Last updateTue, 24 Nov 2015 6pm


Power Plant Isolation Valves Beat the Heat

Power Plant Isolation Valves Beat the Heat

About a century ago, pressures of 300 ps...

NACE MR0175/ISO 15156 & NACE MR0103

NACE MR0175/ISO 15156 & NACE MR0103

Q: Is it possible to produce remanufactu...

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Industry Headlines


Industry Headlines

Schlumberger-Cameron Union Receives Unconditional Clearance


Schlumberger Limited and Cameron International Corporation jointly announce that the U.S. Department of Justice has cleared their proposed merger without any conditions, granting early termination of the waiting period required by the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 with respect...


ITT Engineered Valves Approved for Star Voluntary Protection Program

ITT Engineered Valves Approved for Star Voluntary Protection Program

ITT Engineered Valves, LLC in Lancaster, PA has been approved by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) of the U.S. Department of Labor for the Star Voluntary Protection Program (VPP).

Approval into VPP is OSHA’s recognition of the exceptional efforts of employers and employ...


Global Petrochemical Prices Leveled Off in October


Prices in the $3-trillion-plus global petrochemicals market in October were virtually flat based on a monthly average, but edged slightly when valued on a month-end to month-end basis from September. This is the first time the markets have shown intermonth gains since May of this year, according to ...


U.S. Rig Count Less Than Half of Last Years Total


According to Baker Hughes, the U.S. rig count declined by 10 last week to 757. Of these 757 active rigs, 564 rigs are seeking oil and 193 are seeking natural gas.

Just a year ago, with oil prices nearly double what they now, there were 1,929 active rigs in the U.S.

The rig count was at its peak in...


Consumer Confidence Falls to 14-Month Low


The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which had decreased moderately in October, declined further in November. The Index now stands at 90.4, down from 99.1 in October. The Present Situation Index decreased from 114.6 last month to 108.1 in November, while the Expectations Index declined to...


Manufacturing PMI Dips to 2-year Low


November data indicated a setback for U.S. manufacturing sector growth, following the modest rebound recorded during the previous month. At 52.6, down from 54.1 in October, the seasonally adjusted Markit Flash U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) pointed to the slowest improveme...


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.


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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