Solenoid valves are electromechanical valves that are used to control the flow of liquids and gasses. These valves are controlled by an electric current which runs through a solenoid. The electric current, when activated, provides an electromagnetic (EM) force which enables the motion of a plunger that shuts off or opens fluid flow. From a computational fluid dynamics perspective, modeling the valve closing poses severe numerical challenges due to fluid mesh pinching. Apart from this, accurate evaluation of electromagnetic and fluid dynamic forces and an understanding of their interaction with the valve’s structural components are essential to accurately simulating the valve dynamics.
In this paper, we describe a methodology for modeling the coupled electromagnetic and Fluid Structure Interaction (FSI) analysis of a solenoid valve. A seamless integration between various analyses techniques have been used to simulate the complex multiphysics interactions that are seen in the valve operation. Abaqus electromagnetic analysis capability is used to accurately measure the forces imparted on the plunger due to electric currents. This force is subsequently used in a fluid-structure interaction analysis to model the opening behavior of the valve. A co-simulation approach is undertaken utilizing Abaqus and STAR-CCM+. The methodology utilizes over-set mesh technology in STAR-CCM+ to account for fluid mesh pinching.