Proportional Solenoid Valves
Solenoid valves are defined as electromechanically operated valves, or as valves that are controlled by the electric pulses emitted by a solenoid, also known as an electromagnetic coil. Most often, these valves regulate air and gas flow. Proportional solenoid valves are defined in some ways by their levels of linearity, frequency response and hysteresis.
Quick Links to Proportional Solenoid Valves Information
Advantages of Solenoid Valves
The first way in which proportional valves differ from the standard model is the fact that they do not use a plunger. Another thing that sets proportional solenoid valves apart from other types of solenoid valves, like direct-acting solenoid valves and servo valves, is their ability to accommodate multiple output lines and, using the laws of fluid pressure, increase or decrease output pressure via changes in input force distribution. In contrast, most solenoid valves only have one inlet and one outlet port. Also unique to proportional solenoid valves is the fact that, in some cases, their numerous output lines can be manipulated to open, close and flow at different pressures.
Proportional solenoid valves, the operations of which are often monitored by computers, are always powered by a direct current (DC) power source, such as the very popular 12 volt battery. Generally, proportional valves are constructed from a strong metal like stainless steel, aluminum, brass or a durable plastic. When purchasing a proportional solenoid valve, customers must make sure that the valve materials are compatible with the fluid that will be moving through it.
Proportional Solenoid Valve Design
Proportional solenoid valves are a type of solenoid valve that encourage balance. They act in response to the indication of the electric control signals that they convert into proportional mechanical force. This converted mechanical force triggers flow and moves the magnetized coil (solenoid) at moments chosen by engineers and operators. This design means that proportional solenoid valves can be operated remotely. This fact contrasts with direct-acting solenoid valves, which stop and start flow using a plunger placed in direct contact with the valve’s in-flow opening. The plunger blocks or permits flow per the indication given it by the movement of the solenoid.
Most solenoid valves consist of a few basic parts: the valve body, an inlet port, an outlet port, a coil/solenoid, coil windings, lead wires, a spring, a plunger and an orifice. They may also have additional components such as shading coils, plugnuts or fixed cores, bonnets or covers, backup washers, hanger springs and/or bleed holes.
Types of Proportional Solenoid Valve
Subtypes of the proportional solenoid valve include proportional pressure reducing relief valves, canister proportional purge solenoid valves, three-way proportional pressure reducing-relieving valves, proportional pneumatic control valves and proportional pressure relief valves. In fact, proportional solenoid valves may generally be divided into the following groups, based on their function: directional control valves, pressure reducing/relieving valves, pressure relief valves and flow control valves.
No matter their exact configuration or primary function, proportional solenoid valves provide users with a higher level of control over flow operations, heightened precision and accuracy, a variety of machine cycles, variable speeds and greater overall safety.
Applications of Solenoid Valves
Proportional solenoid valves are highly valued for their ability to accurately regulate the flow of air, gas and fluid within a wide range of system components. They are widely used to control fluid flow in the engines and hydraulically-powered equipment that power the worlds of aerospace, automation and automotive manufacturing. Furthermore, they are also used to regulate water flow, power and compressed air used in the marine, construction, food processing, woodworking, material handling and metalworking industries. Common systems and/or endeavors in which they are found/participate include: tire making, vacuum generation, leak testing, gas adjustment, laser cutting, and application of filling pressure.
Things to Consider When Purchasing Solenoid Valves
Linearity, in this context, is defined as a valve’s ability to actuate, or switch on and off, while creating a smooth line of input and output. Frequency refers to a valve’s ability to respond to extraneous frequencies meant to regulate flow. Hysteresis refers to the phenomenon of path-dependent memory. The level of each of these variables in or exhibited by a proportional solenoid valve determines how accurately and with what tolerances it will control flow.
Those considering the purchase of proportional solenoid valves must also consider the following parameters, which are essential to valve function: minimum pressure, maximum pressure, back-pressure range, fluid type, fluid temperature range, maximum flow and ambient temperature range. To find out if a proportional valve is right for your application, contact one or more of the experienced valve manufacturers listed in our directory.