What is a solenoid?
In its simplest terms a solenoid is a device that converts electrical energy into mechanical movement. Two quite different designs are used to achieve linear or rotary actuation.
Solenoids are usually integrated into a device that in turn, can clamp, position, switch, latch, lock, release, hold, divert etc. The movement of the solenoid is usually small with strokes of 2.5mm to 40mm, and angular rotations of up to 95°.
Simpler than an electric motor, and easier to control, solenoids can be very fast. For example a linear movement of 2.5mm or rotary travel of 45° can both be achieved in under 10ms. Well constructed solenoids are manufactured to exceed a 10 million cycle operating life.
The majority of applications call for a solenoid which is special in some way, but which does not require major engineering. The duty cycle or operating voltage, the mounting, the return spring, the plunger end design, the electrical connections and insulation may all be specified to suit the customer.
A solenoid manufacturer’s job is to be able to provide the right product for a given application quickly and cheaply where possible. This is done by utilising a standard design and adapting it.
Sometimes there are applications that need a totally unique design, we have the engineering experience to provide the solution.
All technical notes for our range of rotary, linear and holding solenoids can be found with the downloads section of this website.