Today's state-of-the-art laboratory and medical instruments are smaller, more accurate and higher performing. Many applications, such as those in analytical chemistry (mass spectrometry and gas chromatography) and medical devices (laser therapy and hemodialysis) require extreme levels of performance. Instrument manufacturers require reliable, efficient, innovative components to stay competitive and meet the needs of new, demanding applications.
A component that has continued to evolve to meet the design needs of original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), is the solenoid valve. Solenoid valves are used in a variety of instruments to provide precision control in gas and liquid handling applications.
Here, we’ll review some of the capabilities a solenoid valve should deliver on to meet the needs of applications requiring extreme levels of performance, including:
Achieving a very low level of leak rate is quite challenging but can enable instrument manufacturers to simplify their designs by reducing the need for secondary positive shut-off valves in extremely low leak requirement applications. This can also be especially helpful in applications where the fluids being controlled are expensive and a leak could result in unexpected waste or in analytical chemistry applications where a leak would result in inaccuracies.
Many miniature valves have maximum operating temperatures in the range of 60-80°C; however, for today's demanding applications, it is important to choose a valve that can support high-temperature applications up to 105°C (221°F).
For applications that require a high pneumatic pressure capability, a valve with an orifice rated up to 86 bar (1,250 psi) is ideal. This allows manufacturers to use the valve in challenging, high-pressure applications, without having to consider expensive hydraulic valves as potential options.
Selecting a valve with a very strong solenoid helps provide a fast response time of <5msec. Rapid response time enables OEMs to provide a differentiated capability within their system. Faster response time can be especially useful in dispense applications where timing is used to estimate the volume of fluid being used in the application. For valves that have potentially long response times, the accuracy of using the total open time to help estimate the volume of fluid dispensed can be compromised.
The Series 9 solenoid valve, for analytical chemistry and medical device applications, combines extreme pressures, tight leak specifications and wide temperature ranges with an unmatched compact size.
This miniature solenoid valve offers superior precision control in gas and liquid analysis. Combining high speed, ultra-low leak rate, high flow, and high-temperature capability in a small size, this durable valve operates with extreme repeatability and is constructed of non-corroding, passivated stainless steel.
Parker frequently refers to the Series 9 valve as our extreme performance valve. This is based on the extreme capabilities the valve can provide in terms of the very low leak rate, high-pressure and temperature range, and rapid response times. If your application requires these extreme levels of performance, the Series 9 valve may be an ideal solution to consider. In our next post, we will review some interesting applications in which the Series 9 valve provides significant value.
Parker Precision Fluidics has over 30 years of experience in developing valve and pump technologies. Our engineers specialize in helping OEMs update original valves that are producing low yields.
Our applications engineering team is always available to provide recommendations and customize equipment to customer specifications.
To learn more about our miniature valves, flow controllers, pumps and accessories, please visit our website, or call 603-595-1500 to speak with an engineer.
Article contributed by Collin Creegan, valve customs engineer, Precision Fluidics Division, Parker Hannifin.