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Electromagnet Help! How to Make a Small but very Strong Electromagnet??? Answered

I need you help smart people of Instructables!
I need to make a small Electromagnet, that uses minimum power (by that I mean the battery), but still has to be very powerful. I have a couple of questions that I need you to help me answer:
• Does the number of coils that is wound to the metal bar effect the strenght of the electromagnet?
• Does the wire gauge (20,24,28,30,34,36 wire gauge) make a difference is the strenght of the magnet?
• Does the voltage I supply to the coil effect the Electromagnet?
• What type of battery is best for an Electromagnet (AA, AAA, C, D), and what voltage (1,5V, 3V, 4,5V, 6V, 9V) ???

Here is the thing, I need to make the Electromagnet super strong but taking up the minimum of energy, for example, just 1,5V. The things that are not important to me (doesn't play a factor in my device) is the number of wire winds to the metal rod and the wire gauge!

So is it better to just make 1 or more (3,4,5,6...) layers of wire winds???
Is it better to use thinner (36 gauge) or thicker wire (24 gauge)???

Thank you a lot!
Stanislav
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50 Replies

Johnk543 (author)2018-02-27

Electromagnetic is a relevant to number of the turns base on calculation of the iron (ferroid) core area .in this case you need to know turns per volt in transformer even in rotor or stator core area .Basiclly an air coil will produce magnetic field which base on DC or AC electricity will produce diffferent field.For strong field current is fact that will increase the flux magnetic ,which is amount flow energy trough to the coil .Now lower voltage with a high amp and more turns with thicker gauge wire can Perduce large filed .

RonM23 (author)2015-09-25

I am interested in elector-magnets using a closed loop containing mercury warped with copper wire to induce a magnetic field within. By my research the mercury should spin as per the multiple coils (DC current) within this circular tube. I postulize that this would constitute an electric generator in reverse of the norm, That is the stationary elector-magnets in the common generator will move in the form of the mercury going around in the tract. The spinning wire which is rotating rapidly on the normal generator will be stationary on mine. These are the coils warping the tube containing the mercury. So I have been in my head trying to see magnetic fields and propose a question to the ether's, what does my 2 ring, 16 rare earth magnets magnetic field look like in 2 dimension

?

nerked (author)2017-01-08

Self-taught British scientist Michael Faraday (1791 – 1867) was the
first to understand what these discoveries implied. If a magnetic pole
could be isolated, it ought to move constantly in a circle around a
current-carrying wire.

In 1821 Faraday set about trying to understand the work of Ørsted and
Ampère, devising his own experiment using a small mercury bath. This
device, which transformed electrical energy into mechanical energy, was
the first electric motor.

This apparatus is the only original surviving example made by Faraday the following year after his discovery in 1822.

The motor features a stiff wire which hang down into a glass vessel
which has a bar magnet secured at the bottom. The glass vessel would
then be part filled with mercury (a metal that is liquid at room
temperature and an excellent conductor). Faraday connected his apparatus
to a battery, which sent electricity through the wire creating a
magnetic field around it. This field interacted with the field around
the magnet and caused the wire to rotate clockwise.

This discovery led Faraday to contemplate the nature of electricity.
Unlike his contemporaries, he was not convinced that electricity was a
material fluid that flowed through wires like water through a pipe.
Instead, he thought of it as a vibration or force that was somehow
transmitted as the result of tensions created in the conductor.

nerked (author)2017-01-08

That's the motor, and this other picture is a mercury bridge rectifier have you ever seen one of these?! If not i highly recommend that.

nerked (author)2017-01-08

Mercury arc rectifier.... lol

ChuckF21 (author)2016-07-17

Laboring purposefully and diligently towards directing powerful forces. Forces that are bounded by, and determined by, laws of nature; whereby execute a set coarse of actions yet, of these actions, we've only the understanding and awareness of a portion of the entirety. Laws of attraction are so often quietly joining like components together, though not as often likely to receive the credit for these actions.

