Victor's Industrial Supply Advice

Designing your custom built solenoid

Solenoids are used in lots products that can be found around your home and office. They are in computer printers and door locking systems, but they are especially found in industrial applications including HVAC and your cars fuel injection system.

What is a solenoid?

In principle a solenoid is a simple device, just a coil of wire wrapped around a metal core. It is the application of an electrical current to the solenoid that generates a consistent magnetic field and lets the solenoid do its work.

In many cases the solenoids used are an 'off the shelf' component where the same solenoid can be purchased and used across a range of products, but sometimes that isn't possible. Perhaps you are designing a product that requires something more specialist, or you are repairing an older product which contains a solenoid that is no longer commonly available. In these situations you need to find a manufacturer that specialises in custom built solenoids.

Creating your custom built solenoids

Solenoids can be used in many products, and the ability to create a custom built solenoid allows you to design a solenoid that does exactly what you want, whether that is opening and closing valves or controlling the current to another part of your product.

When you start to design your solenoid you will need to think about the type of solenoid that will best suit your purposes. Do you want an AC solenoid or a DC solenoid? Will it be a rotary solenoid, a frame solenoid or a tubular solenoid? Perhaps the most critical question you must answer is "How many turns of wire should there be on the coil?" The number of turns will affect the way the solenoid operates and if you get this wrong then the solenoid will not work so this is something you will need to talk about with your engineering team and also with the manufacturer of custom built solenoids.

Talk to the manufacturer

If you aren't sure exactly what your solenoid should look like then you must discuss your requirements with the solenoid manufacturer. They have the experience winding and laminating solenoids to know the right way to create your solenoid. They will be able to talk you through the right materials, including the gauge of wire and number of turns needed to create a solenoid that is perfect for your application. If you have any concerns about the production process they will usually be happy to produce a sample batch of solenoids for you and conduct a full test to ensure it is working as expected.