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Introduction to Solenoids / Basics of a Solenoid Two basic laws govern solenoids:  Faraday's Law  Ampere's Law Faraday's Law

The voltage induced in a coil is proportional to the number of turns and rate of change of flux. The induced current flows in the direction that opposes the changing flux. Flux has no source or sink (What goes in comes out) Ampere's Law The magnetomotive force (mmf) around a closed loop is equal to net current enclosed by the loop. The objective of solenoid design is to transfer the maximum amount of NI (energy) from the coil to the working air gap. Types of Solenoids There are two main categories of solenoids: Rotary Linear Linear solenoids have applications in appliances, vending machines, door locks, coin changers, circuit breakers, pumps, medical apparatus, automotive transmissions and postal machines to name just a few. Rotary solenoids have applications in machine tools, lasers, photo processing, media storage, medical apparatus, sorters, fire door closures, and postal machines, also just to name a few. Solenoids are used in almost every conceivable industry in the world and are well known as an efficient, affordable and reliable actuation alternative. Eight Essential Application Considerations when designing a solenoid into your assembly  Stroke  Force or Torque  Voltage  Current / Power  Duty Cycle  Temperature  Operating Time / Speed  Environmental  AC / DC  Life Stroke – when applying solenoids, keep the stroke as short as possible to keep the size, weight and power consumption to a minimum. Force – applies to linear products. Starting force is typically more important than ending force. A safety factor of 1.5 is suggested. For example, an application requiring 3 pounds of force should employ a solenoid that provides at least 4.5 pounds of force. Force is inversely proportional to the square of the air gap with flat face plunger designs. The air gap is the space in the magnetic circuit allowing the armature to move without interference, and the magnetic flux to circulate with minimum resistance (reluctance). To determine your requirements for force or torque, you need to consider the

The self-heating temperature is dictated . force can be modified by the shape of the plunger used. Torque produced by Ledex™ Rotary Solenoids is inversely proportional to the total length of the stroke. This determines the ampere turns or NI. gravity (the weight of the plunger is added or subtracted depending on how the solenoid is mounted. Proper heat sinking and/or additional cooling improves heat dissipation which allows a broader duty cycle range. the higher the torque output. Current / Power – Force produced by a DC solenoid is proportional to the square of the number of turns (N) in the coil winding and current flow (I). These are advantageous for high holding force requirements.36.5 pounds of torque. The resistance of the coil varies with temperature which affects force output. although an application with a one hour cycle time and a 3 hour off-time might calculate to a 25% duty cycle. AC solenoids typically require twice the in rush power of an equivalent DC solenoid. Duty Cycle – The duty cycle of your application is the ratio of the "on-time" divided by the total time for one complete cycle (on + off). The "on-time" must not exceed the power dissipation limits of the coil.following:  The actual load you are moving  Return spring force or torque  Frictional loads  Temperature rise  Duty cycle  Orientation of the solenoid vs. For example.5 is suggested. A conical face plunger is used for medium to long stroke applications. The effective air gap changes to become a fraction of actual stroke. As a result. Common DC power supply ratings are 6.12. Stepped conical face plungers can provide various stroke (medium to long) dependent on the angle of the step. A more realistic solenoid application might be an on-time of one second and an off-time of 3 seconds for the same 25% duty cycle. In linear solenoids. 100%). The longer the stroke. AC vs. the lower the torque output. Starting torque is typically more important than ending torque. and 48 VDC. Torque – applies to rotary products. this is not realistic in practice. an application requiring 3 pound of torque should employ a solenoid that provides at least 4. Very close attention must be paid to the maximum "on-time" data provided in conjunction with the duty cycle calculation to avoid damaging your solenoids. A more simplistic representation of duty cycle is to call < 100% duty solenoids "Intermittent" and 100% duty cycle solenoids "Continuous". The shorter the stroke. Temperature – Both the ambient temperature of the solenoid environment and the self -heating of the solenoid at work must be considered. DC solenoids – AC solenoids are most commonly used in household appliances. many more DC solenoids are chosen for today's applications. Duty cycle is usually expressed as a percentage or a fraction (50%. Solenoid coil requirements must match the power source. Flat face plungers are used for short stroke applications. For example. Voltage – the voltage source determines the coil winding to be used in the appropriate solenoid. Generally AC solenoids have been specified when there was a high cost to rectify to DC. A safety factor of 1. All intermittent duty solenoids (< 100% duty cycle) also must have a maximum "on-time" allowed to avoid overheating that can eventually lead to a burned out coil.24.