Sorry, I must confess that I don't have any information for your project, though I was compelled to reply due to a persistent, yet vague, desire to experiment with mercury, magnetism, and electricity. It has become a distraction that disrupts my concentration on any given task. When that occurs I find myself conducting experiments in my head with the hopes of visualizing changes and results. Hence, I'd be very interested in obtaining updates and information or videos in relation to your project. I wish you luck and success, always imagine and expriment.

jinumohan334 (author)2016-12-19

What auage wire is used in solenoid 12 volt DC input for more power

TaimoorK5 (author)2016-11-22

which gauge of wire is best for strong magnetic field exert force of 1 kg

TaimoorK5 (author)2016-11-22

ArtG1 (author)2014-10-01

•Does the number of coils that is wound to the metal bar affect
the strength of the electromagnet?

Yes

The higher the number of windings the more
"resistance" there will be within the coil. You actually want this.
This will slow down the drain on the battery while allowing the magnet to
remain strong: more electrically eco. (It may cost more in the short term).

•Does the wire gauge (20, 24, 28, 30, 34, 36 wire gauge)
make a difference is the strength of the magnet?

Yes. (Electric economy again)

This can be understood better with the idea of filling a
pipe to a certain water pressure (voltage = water pressure).

The wider your pipe, the more water it will take to fill it.
This matter more if you are turning the power on and off, but still makes a
difference while on due to the impact of the current (same as water current). Putting
a resistor will also help to slow down the amp impact.

•Does the voltage I supply to the coil effect the
Electromagnet?

Yes.

Voltage is the electrical equal of water pressure. The more
pressure = the more power. The whole idea is to get very high voltage with very
low amps.

•What type of battery is best for an Electromagnet (AA, AAA,
C, D), and what voltage (1,5V, 3V, 4,5V, 6V, 9V)???

•Depends. Personally, I'd use rechargeable 9V batteries
because they can be easily linked together. They also cost less in the long
run, but bite in price at the start.

Another tip for making it stronger is to use small wire and
rap it in a single direction. By this I mean that you make a primary direction
of your wire. You rap it going in one direction (left to right, for example),
then when you reach the end, you bring it all the way back and continue the
next level till done. (This is patented by the way, so don't try manufacturing
this idea, but there shouldn't be any problem for what you seem to want).

An added benefit to this method is it allows you to make
(using DC current) an electro magnet which can repel a permanent one.

I did this with a McDonald’s straw as the air coil center.
When I took a group of those tiny strong magnets you can buy at Radio Shack and
placed them in a tall group they would jump out of the small straw when I
connected my 9Vs in series into it. Series = more volts; parallel = more amps.
For this to work the tower of magnets has to be higher than the coil of wire
for some reason.

I never tried to make two electros repel each other... yet.

I might try using high 20s gauge (maybe 30). Putting it in a
direction and using only a few 9v batteries at first. You can buy cases to
house other types of batteries, so I wouldn't get hung up on the 9Vs.

Radio Shack sells the cases. Look them up before deciding
which type to get. remembering that 9Vs don't require cases, first see if the
max voltage you can get from a case is enough for you, but try the keep the
amps low.

If you have the time and don't mind the effort, making or
getting volts increasing device would be a good idea. Or an outlet DC power
supply with higher volts and lower amps would be great. Hundreds of volts at milliamps
would be wonderful. This would really need smaller wire because of the
"pipe filling" effect I mentioned before. It will reach full power
eventually anyway, perhaps, but less eco.

leslie.bee.927 (author)2016-10-21

I loved your story about a McDonald's straw. In fact, that's exactly the sort of thing I'm looking for. Something that can move less than half an inch when current is applied. All it will do is pull a tiny hinged door open for about 10 seconds, then a small spring will retract it when the current is turned off. (Think cuckoo-clock door.)

