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steel cable as a transformer core? Answered

could i use thick steel cable as a transformer core (1 inch stranded cable) if i saturated it in a nonconductive (epoxy? rubber cement? ect..?   material to eliminate eddy currents and molded it into a double C core?


No, because steel is permanently magnetic. Two things will happen - it will constantly blow the fuses, because the input impedance at switch on will be very low, and the core will get hot as it magnetises and demagnetises.


would low carbon steel work, and it will be oil cooled, so heat is not that much of a problem

There's a very good reason why transformers are ALWAYS made with "soft iron", not steel. It'll do SOME kind of transformation, but its always going to have a tendency to blow fuses.

i don't use fuses, they blow too often, and i have some high power circuit breakers, but do u have any clue if they make soft iron cables? it's the easiest thing i can think of

The metal sheathing wire AROUND electrical cables is usually pretty soft.

good point, ill try and check the local junkyard for soft cables and such, i may also get soft iron sheets and laminate it traditionally, but ill decide later, i like the idea of a transformer made of cable, but it must work so, i'll look for somthing pretty soft, and corroded xD


6 years ago

Unless you have a way to pressure inject the insulating material, short of untwisting the wire rope, you'll never get each strand completely insulated.

You could draw it into the cable using a vacuum. Pull the air out, resin goes in.

+1 all replies.

I can't imagine winding a 1 inch cable round anything It's big enough to moor ships.- How BIG do you intend this core to be?

I Really Really must read the question thoroughly - write out 100 times Harris.

You do indeed say as a core.

the cable will be the core, im planning on a 9-12 square inch core, planning on a 1:1000 transformer submerged in oil

Should work, so long as you laminate it to avoid the eddy's you should be okay. If it forms a complete loop anywhere it will have problems.

thanks for backing my theory, i researched this for hours, and found NOTHING about using steel cables for transformers

and as Burf says; it will be VERY difficult to get the resin into the cable unless you unwind the strands and insulate them.