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Three-way solenoid valve data sheet - .PDF file.

Lee Products has developed a 12V DC version of its three-way high-flow solenoid valve for the new driver-activated rear wings on Formula One vehicles.

The use of driver-activated rear wings are returning to Formula One in 2011, 40 years after they were banned on safety grounds in the 1960s.

This decision was made at a recent meeting of the sports governing body, the FIA World Motor Sport Council, with the objective of allowing more overtaking in F1.

One of the beneficiaries of this decision is miniature component specialists Lee Products, which has sold hundreds of solenoid valves to all of the F1 teams for a wide range of applications.

These include, fuel flap, emergency clutch disengage, reverse gear selection, power steering, auxiliary lube oil tank top-up applications, as well as front wing control.

The company specifically developed its 250 series solenoid valve at the request of its F1 customers and this was subsequently homologated by the FIA for use in F1.

The active front wings had a trailing edge that could be adjusted by the driver to increase downforce during braking.

Active front wings were a feature on F1 cars for the 2010 season but have been banned for the 2011 season, to be replaced by the active rear wing.

Drivers will be able to control the rear wing once they have been behind another driver for a set amount of time, thereby reducing drag on the straight and allowing greater opportunity for overtaking.

The wings are raised and lowered by a large diameter hydraulic actuator that needs to move very quickly and therefore demands a fast-acting, high-flow valve to control it.

To facilitate this, Lee Products developed a 12V DC version of its three-way high-flow solenoid valve specifically for this purpose.

Several F1 teams have specified the valve for this function.

This modified valve can operate at much higher temperatures (up to 165C).

Also, the original retaining nut has been removed to save space and reduce weight, while the lead wires now exit from the rear of the valve instead of at the hydraulic end.

Lee Products’ miniature three-way high-flow solenoid valves are an evolution of the company’s piloting solenoid valves, which can reduce space, weight and power consumption.

Valve elements are based on the low-leakage, high-reliability designs used in Lee check and shuttle valves.

Functions and features include two-position, three-way, 3,000psi, 4.0 USGPM minimum flow at 3,000psid (300Lohms), single coil and an integral safety screen with 0.004in hole size.

Power consumption is 7.8W at 18-32V DC and they can operate within a -54 to +135C temperature range.

Special 12V DC versions are also available for motorsport applications.

These solenoid valves are part of Lee Products’ range of plugs, restrictors, check valves, relief valves, shuttle valves, filter screens and flow controls, which are all used in current F1 cars and engines.

Lee Products

Innovation in miniature since 1948. The Lee Company has pioneered the development of miniature, precision-fluid control components for aerospace, down-hole oil tools, machine tools, medical/scientific instrumentation and ink-jet printing.

Innovation in miniature since 1948. The Lee Company has pioneered the development of miniature, precision-fluid control components for aerospace, down-hole oil tools, machine tools, medical/scientific instrumentation and ink-jet printing.

Lee’s unique capabilities in miniaturisation and engineering expertise keeps the company at the forefront of fluid flow technology. Lee Products maintains a sales force of graduate engineers who are ready to assist customers in solving fluid flow problems, and a significant amount of stock to ensure on-time deliveries.

Quality Assurance at Lee is a management commitment of the highest order. Lee Products Ltd achieved accreditation to ISO9002 in 1999 and ISO9001:2000 in 2003, while The Lee Company was one of the first aerospace companies to achieve accreditation to AS9000. The Lee Company has subsidiary companies in France, Germany, Italy and Scandinavia, and is represented by agents and distributors throughout the world.

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