Your straw project fits perfectly with what I need to do. Now to the Bat Cave to build my tiny linear motor. Woo-hoo!!!

DustinS2 (author)2014-12-26

Wrapping the coils in one direction's is a new concept to me - do you know what patented talks about it, or what the process is called? I would like to read more about it.

Thanks

MarkF19 (author)2015-08-02

this concept should be self explanitory. the reason for this whole thing is to create a magnet from electricity. a magnet has a north and south pole. we know that magnets are materials in which the polar alignment of the atoms are all pointing in the same direction. this concept uses the revers of electromagnetic induction. by passing a copper coil over a magnet really fast. the magnetization of the coil from the north and south poles, combine to create an electric charge. so here, we are doing the reverse. using an electric charge to creat a magnetic field. So if you want a stronger, more stable magnetic field, then like in a magnet - all the atoms should be polarized in the same direction. the best way to do this, is to make sure the electric current is constantly flowing in the same direction.

JerryP1 (author)2014-11-05

I made a air coil center 50 turns, 5 rows 24 gauge using a 12 v 1.75 A dc power supply and I couldn't move a small screw and I need to re pail a 1/4x1/4 super magnet so how big do I need to make this electromagnet ??? Jerry

MarkF19 (author)2015-08-02

okay first, you dont have a super magnet. you are most likely talking about an neodymium magnet. secondly, make sure your wire is coated. if it doesnt have rubber insulation, make sure it has an enamel coating. secondly, you have to REMOVE this coating from the end, in order to effectively connect the power supply. not only that but you are using low voltage. 12v, and you think you can get away with an air coil? there is a reason the article said to use an iron core. im not going to type it all out, so here is a copy and paste

Many electromagnetic coils have a magnetic core, a piece of ferromagnetic material like iron in the center to increase the magnetic field.[11]
The current through the coil magnetizes the iron, and the field of the
magnetized material adds to the field produced by the wire. This is
called a ferromagnetic-core or iron-core coil.[12]
A ferromagnetic core can increase the magnetic field of a coil by
hundreds or thousands of times over what it would be without the core. A
ferrite core coil is a variety of coil with a core made of ferrite, a ferrimagnetic ceramic compound.[13] Ferrite coils have lower losses at high frequencies.

TomK78 (author)2016-04-23

Here is a link that just gave me a great perspective on coil magnet strength. The smaller wire has more resistance but will require more turns and will stay cooler.

Heavy wire has less resistance but will get hot and can only stay on for limited time but will use less wire turns. Hope this helps.. Here is the link I found.

http://www.coolmagnetman.com/magdcem.htm for the information. I took you right to the experiment and calculations of the question but the home link on the top right will lead to an enormous amount of magnetic information.

SanjayS67 (author)2016-06-25

Why are the smaller wire coils cooler when they have more resistance?

DanielH383 (author)2016-09-04

they dissipate heat faster as the electrons are slowed. More current more heat. Moving electrons generate heat.

WilsonL15 (author)2016-08-26

Very good question. There are two electric formulae which if you can remember them will answer 90% of all your electrical questions for the rest of your life.

1) V = IR

2) P= IV

So, 1) V = IR, voltage = current X resistance

Lets swap that about a bit and solve for current:

I = V / R

So the current = voltage divided by resistance.

So, as resistance goes up, current goes down.

Let look at equation 2) P=IV

Power = current x voltage

Almost all the power in a magnet ends up as heat so as Power goes down, heat goes down.

So, if you increase the resistance (thin wire) you decrease the power and assuming you don't change the voltage you will get less heat.

alsports2000 (author)2016-04-23

Thank you so much for the link and I really appreciated that you took the time to respond. Thanks AL.

DanielH383 (author)2016-09-04

im curious if using a denser wire like iridium or platinum would make a difference, I mean it should in theory because the electrons pass faster.

