A solenoid valve is an electromechanical device in which the solenoid uses an electric current to generate a magnetic field and thereby operate a mechanism which regulates the opening of fluid flow in a valve.
Solenoid valves differ in the characteristics of the electric current they use, the strength of the magnetic field they generate, the mechanism they use to regulate the fluid, and the type and characteristics of fluid they control. The mechanism varies from linear action, plunger-type actuators to pivoted-armature actuators and rocker actuators. The valve can use a two-port design to regulate a flow or use a three or more port design to switch flows between ports. Multiple solenoid valves can be placed together on a manifold.
Solenoid valves are the most frequently used control elements in fluidics. Their tasks are to shut off, release, dose, distribute or mix fluids. They are found in many application areas. Solenoids offer fast and safe switching, high reliability, long service life, good medium compatibility of the materials used, low control power and compact design.