Author Topic: Using a Solenoid as a Locking Mechanism Under Heavy Load Applications  (Read 2037 times)

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Offline MastermimeTopic starter

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Hello everyone,

I have one more question about the mechanism I'm working on (see 'Running a Linear Actuator at a Higher Voltage' topic).

Can a solenoid be used to lock an arm that will handle 200+ lbs?  So what this means is that there will be 200+ pounds of force perpendicular to the plunger of the solenoids.  Is a solenoid the right device to use for this application? 

I have no experience with solenoids and I couldn't find any information about how much force can be applied perpendicular to the plunger of the solenoid.  I've also read that if you leave solenoids energized for long enough, it can ruin the coil.  In minutes, how long is 'long enough'?  An hour?  Two minutes?  I dont know..

If anything is unclear, let me know.


Offline jkerns

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I would assume that the solenoid would be attached to a pin that would serve as the locking pin. How much load that pin could take would have nothing to do with the solenoid. The issue with the solenoid would be moving the pin when the load is applied. Too much load and it will just stick. Do you need to pull (or engage) the lock with a load on it?

Some solenoids are rated for continuous use. Or, what you would often do is provide maximum power to move the pin against the friction that will be present, then ease back on the current (or duty cycle) to hold it in position.
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Offline MastermimeTopic starter

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Jkerns, thanks for the idea.  That solves that problem

Offline Graynomad

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200lbs is a lot of pressure, pulling against that will be an issue I would think, if it's steel on steel especially. Even if you use another type of actuator you still have the contact surfaces to consider re wear.

Can you have a ball bearing mounted in the end of the rod (like in a clevis) to take the load.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2013, 06:42:39 AM by Graynomad »
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