RicardoM148 (author)2016-06-12

Has any one used Energizer A23 Battery, 12 Volt

MattF16 (author)2016-08-13

This is no good as a source for an electromagnet. I've used it and there's not enough milliamps in an A23 battery to keep the electromagnet on long enough. If you only want the magnet to be active for a very short time (like 1-10 seconds) then it's ok. For anything more you will need more milliamps. I run my electromagnet from a 12v lithium battery pack with 3300 mAh.

RicardoM148 (author)2016-06-12

I need to make 4 strong but light weight magnet that are 1.5 inches long. The type of type of situation that it will be put through is that it will be turned on for about 2 seconds then off. But it will need to be turned off and on about 10 times with a period of 2 minutes. Then it will be given about a 10 to 15 minute break when I can if need to change out the battery. i was thinking about using a 9v or a Energizer A23 Battery, 12 Volt. does any body have any suggestions on what type of battery or wire to use.

PS: it is on a moving object so air can be redirected to force air cool it

Thank you

firestorm8 (author)2016-05-02

Get the thinest strip of copper wire you can get and preferably an iron core the size you want it to be. Then start to wrap the coil from 0.5 cm away from the end of the iron core. Continue until you reach the other end and the coils are only 0.5 cm away from the edge of the iron rod. Make sure to seal the whole thing otherwise it'll come off. And connect your battery. The more turns, the more powerful your magnet will be. I found this out through experience

ಗುರುತ (author)2015-11-18

I made coil of core length 28 mm and wire gauge 38 and 1850 turns but i am getting very less magnetic compare to other coil of core length 21mm, 28 AWG and 1000 turns.

Could you please sujjest what might me the problem. And current we are giving is up to 0.5 A.

MohammedZ3 (author)2015-06-11

diameter of coil wounding effect the electromagnetic field??

MohammedZ3 (author)2015-06-11

which type of wire is better for primary coil. i mean thick or thinner wire??

The_Vinninator (author)2009-02-19

thinner is always better
go for a few layers; too many will take away from the conductance of the copper
higher volts = better
I'd go for nine if I were you
but listen, here's the thing
if you really want power for a split second, you might want to try to discharge current from a flash capacitor into the coil
(a flash capacitor is the kind found in the digital cameras)
that will give you a really strong jolt of magnetic tug

comodore (author)2009-02-20

Hmm, that sounds like something i need....I need a strong magnet flash, but it has to happen like 1-2 times in a second...will it be enough to charge the capacitor? OK, nine turn....finally, some exact data! How thin would you go 32,36 gauge? Thanks The_Vinninator!

The_Vinninator (author)2009-02-20

sorry, I didn't mean nine turns I meant nine volts but don't just limit yourself to that if you can combine batteries, that would be the best option your best bet would probably be to wire up a few nine volts in parallel what you would do is have more than one capacitor actually, can you tell me what you're using it for? that way, I can give you the best recommendation you want to go thin, but not so thin that it's resisting the current either 32 or 36 should work about the same anything else?

comodore (author)2009-02-20

Well, I posted this question for a lot of reasons, got a big use in lots of my projects... But, right now I want to make an electromagnet inductor...whit a solenoid and a strong electromagnet.... the electromagnet goes into the solenoid and I use a bush button to turn on and off the electromagnet inside the solenoid and induct current....

The_Vinninator (author)2009-02-20

in that case, I'd just go with what I told you a few nine volt batteries in parallel should work and ya... also make sure whatever you wrap the magnet around is clean and you don't want to have too many layers of wire because that brings the wire AWAY from the core would it be possible to avoid all this and just use rare earth magnets?

comodore (author)2009-02-20
would it be possible to avoid all this and just use rare earth magnets?
• well, yes, but I am working on a device and I need an electromagnet...so in this case no, but in other cases yes....
Thanks a lot! You really helped! :D

The_Vinninator (author)2009-02-20

that's what I'm here for, bro *cyber high-five anything else, just pm me!

comodore (author)2009-02-20
OK, if i have more questions and I probably will I will PM you or leave a question on your orange board...

