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Little ABC of nass magnet's products (Part 1)

Little ABC of nass magnet's products (Part 1)

What at all is a Solenoid Valve?

If children want to understand physical correlations, they mostly ask their teacher. Some pester their parents. And since on TV such topics are aimed at children, in Germany for instance, one hears more often: "Ask the mouse!".

While children ask and ask until they have received the (correct) answer, adults do not do so very often. Example working place: "How do the parts work in which I screw in the screws X and Y every day and what is the purpose of the finished products?" - For everyone who (finally) wants to know, we are searching for answers in this little series. In the first part we ask: "What at all is a solenoid valve?"

We surf on the internet trying to find our luck first at nass magnet, on the website There we have found in the glossary under S - "Solenoid Valve: A unit which, on account of it's construction and the governing technical data, is suitable for actuating valves for liquids and gases". - We are a bit confused and think back to our physics lessons at school. It was said there: "Together with liquids, gases belong to the fluids."

We find the confirmation on the web, again at Wikipedia. Finally this has been cleared: fluids are liquids like water or oil or gases like air exhaust gas that come from anywhere and want to go anywhere. Probably it makes a lot of sense if fluids may not go everywhere.

So, we need systems, for instance more or less strong tubes and... returning to the explication of nass magnet. Didn't they talk about "valves", and are valves not a... "mechanical device in musical instruments that produce all sounds of the chromatic scale"? Admittedly, also true, but the explanation 2 a at might not be purposeful at this point. More insightful, and a few pixels above, we find this: "Device with which the input, output and passage of liquids or gases are controlled".

OK, we are having control: "Hello fluid, now you may pass, now you may not! Now again, now not." And so on...

They are making a good job, the valves! That would have been it, wouldn't it? Why "solenoid valves" then? And why can a medium-sized company with a few hundreds employees like nass magnet flourish for many years with the sale of such solenoid valves? Seems to be a runner, such a solenoid valve, in any case a real must in a (control) system. High-tech, that can not be built by everyone.

Our further research reveals: "By the armature stroke (of the solenoid valve) the pneumatic way of the gaseous medium that has to be controlled can be determinded". What explains firstly that solenoid valves from nass magnet are obviously used in gaseous (ancient Greek: pneuma "breath", "wind") environments. And secondly we imagine that a solenoid valve is a kind of pilot for the main valve with clear instructions for the gas: "There is the way... right now! And now not." And so on.

"Let's see who's right with the light!", is said in a quiz show for children that was firstly produced in the USA and that has been broadcasted in Germany and Austria with a lot of success since 1977. This comes to our mind while we are reflecting if this final explanation of what a solenoid valve is, is correct.

"The solenoid valves from nass magnet are solely used in pneumatic systems and there in particular as pilot valves. (...) The solenoid valves from nass magnet are so-called 2/2 respectively 3/2 way valves (number of pneumatic ports/possible switching positions). The pressure port in direction to the working port can either be unblocked or blocked respectively channelled from the pressure port in direction to working port 1 or 2..."

Bingo! We are not mistaken and we memorize as magic word the expression "pilot". It only needs to be added that we got this answer form the "mouse" after insistent asking: "You can use solenoid valves not only as pilots, but also as directly controlled, forced controlled and pressure controlled valves." - But this is another story to be told in one of our next sequels of the little ABC of nass magnet's products.

The next time the question is: "How is such a solenoid valve actually built?"
And on TV they would say now: "Who wants to know should simply turn on again."