A solenoid valve is an electromechanical valve for use with liquid or gas controlled by running or stopping an electric current through a solenoid, which is a coil of wire, thus changing the state of the valve. The operation of a solenoid valve is similar to that of a light switch, but typically controls the flow of air or water, whereas a light switch typically controls the flow of electricity. Solenoid valves may have two or more ports: in the case of a two-port valve the flow is switched on or off; in the case of a three-port valve, the outflow is switched between the two outlet 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.
Besides the plunger-type actuator which is used most frequently, pivoted-armature actuators and rocker actuators are also used.