Just 1 more question! :D
• How many volts can I get from electromagnet induction, if I had a small coil whit more turn, thinner wire and a very strong electromagnet that is supplied with 9 V???
Thanks!

The_Vinninator (author)2009-02-20

how many volts? It sounds like what you are saying is how much inductance (magnetism) can you get... inductance isn't measured in volts, it's measured in gauss I don't know how much gaussometers go for... honestly, almost ANYTHING can affect how much strength you get from the electromagnet don't expect to be able to lift a few pounds, but at the same time, if you make it really well, you might just be able to it's really too hard to say

comodore (author)2009-02-21

No,sorry, you didn't understand my question... When I put an electromagnet in the coil and start turning it on and off...how many volts do I get from the secondary coil???

ArtG1 (author)2014-10-01

that directly depends on the number of winding the two coils have relative to each other.

If the seond coils has more windings then the inducer, the voltage goes up.

Double the windings (number of layers) will basically double the voltage. The if the wire is wider than the inducer this will increase the amps.

I'm not completely curtain of the proportions, but I think it's roughly direct. That is, double windings = double voltage; and double thickness = double amps. This all assuming the impedance (coil resistance) doesn't make a big impact.

The_Vinninator (author)2009-02-21

O that's what you meant... well, you would get the amount of volts in the power source minus the amount of resistance in the first electromagnet (you can test this with a multimeter) assuming you put it in series if you wire 'em up in parallel, you'll get the same amount of voltage in both (not taking into consideration any other factors)

comodore (author)2009-02-21

Could you please take a look at my new question, I see you know quite a lot....
Thanks!

The_Vinninator (author)2009-02-21

sure thing I used to work with electromagnets all the time in science projects

comodore (author)2009-02-22

Thanks!

comodore (author)2009-02-21

OK.... Thanks for your help! Keep in touch! :D

The_Vinninator (author)2009-02-21

you're very welcome anytime

alexhalford (author)2009-03-22

I'm sorry to interject but inductance is measured in Henries. Gauss is the unit of magnetic flux density.

The_Vinninator (author)2009-03-22

you're probably right about that sorry but I don't really understand the difference care to explain?

alpha55 (author)2010-02-19

hi Vinninator,

i've a problem with electromagnet, its rise time is 100 milli second while i need something around 100 micro second, i'm using steel nut 16mm dia as core, wire is awg 24, and resistance is around 10 Ohms
could you help me how to reduce the electromagnets rise time.

thanks

ArtG1 (author)2014-10-01

since you already made the wire, I guess saying thiner is a bit late, so increase the voltage.

An easy way of thinking about it is to use water instead of electricity for thought purposes.

water pressure = voltage

water flow = current

resistance = resistance :)

you need to fill the pipe as quickly as possible to the currect pressure (same really in the end), so you need greater flow.

You will reach max a lot quicker if you increased pressure or flow, but only to the same pressure of your water pump.

Going back to magnets:

Increasing volts or amps will to about the same thing, but if you increase voltage, your max force will increase as well as the speed of increase.

So increasing eather will do, but voltage will allow for more.

You can see this quickly if you connect 9v batters to each other. One time only 2, the next time use 5 or more. There will be an ovious differance. Connected in series, the voltage is increase and amps remain the same. Parellel is the oposite. 3 x 9 = 27v and so on.

ArtG1 (author)2014-10-01

PS

Too many volts will start to get dangerous, so get nervous and use electric safety if you really try the 5 or more. I did it up to 120v for my electro magnet test :D

And yes... I was nervous.

Make sure to stay that way when the emotions subside. I can kill you.

Even though amps are the killer (the actual flowing of electrons), they still use the punching power of voltage to break through skin resistance and reach the organs and kill.

Don't think it's still safe if you are dry with the higher levels of voltage. You cannot safely keep increasing volts at the same amps or lower. Be safe.