Motor Controls Training

Class Information
Motor Controls Training Tooling U-SME classes are offered at the beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels. The typical class consists of 12 to 25 lessons and will take approximately one hour to complete.
Class Name:Solenoids 235
Description:This class describes the principles behind solenoid operation, lists the main types of solenoids, and explains their function and application. Includes an Interactive Lab.
Number of Lessons:14
Language:English, Spanish
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Class Outline
  • Objectives
  • What Is a Solenoid?
  • How a Solenoid Works
  • Solenoid Applications
  • Direct Action Solenoids
  • Plunger Solenoids
  • Bell-Crank Solenoids
  • Clapper Solenoids
  • Coil Characteristics
  • Solenoid Selection
  • Solenoid Losses
  • Voltage Failures
  • Other Common Solenoid Failures
  • Summary
Class Objectives
  • Define solenoids.
  • Describe how solenoids work.
  • Identify solenoid applications.
  • Describe direct action solenoids.
  • Describe plunger solenoids.
  • Describe bell-crank solenoids.
  • Describe clapper solenoids.
  • Describe how the solenoid coil is affected by current.
  • Describe how the solenoid coil is affected by voltage.
  • Identify the factors considered in solenoid selection.
  • Describe efficiency losses in solenoids.
  • Describe common solenoid failures caused by voltage levels.
  • Describe common causes of solenoid failures not directly involving voltage.

Class Vocabulary

Vocabulary TermDefinition
air gap A small space left between the solenoid core and the armature to break up the magnetic field. Without an air gap, the armature could remain stuck in the closed position even when the solenoid is de-energized.
armature The moveable part of a solenoid that performs work.
bell-crank solenoid A type of solenoid that uses a lever attached to the armature to soften the impact of the linear force.
chattering The occasional unwanted vibration between components. Chatter decreases productivity and can cause wear.
clapper solenoid A type of solenoid that hinges the armature on a pivot point to produce a more gradual force.
coil Multiple loops of conducting wire used to create a magnetic field when current is passed through it.
cycle One complete motion of a solenoid from its resting position to full extension and back.
DMM A device that can measure voltage, current, or resistance. A digital multimeter is the most versatile and common meter used today for electrical maintenance.
duty cycle A rating of solenoid life expectancy based on the number of operations per minute.
eddy current loss A phenomenon caused by the rate of change in an induced magnetic field. The relative motion causes a circulating flow of electrons or current within the conductor, leading to efficiency loss.
efficiency loss Natural effects that cause energy output to be less than energy input. While efficiency losses can be minimized with good design, no system is 100% efficient.
generator A device that converts mechanical energy into electrical energy by magnetic induction.
horizontal action A type of simple solenoid in which the armature makes a direct side-to-side movement.
hydraulic system A power transmission system that uses the force of flowing liquids to transmit power.
inductive reactance The magnetic opposition to current flow in a coil. During inductive reactance, changes in a magnetic field produce a voltage that is counter to the normal direction of current flow.
inrush current The initial surge of current into a solenoid. Inrush current can be up to ten times higher than the continuously needed current because there is low initial resistance.
left-hand flux rule A method used to determine the relationship of the motion of the conductor in a magnetic field to the direction of the induced current. Flux rotates around the conductor as shown by the left hand.
linear motion Motion that takes place in a straight line rather than rotating in place around an axis.
magnetic flux A measure of the strength of the field formed around a magnet. Flux is expressed in webers (Wb).
magnetic induction The use of magnets to cause voltage in a conductor. Magnetic induction occurs whenever a conductor passes through magnetic lines of flux.
plunger solenoid A type of solenoid that uses a spring-loaded iron rod. The rod tries to align with the magnetized coil when energized, creating linear motion.
pneumatic system A power transmission system that uses the force of flowing gases to transmit power.
polarity Having two oppositely charged poles, one positive and one negative. Polarity determines the direction in which current tends to flow.
position The number of physical settings on a directional control valve. A three-position valve can be placed in three different physical settings with a control such as a lever.
solenoid An output device that converts electrical energy into linear mechanical force.
specifications A description of the essential physical and technical properties of a machine or device. Specifications or "specs" often include voltage and stroke ratings.
tolerance The acceptable variation from a specified dimension.
transient A short surge of current or voltage, often occurring before steady-state conditions have become established.
valve A mechanical device by which the flow of liquid, gas, or other objects may be regulated by moveable parts that open, close, or obstruct one or more openings or passageways.
vertical action A type of simple solenoid in which the armature makes a direct up and down movement.