What is an electromagnet?
The electromagnet is a type of artificial magnet that has the same characteristics as aĵ conventional one, which is to attract metal objects. This device has some advantages over traditional devicesĵ since it is capable of being activated and deactivated when necessary. To get it working you need a coil wound around some magnetic conductive material and an electrical flux.
Parts of an electromagnet
Although it does not seem like an electromagnet it is a fairly simple device and it only consists of 2 main parts without counting the electric flow.
Coil: This component is in charge of generating and enhancing magnetism.
Magnetic conductor core: The coil is placed on this material so that the magnetism takes the same direction as the core.
How does it work?
When the electric current passes through a wire, it generates magnetism around it. To enhance this effect, the wire is wound in a spiral and thus the current path is longer in a shorter distance, each turn that electricity travels generates more magnetism and adds to the final effect. Although the magnetic field is generated in the direction of the wire, we need a magnetic core so that the direction changes towards the direction of the core and this is the one that does the function of the magnet and not the wire.
What are the advantages of an electromagnet?
This device has 2 quite considerable advantages which are the following:
Variable magnetic field
If we change the direction of the passage of the electric current, the magnetism will also change direction. We can also increase or decrease the strength of our electromagnet through the amount of electric current that is supplied.
Ability to turn on or off
We can activate and deactivate the electromagnet as many times as necessary, just enough to interrupt or not the electric current.