To simplify the task, engineers at Mead Fluid Dynamics Inc., Chicago (www.mead-usa.com), have developed the Isonic Mod 3 Series of air-activated solenoid valves. Electrical and pneumatic connections are built-in to the valves, so no additional wiring, connectors, gaskets, end plates, or O-rings are needed. Valves can be part of a manifold system or stand-alone, and can use internal or external pilot pressure. The manifold uses a modular design that accommodates three and four-way single and double solenoid valves, as well as direct-acting valves, on the same manifold which serves as a versatile, expandable base. They are fieldbus controllable, use little power, and are listed with both UL and CSA.

Individual valves, including two, three, and four-way versions, use a half-shell thermoplastic body that includes built-in flow channels and space for components. Ribbonlike flow channels follow smooth paths, in contrast to the conventional round channels that take angular routes inside other solenoid valves. The thin, smooth channels reduce turbulence and energy loss, and save space. The valve body is ultrasonically welded for a hermetic seal.