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What Is a High Pressure Solenoid Valve?

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  • Written By: Paul Scott
  • Edited By: E. E. Hubbard
  • Last Modified Date: 21 November 2016
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    Conjecture Corporation
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A high pressure solenoid valve is a specialized valve type utilizing solenoid activation and designed to operate in aggressive, high-pressure environments. As is the case with most solenoid operated valves, the high pressure solenoid valve is a linear lift, piston-type valve. The only significant difference between these and other similar valve types is the design of and materials used to manufacture the valve chamber, valve seat, and the piston. These parts are typically more robust and manufactured from grades of material best-suited to the extreme pressures, temperatures, and aggressive substances to which they are exposed.

Solenoid valves are conventional piston or poppet valves that feature short stroke, linear activation. Valve operation is achieved electromagnetically via an integral solenoid. The solenoid plunger is permanently connected to the valve stem and equipped with a return spring. When the solenoid coil is energized, it forms a magnetic field that pulls the plunger into the hollow coil core. Courtesy of the connection to the valve stem, this motion lifts the valve piston off of its seat and opens the valve's fluid flow path, remaining in this state until power is cut to the solenoid and the return spring closes the valve again.

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The high pressure solenoid valve is an example of this type of valve designed specifically for high-pressure applications. These include medical facilities, instrumentation installations, and laboratories where gases and fluids such as oxygen, nitrogen, and high-pressure chemical suspensions are used. These applications require that the valves not only withstand high pressures, but also high temperatures and corrosive materials. The construction of the valves mirrors the demands placed upon them with several subtle departures from conventional valve design.

Externally, the high pressure solenoid valve differs little from its low pressure peers. The internal mechanism is, however, usually significantly different. The internal tolerances to which the valve is machined tend to be a lot closer, with notable increases in the strength of the mechanism as a whole. This includes the thickness of the material used to produce the piston, seat, and stem, as well as an increase in the strength of the return spring.

The valve housing is also augmented and produced from materials able to withstand the aggressive nature of the operating environment, such as high-grade brass and stainless steel. High pressure solenoid valve pressures generally run between 500 and 3,000 pounds per square inch (3.447 and 20.684 megapascals). The valves are also available in single or multiple-flow path configurations.

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