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Last updateMon, 24 Apr 2017 2pm

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Relevance in a Digital Age

Relevance in a Digital Age

The distribution model of the past 50 ye...

Video Game Technology Changing the  Offshore Industry

Video Game Technology Changing the Offshore Industry

One of the most powerful innovations in ...

Reshoring, Robots and What Happens if We Do Bring Jobs Back?

Reshoring, Robots and What Happens if We Do Bring Jobs Back?

While offshoring is painted as the major...

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Industry Headlines

Natural Gas Inventories Above Five-Year Average

Monday, 24 April 2017  |  Chris Guy

Working natural gas in storage as of March 31, the traditional end of the heating season, totaled 2,051 billion cubic feet, or almost 15% above the fi...

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Industry Headlines

VanAire Names Steven Soderman CEO, Quality Manager

4 DAYS AGO

Steven Soderman has joined the leadership team of VanAire, Incorporated as CEO and quality manager. Bill VanDeVusse will continue in his role as president having previously filled the positions of both president and CEO.

Soderman has held key quality positions throughout his career most recently fillin...

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Chromatic Industries Adds Two Former Cameron Executives

4 DAYS AGO

Mark Gamber has joined Chromatic Industries as CEO effective April 10, 2017. Wayne Hall will continue in his role as president. Gamber most recently served as vice president of operations at Cameron in its Distributed Valves Group.

Additionally, Mark Cordell has joined Chromatic as a senior advisor. Be...

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Natural Gas Inventories Above Five-Year Average

-1 DAYS AGO

Working natural gas in storage as of March 31, the traditional end of the heating season, totaled 2,051 billion cubic feet, or almost 15% above the five-year average according to EIA 's Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report . The total inventory of U.S. natural gas in storage tends to follow seasonal patter...

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Alliance Pipeline Proposing Expansion to Chicago Market

-1 DAYS AGO

Alliance Pipeline Co. has made a non-binding request for expressions of interest for additional natural gas transportation service on its system with an anticipated commencement date of Nov. 1, 2020. In response to high demand for its transportation service to the Chicago market hub , Alliance is asse...

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Are Women the Key to Closing U.S. Skills Gap?

-1 DAYS AGO

The Manufacturing Institute, Deloitte and APICS have just released, “Women in Manufacturing: Stepping up to make an impact that matters.” The joint study is the result of more than 600 survey responses from women professionals in the manufacturing industry, along with nearly 20 manufactu...

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Fed Beige Book Showing Continued Economic Expansion

3 DAYS AGO

Economic activity increased in each of the twelve Federal Reserve Districts between mid-February and the end of March, with the pace of expansion equally split between modest and moderate . In addition, the pickup was evident to varying degrees across economic sectors.

Manufacturing continued to expand...

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Solenoid Valves

sum11_b2b_solenoid_introSolenoid valves are usually considered an accessory in the process valve industry; however, while there is some truth to this, these accessories are crucial to the proper operation of any system that uses them.

The solenoid valve has many features that need to be considered when creating a specification. Eight specification points should be addressed to correctly choose the right solenoid valve for an application. These specification points are:

  • Type
  • Operation
  • Media
  • Size
  • Pressure
  • Atmosphere
  • Voltage
  • Extras

More information on these eight points is included in this article.


TYPE

sum11_b2b_fig1Figure 1. 2-way solenoid valves used to start and stop the flow of media in a pipe trainThe type of solenoid valve refers to whether that valve is a 2-way, 3-way or 4-way. A 2-way valve (Figure 1) has two port connections-a pressure or input port (port 1) and an outlet port (port 2). These valves are used to stop the flow of a fluid or start the flow of a fluid in a piping configuration. Usually, a 2-way valve is referred to as a 2/2 valve, which means the valve has two ports and two positions. The positions are: 1) on or energized and 2) off or de-energized.

Three-way valves (Figure 2) are those that have three ports-a pressure or inlet port (port 1), a cylinder port (port 2) and an exhaust port (port 3). A 3-way valve’s most common application is for process valve automation. The solenoid valve sends air to a spring return actuator or cylinder, which creates rotational or linear movement to open or close a process valve. In this case, the media is usually compressed air or gas that is creating work, which is where the term “fluid power” is derived. The power of a compressed gas or pressurized liquid is controlled to create mechanical work. Three-way valves are usually referred to as 3/2 valves-they have three ports and two positions.

sum11_b2b_fig2Figure 2. Basic 3- and 4-way valves typically used for process valve automationFour-way valves (Figure 2) can have four or five ports-a pressure or inlet port (port 1), two cylinder ports (ports 2 and 4), and one or two exhaust ports (port 3 and possibly a port 5). The exhaust ports can either have both cylinder ports sharing a common exhaust port or have each cylinder port with its own exhaust port. This valve’s primary use is also for process valve automation. For double-acting or non-spring return actuators and cylinders, a 4-way valve must be used. Air flow in a 4-way valve is more complicated than air flow in some other types. For example:

  • In cases where the valve is de-energized or off: The pressure port to cylinder port 2 is open while cylinder port 4 to exhaust is open.
  • In cases where the valve is energized or on: The pressure port to cylinder port 4 is open while cylinder port 2 to the exhaust is open.

Since the actuator or cylinder does not have a spring on one side, it must rely on fluid power from a 4-way valve to open and close. Four-way valves can be referred to as 4/2 or 5/2 valves, and they can have four or five ports and two positions.

There are other configurations such as the dual solenoid, fail-in-last-position, 3/3, and 5/3 solenoid valves, but explanations are best left for another article.

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