Exploring the Various Applications of Solenoids

When the relationship between magnetism and electricity was established many years ago, a multitude of practical applications were derived from this working principle. Solenoids are one of those applications. In simple terms, a solenoid is a long coil of wire that can be used to generate a magnetic field when electric current flows through it. The strength of the magnetic field can be made even stronger when an iron core is added to the middle of the solenoid.

A solenoid's ability to generate a magnetic field has led to the many different applications.

In vehicles

When an electric current flows through a solenoid, a magnetic field is induced which can then be used to power a variety of vehicle applications. One of the most common solenoid uses is in automatic transmission vehicles. For safety purposes, an automatic transmission will not start when the gear is not placed on Park. This safety mechanism is made possible by a signal being transmitted to the gear system when a driver steps on the brake pedal. An electrical signal induces a magnetic field that allows the vehicle to start when the brake pedal is pressed.

Entertainment systems in vehicles also rely on solenoids to transmit a magnetic field and cause the release button to be activated. This then allows for car DVD systems and other audio-visual applications to be turned on/off when desired.

Medical uses

Critical medical equipment (such as dialysis machines, and blood pressure monitoring devices) also rely on the intermittent electrical and magnetic fields induced by solenoids.

For example, in dialysis machines, the main working principle is based on these machines either clamping together or inducing a force stroke application to transport and filter out blood components. The appropriate force is induced by solenoids that act to generate magnetic fields at various pre-determined points.

In locks

Solenoids are also used in door locks at hotels, offices, and other similar properties. An electrical field is induced by the solenoid that causes the magnetic locks to open when a keycard is used. This mechanism can also be extended to access barriers and vending machines.

Different types of solenoid designs can be used to install various locking mechanisms. The advantage of solenoids in locks is that they provide for sturdy, durable and secure systems.

Industrial applications

Industrial applications of solenoids range from locking to rotating and clamping. Any application that involves a physical movement being induced by a magnetic field involves the use of solenoids. They are the main mechanism through which electrical and magnetic currents can be intermittently generated and channeled to promote the movement of machines.