Miniature valve saves energy

Written by: Chris Shaw | Published:

A new type of miniature proportional valve has been developed by miniature component specialists Lee Products.

The company says that the valve offers advantages when compared with traditional solenoid type proportional valves, namely saving space, weight and power consumption in analytical machines.

The proportional valve uses shape memory wire technology to vary flow+ and provide actuation, as opposed to a spring. When a current is applied, the shape memory alloy wire heats up in the valve and changes shape, this causes deformation and results in the valve opening up in proportion to the current applied.

This design is said to eliminate the need for a magnet, coil wire, or steel armature typically used in traditional miniature solenoid valves. These characteristics make it suitable for portable, handheld, battery powered instruments such as gas detectors used in OEM, medical, laboratory and other similar applications.
The Lee proportional valves are designed for use on mediums which are clean or dry, noncorrosive, nonflammable, air or gases.
The valves weigh 1.2grams and have a maximum power consumption of 1.5 VDC (battery powered) and a current draw of 600 mA (max).

They have a flow capacity of 8SLPM at 15psig, operating pressure of 15psig and operating temperature range of 40 to 105°F. The valves are constructed from elastomer FKM with wetted materials including polycarbonate, brass, elastomer, PEEK, 316 SS, flexinol and epoxy.


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