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Solenoid secrets? Answered


I recently purchased some inexpensive 110Volts AC solenoid coils from China through eBay (of course.) 

As I understand solenoids will convert electricity into linear motion.  I have been unable to do that.  I tried ferrous rods as plungers, they get stuck inside the walls of the coil's cylinder.  No ferrous material like aluminum rod did not work at all.  Can someone please guide me to make it work.  I purchased 110 Volt coil thinking that it will create a stronger field, I don't feel the strengths of magnets to be rather weak.

1. The coil gets hot when energized.  Will it burn out if I keep the solenoid energized for 4-5 minutes?
2. Should I go for a lower voltage DC coil?
3. What happens to the dc coil if energized for long time?

I would greatly appreciate your comments.



Did you actually buy solenoid actuators or something else?


No, I just bought the coils with no cylinder (plunger) inside.

Ah, your supplier doesn't also sell or recommend plungers / cores for it's solenoid-coils?


My supplier is a Chinese student who sells stuff on eBay and has very little to no clue about what he is selling. However, for $4 a piece (S+H included), it seemed like a good deal so I bought 5. If it does not work out, I intend to make solenoid salad and write an instructable about it.

even if you don't get workikng solenoids from them, coils are often useful for other things.,...

AC solenoids MUST have a core, and the core MUST be snapped in when its energised, or it WILL burn out.

DC solenoids are more forgiving.

Hi Steve,

You answered one of my questions. Thank you. What should be the core made of?

Mild steel will work well.

It HAS to be mild steel or iron.