sleeve assembly, plunger, and coil. When the valve is closed, a plunger return spring holds the plunger against the orifice and prevents flow. When the solenoid coil is energised, the resulting magnetic field raises the plunger to enable free-flowing. 

Common uses for solenoid valves

Solenoid valve applications encompass a wide range of industrial settings for general on-off control, plant control loops, pressure control systems, and various original applications for:

  • Water supply
  • Treatment of drinking water
  • Wastewater treatment
  • Purification or treatment of dark waters
  • Machine and plant engineering
  • Cooling, dosing, and lubrication
  • Building services
  • Large heating systems or climate control
  • Safety engineering
  • Water mains protection and fire extinguishing systems
  • Compressors
  • Pressure relief and drainage
  • Fuel supply
  • Transport and tank facilities
  • Firing systems
  • Oil and gas burner control
  • Gas chromatography
  • Gas mixture regulation

Master Mac 2000

If you need a pressure control valve or any specific solenoid valve, Master Mac 2000 is the pneumatic tools and process equipment specialist in Australia. Master Mac 2000s helpful staff are available 7:30 AM – 5:00 PM, Monday to Friday. Visit the website at or call 07 3344 4711.

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