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The operation of a solenoid valve can be split into three main categories:

Assisted Lift - the flow is controlled by a large diaphragm or piston that is mechanically assisted to open or close, offers high flow, will work for low pressure, vacuum and gravity fed systems.

Direct Acting - the seal is from a smaller armature which directly opens or closes the valve, typically lower flow and smaller in size, will work for high and low pressures depending on size.

Pressure Assisted - the seal or piston is not attached and is controlled by pressure differences, must have at least a 0.3-0.5 bar minimum pressure difference to operate, offers high flow, reduced cost, good for medium to high pressures.

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