the S Model  Actuate at one power level and cut back to a reduced power level for holding (pick and hold)  Use a latching solenoid  Use a multiple winding solenoid  Operate intermittently. To accomplish this. This positions the solenoid for the next operation. thereby reducing force or torque output. the plunger or armature return mechanism.39% of rated resistance.  The application of electronic protection devices to reduce spikes caused by interrupting the current in the coil is necessary to ensure protection of your switching device. Each 1¡ increase above 20º C equates to an increase of 0. There are various ways to compensate for temperature restrictions:  Specify a Class C Coil  Specify an overmolded coil  Use a E Model Rotary solenoid vs.180º C  Class C. coil suppression. not at continuous duty  Use a larger solenoid  Use a heat sink  Add a cooling fan The limiting factor of operating temperature of a solenoid is the insulation material of the magnet wire used. and residual magnetism. This causes a longer de-energizing time. The smaller the air gap.  Since solenoids have force in one direction only. Residual magnetism . use one of the following:  Mechanical hold in resistor  Capacitor discharge and hold in resistor  Transistorized hold in circuit  Pulse-width modulation  Pick and Hold  Dual voltage  Multiple coils Operating Time / Speed – Factors affecting time and speed include the mass of the load.  Air gap surfaces of a solenoid become the north pole and south pole of a magnet when energized. a small but measurable magnetic attraction between the poles still exists called residual magnetism.220º C A typical solenoid requires 10% of the normal current to remain energized. and the magnetic flux to flow with minimum resistance (reluctance).155º C  Class H. When the solenoid is off. Coil suppression tends to increase the de-energizing time of the the duty cycle.130º C  Class F. available power / watts and stroke. De-energizing also plays an important role and is affected by the air gap. the longer it takes for the magnetic field resulting from the excited coil to diminish. Insulation classes:  Class B.  The air gap is the space in the magnetic circuit allowing the armature to move without interference. there must be some restoring force (such as gravity or a spring) to take the solenoid back to the starting or deenergized position.

humidity.80% of solenoids used are custom designs. try the following options:  Drive the load from the armature end of a rotary solenoid rather than the base end  Use vespel or oilite bearings in a low profile solenoid design  Use dual ring bearings or a groove in the shaft to act as a lube reservoir  Use glass-filled or carbon-filled nylon couplings  To achieve increased holding torque / force performance try the following options:  Use indented ball races in a rotary solenoid  Use flat pole pieces  Use latching solenoids  To determine the temperature at which a coil has stabilized follow this sequence of steps:  Measure the coil resistance at room temperature  Measure the current at the stabilized temperature and determine the coil resistance using Ohm's Law  Divide this resistance by the resistance at room temperature to obtain the resistance factor  Using the resistance factor chart. mounting changes and linkages. chemicals and paper dust. read the temperature at which the solenoid coil has stabilized. shock. plunger configurations. Application Hints  To achieve extended life.can be reduced by hyperannealing the solenoid parts of by increasing the size of the air gap. Solenoid Life – Life is determined by / optimized by the:  Bearing system and shaft surface finish  Side loading and load alignment  Preventing the pole pieces from slamming together  Reducing impact shock upon energizing Solenoid life expectations range from 50 thousand cycles to over 100 million cycles. Typical modifications include termination. Environmental – Many environmental factors must be noted when choosing a solenoid. These include temperature. vibration. Custom Solenoids .  To compensate for temperature rise:  Mount the solenoid on a metal surface (heat sink)  Use a cooling fan  Use a larger solenoid  Operate at < 100% duty cycle  Consider a higher insulation class  Use a solenoid with multiple windings  Use a pick and hold circuit such as PWM . shaft extensions. altitude. sand/ dust. lead wires. vacuum.

a DC solenoid does not have to have the pole pieces come in contact during each cycle. This facilitates the pole faces making contact with as much surface area as possible in the energized state which will reduce the amount of hum or chattering in the AC unit. in a similar DC application. DC solenoids have the capability of being modified in such a fashion as to prevent the pole faces from making contact at the end of the stroke. In AC solenoid applications. a slight gap between the pole pieces at the end of the stroke can have a drastic effect on improving the overall life of the solenoid. As the pole pieces deform and less surface area makes contact between the pieces. In contrast.Comparison of AC vs. When looking inside the AC solenoid stator cavity at the stator pole piece. DC solenoids are typically preferred over AC solenoids for several reasons. However. This ring is known as a shading coil and is designed to obtain minimal pulsing in force. there is a small ring inserted into the face of the stator pole. Life of an AC solenoid is typically lower than that of a similar DC counterpart. Bottoming out of the pole pieces during each stroke is a requirement on AC solenoids. when space constraints are tight. the chattering sound that is commonly associated with AC solenoids would be more noticeable. For example. a DC solenoid will usually give better performance in a smaller package than will a comparable AC solenoid. some deformation of the pole pieces is possible. If not for this shading coil. . if the pole pieces do not make contact. life of the solenoid is extended. What this means is that the coil splits the pole into two separate parts which causes the flux of these parts to be out of phase. with this metal-to-metal contact. Naturally. DC Solenoids As a general rule. AC solenoids require great care to insure precise alignment of the plunger's pole face to the stator pole face. In addition. the AC solenoid hums louder and louder. Rather. this type of noise dampening would very likely cause premature overheating and failure.