Solenoid valve selection guide

When choosing a solenoid valve, you’ll need to really know what sort of media it will be used for. As a general rule solenoid valves are made to operate with media without solid particles such as water, oil, petroleum products, steam, compressed air or heat transfer fluids. This important info allows you to define the materials your solenoid valve will be made of. Most solenoid valves are constructed of brass (ideal for water, fuel, air or inert gas), stainless steel (for corrosive liquids or gases, food product liquids) or plastic (mainly in the food and chemical sectors).

To avoid any risk of malfunction because of the occurrence of solid particles, also called as impurities, we advise that you utilize an upstream filter before the solenoid valve.

Solenoid valves can be two-way or have multiple ports. They are generally defined by two digits, one deciding the amount of ports and the other the number of positions. For instance, a 3/2 solenoid valve is one with 3 ports and 2 positions.

Most solenoid valves are powered by an on or off basis (open or closed), although some are designed to be proportional to the present or supply voltage.

Depending on your application and to be able to optimize the supply time of your solenoid valve, you have the decision between normally closed (NC) solenoid valves and normally open (NO) solenoid valves:

A normally closed solenoid valve opens when it’s powered by electricity.

A normally open solenoid valve closes when it is powered by electricity.

If necessary, you can also choose a bistable solenoid valve whose flap remains in position even in the case of a power failure. The main good thing about these solenoid valves is that they use hardly any energy.

Solenoid valves are generally sensitive to moisture. You need to check the external conditions in order to choose a solenoid valve with a sufficient protection class (IP) for the intended environment. You can even choose a reduced protection rating and remotely install the solenoid valve in a less humid area. To get more information about Solenoid Valve Manufacturers

Solenoid valves are also defined with a nominal diameter (DN) because they are integrated into a circuit. The connection and pipe diameters are specified by standards in line with the country or geographical area they are to be found in and in line with the media they will be used for.

Solenoid valves may also be at the mercy of other standards, such as those governing equipment installed in ATEX (Explosive Atmosphere) zones, particularly for the energy industries.

When should you use a solenoid valve?

A solenoid valve is necessary if you need to control the flow of any liquid or gas, whether it’s in computerized control or on/off. Put simply, you can use a solenoid valve for example to open or close a circuit, to dose products, to mix gases or waters, etc.

The applications are varied, which range from the control of standard process valves to the control of specific valves such as overpressure protection systems and emergency stop valves, as well as fluid control in applications such as fire system valves. One of the features of solenoid valves compared to traditional valves is that they enable a very fast response time. As such, they can be found in the following applications:

– In compressors: during the starting phase, the solenoid valve is utilized to discharge the compressor to be able to eliminate the torque on the engine.

– In agriculture: in irrigation systems, the reduced response time of solenoid valves saves a significant amount of water.

– In certain specific cases, for example for professional presses where the failure of the solenoid valve could present a major accident risk for the operator, it may be possible to use double body valves. These are generally 3/2-way solenoid valves equipped with a double valve system rendering it possible to pay for the possible failure of 1 of them.