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Home > Nanotechnology Columns > Practical Nano-Tech > Reduced Sticking in Solenoid Valves through Nanotechnology Advances

Judith Petterhof

Abstract:
Simrit has demonstrated a new type of treatment procedure for permanently reducing the effects of plunger sticking in solenoid valves, using nanoscale materials. Simrit calls it 'Reduced Friction by Nanotechnology', or RFN.

May 30th, 2012

Reduced Sticking in Solenoid Valves through Nanotechnology Advances

Simrit has demonstrated a new type of treatment procedure for permanently reducing the effects of plunger sticking in solenoid valves, using nanoscale materials. Simrit calls it 'Reduced Friction by Nanotechnology', or RFN. Elastomers are modified in such a way to reduce not only the coefficient of friction significantly, but also to keep it virtually unchanged over the component's entire service life.

Armatures of most modern solenoid valves are made of elastomer composite parts. This is the reason the reliability and the serviceability of these solenoid armatures are dependent on the minimization of both adhesion and deformability to such an extent. The elastomer armature must be reliably prevented from sticking to the seat of the valve, as this chemical resistor degrades the performance of the solenoid.

The magnitude of the sticking effect is influenced by several factors. Most important among these are the contact pressure, the contact area, and the technological and mechanical properties of the material such as hardness, damping, modulus of elasticity and the chemical resistance of the surface (including the lubricating media).

In addition to the Reduced Friction by Nanotechnology improving the primary functions, the other advantages the technology brings are -

Prevention of 'Monday morning effects' ('sticking' armature solenoids after periods of disuse), due reduction in adhesion.
Possibility of even switching times.
Possibility of miniaturisation and saving on installation space due to lower magnetic forces.
The service life of the solenoid valve increases.
The magnitude of the chemical resistor decreases, thereby improving the performance.
The barrier effect causes a decrease in permeation.
Additional coatings on the seal seat are no longer required.
Reduced Friction by Nanotechnology is compliant with FDA.

Even after running well over 700 million switching cycles, the performance of the RFN armature solenoid has not been seen to diminish. The sealing characteristics of the elastomer do not undergo any negative effects, and the elastic properties are maintained. The sealing surface does not show any negative impact to roughness or evenness.

In most applications, reducing the armature adhesion is integral to the basic functionality of the entire valve. The armature adhesion is a combination of several factors, which the RFN helps to minimise by decreasing the magnitude of the different chemical resistors. Since the RFN technology is Food and Drug Administration compliant, use of such RFN solenoids is permitted in industries dealing with food and drugs, where it improves the performance and reliability of the valves controlling liquid flow.

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