What is an electromagnet? What can it be used for?

Electromagnets are a widely used type of magnet thanks to their magnetic properties and their easy application.

Electromagnetism and its applications

Electromagnets are everywhere in our environment, both at home and at work. They are especially popular for technical applications. But how do these magnets work and what do they consist of?


What is an electromagnet?

An electromagnet is characterised by its magnetic effect and is dependent on the supply of electrical energy. If it is disconnected from the electrical current, its magnetic field disappears. The intensity of this magnetic field and therefore the force of the magnet is regulated by the current. These magnets have a high holding power with moderate energy consumption. These properties make electromagnets interesting for technical applications, also from the point of view of energy saving. They are manufactured in different sizes and shapes for a wide variety of applications. A commonly used subdivision is: circular electromagnets, rectangular electromagnets and drive electromagnets and a distinction in DC and AC magnets. In principle, electromagnets are used to handle and transport metallic materials. At ImagnetShop we offer numerous examples of very different electromagnets.

Que es un electroiman


What components is an electromagnet made of?

The simplest form of an electromagnet is an electric coil. If a current passes through them, a magnetic field is created. This field is generated by the movement of the load carriers and has a south pole and a north pole. The magnetic forces of these fields were first observed and described in 1820 by the physicist Hans Christian Oersted. He used a compass needle for his experiments, which was aligned by the magnetic field. The field strength increases with the number of turns of the solenoid and with the magnitude of the passing current. The field effect can be significantly increased if the magnetic coil is complemented with a ferromagnetic material core.


Application examples for electromagnets

Electromagnets are everywhere: at home, in the office, in construction or in the car. DC electromagnets are also on position sensors. When a ferromagnetic substance approaches the sensor, it influences the current flow and is noticed. Very strong DC electromagnets are used as solenoids. If the electromagnets operate on alternating current, the direction of their magnetic field changes with the frequency of the current. A very common application of this principle are transformers. Due to the thickness of the coil cable and the number of windings, the current on the secondary side can be influenced. Also in the AC motors are the electromagnets. Its field ensures that the motor rotor rotates with the frequency of alternating current.

Take a look at the Imagnetshop page. There you will find electromagnets of all types and sizes. For your questions about electromagnets, we are always at your disposal. Simply contact us through the contact form.

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