Direct-Acting Vs Pilot-Operated Solenoid Valves

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From dishwashers to engines, machines of all kinds need to direct fluid in a controlled, efficient manner. Solenoid valves are the primary mechanism to regulate the flow of liquids in a machine powered by electricity. While there are many valve designs on the market, they are all based on the same core concept: an electromagnetic field moves the valve open or shut as directed by the machine's operating system. Two of the most common solenoid valve designs are direct-acting and pilot-operated solenoid valves. Learn more about them below.

Direct-Acting Solenoid Valves

The simple solenoid valves are direct-acting valves. They are fully operated by the electromagnetic pull created in the solenoid. When the electromagnet is charged, the valve seal moves enough to allow the fluid to flow or to stop the flow as needed.

Direct-acting solenoid valves can be either normally open or normally closed. Normally open valves shut when the electromagnet is charged and pulls the valve seal toward itself. Normally closed valves are open until the electromagnet pulls the valve seal out of the liquid's path. Since these valves rely entirely on the strength of the electromagnet to actuate the valve, they need to be relatively small and can only handle low-pressure fluids.

Pilot-Operated Solenoid Valves

When solenoid valves are needed in high-pressure environments, they need to be designed to block and release high-pressure fluid with precision. In order to achieve this, pilot-operated valves use the electromagnet in the solenoid just as a pilot to direct the valve seal. In order to get the seal to move to a fully open or fully closed position, they make use of the pressure that the fluid is already under.

Pilot-operated solenoid valves don't just allow fluid to pass through them or block the flow completely. Instead, they temporarily store the fluid to make use of its pressure. The solenoid allows fluid into or out of a small chamber in the valve that engages or releases the seal. This way, the solenoid's electromagnet only has to block a portion of the pressurized water. These valves are more complicated to design than direct-active solenoid valves, and they operate more slowly as a result of their complexity. In exchange, they can be built for use in larger machines and work under pressure.

If you need a solenoid valve for your next project, it's important to choose the right valve. This guide is just the beginning of what you need to know to purchase the right solenoid valve. To learn more about solenoid valves, reach out to equipment parts manufacturers in your area or online.


27 July 2022

Visiting Better Businesses

When was the last time you really stopped to think about the businesses you frequent? Although it can seem like an inconsequential decision, the fact of the matter is that the businesses you work with each and every day can really impact your overall way of life. I wanted to create a better life for me and my kids, so I began thinking carefully about the places we worked with. We began focusing on visiting more locally owned and operated businesses, and it made a big impact. This blog is all about visiting better businesses and making them a part of your daily life.