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Solenoid Actuator

Posted on 3/15/2016 10:47:18 AM

Solenoid actuators are used to manage compressed air valves.
 
Solenoid is a piece of equipment that when supplied with electricity forms a magnet inside itself that moves something.
 
Actuator is the mechanical tool that shifts the inner workings of the air valves.
A usual solenoid actuator has the following parts.
- Coil
- Armature
- Spring
- Stem
 
Solenoid actuator can be powered by both air and electricity.
Electricity is supplied to the coil from the outside. The spring is kept on the armature to keep it down. The armature moves up and down inside the coil and transmits its motion from the stem to the valve.
As the current passes in the coil a magnetic field is formed around it. This magnetic field pulls the armature to the centre of the coil. Due to the upward movement of the armature the spring compresses and opens the valves. When the flow of current is stopped the very opposite of this happens. Without a magnetic field the armature moves down the spring expands thus closing the valve.
 
The most important benefit of the solenoid actuators is their fast operation. The installation of solenoid actuator is also a lot easier than hydraulic or pneumatic actuators. Solenoid actuators also have a couple of drawbacks. Firstly they have either a fully opened or a fully closed position and secondly solenoid actuators don’t generate much force hence cannot be used in large valves.
 
Solenoid actuators are of two types:
Direct Acting Solenoid Actuator
This type of solenoid actuator consists of a coil, a pole piece, a compressed air supply valve, a supply port, a poppet and a spring. The coil is energized and it forms a magnetic field which results in the movement of the pole piece, since this piece is attached to the poppet, it will move allowing the spring (which is the internal valve actuator) to compress and let the air flow.
 
Air Pilot Solenoid Actuator
This solenoid actuator is used to run bigger compressed air valves. The direct acting solenoid actuator has a comparatively slow valve mechanism. In this type of solenoid actuator there are two valves, a smaller direct acting valve which opens into a much larger spool valve. The smaller valve is used for de-energizing which results in the rest phase of the big valve, shifting the spool to the right and the extension of spring takes place which is the internal main valve actuator. The air pilot actuator has its own benefits. A little quantity of compressed air from the main line of the bigger power valve can move massive valve with very little amount of electricity. It how ever has its problems too. This type of valve cannot control vacuum or low pressure a high pressure supply line is required. Therefore, unless you can bring a supply line with higher pressure to the direct acting solenoid pilot, this type of valve will not be able to control low pressure or vacuum.
 
There usage of Solenoid actuator is extensive in all kinds of machinery and even in vehicles in form of brake actuator.

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