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Last updateTue, 24 Apr 2018 7pm

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The VMA Knowledge Forum, Part One: Technology at the Forefront

The VMA Knowledge Forum, Part One: Technology at the Forefront

The first VMA Valve Industry Knowledge F...

Air Valves in Piping Systems

Air Valves in Piping Systems

Liquid piping systems are prone to colle...

Are Valves from Low-Cost Countries Getting Better?

Are Valves from Low-Cost Countries Getting Better?

The last 25 years have seen standards cr...

Managing the Generation Gap: Much Ado About Nothing?

Managing the Generation Gap: Much Ado About Nothing?

The baby boomer generation was the most ...

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Val-Matic Names Andrew Brudniak Project Manager

2 HOURS AGO
Val-Matic Names Andrew Brudniak Project Manager

After four years with Val-Matic Valve & Mfg. Corp. , Andrew Brudniak was recently promoted to project manager, after having recently held the position of sales engineer for the northeast territory.

Brudniak also has passed the exam for the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification offered...

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Weir Group Plans to Sell Flow Control Division

4 DAYS AGO

The Weir Group’s board of directors will initiate a process to sell the Flow Control division. This process will focus on maximizing value for shareholders, with all options to be considered and no fixed timetable. Proceeds will be used to further reduce leverage and to fund future investment in...

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Shale Boom Creates New Petrochemical Hub

6 HOURS AGO

According to analysts and key figures in the industry, “record-setting natural gas production in the United States is benefiting not only consumers. The shale-growth-driven natural gas output is expected to bring benefits to the petrochemical industry as well, as manufacturers will continue to...

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Canada Grants BP Approval to Drill Off Nova Scotia Coast

1 DAY AGO

The Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board (CNSOPB) has granted an Approval to Drill a Well (ADW) to BP Canada and has authorized the commencement of drilling operations for its Aspy D-11 exploration well. BP Canada’s proposed drilling program was previously subjected to an environmental as...

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IHS Markit U.S. Manufacturing Index Rose in April

7 HOURS AGO

Manufacturers reported the greatest improvement in overall business conditions since September 2014 in April. This was highlighted by the seasonally adjusted IHS Markit Flash U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rising from 55.6 in March to 56.5.

Stronger growth in new orders drov...

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March Construction Starts Advance 11%

1 DAY AGO

New construction starts in March increased 11% from the previous month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $785.2 billion, according to Dodge Data & Analytics. The substantial gain followed modest declines in January (down 2%) and February (down 3%) and brings the pace of total construction s...

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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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