A coil, in the context of electrics, is an electrical conductor such as a wire in the shape of a coil, spiral or helix. These coils are used in applications where electric currents interact with magnetic fields. They are used in devices such as inductors, electromagnets, transformers and sensor coils. Custom coils meet the vast variations of requirements in the market. This market includes industries and applications such as: medical systems, energy storage, power generation, semiconductor equipment processing, solar energy, environmental engineering, security and detection and university research.
What types of coils may a customer choose from to create custom coils? Coils can be classified both by the frequency of the current they are designed to work with and by their function. Coils may be direct current (DC), meaning they operate with a steady, or direct, current in their windings. Or, they may be audio frequency (AF), operating with alternating currents in the audio frequency range, which is less than 20 kHz. Finally, coils may be of the radio frequency (RF) type, which operates with alternating currents in the radio frequency range, which is above 20 kHz. The main types of coils, classified by their function, are: electromagnets, inductors, transformers and transducer coils. Electromagnets are coils that generate a magnetic field for an external purpose, often in order to exert a mechanical force onto something. Inductors, also called reactors, are coils that generate a magnetic field that interacts with the coil itself, in order to induce a back EMF. This EMF opposes changes through the coil, which makes the coil temporarily store energy or resist changes in currents. Coils that fall under the transformer blanket are devices that have two or more magnetically coupled windings, or sections of a single winding. In order to work, the primary winding, which is a time varying current in one coil, generates a magnetic field, which in turn induces a voltage in the other coil, called the secondary winding. Finally, transducer coils are used to translate time-varying magnetic fields into electric signals, and vise versa. An example of this is a loop, or radio, antenna, which converts radio waves to electric currents.
Aside from type, when designing custom coils, a customer may select its form material, wire material, wire coiling process, wire type and coil shape, among others. Custom coil wire material options include copper and aluminum, and the processes by which this wire may be formed include: single layer, multi-layer, dry/epoxy wound, random layer, precision winding, self-bonding, manual and automated. The wire type possibilities of custom coils are: insulated magnet, bare magnet, hollow core, solid core and tube. Coil shapes include: round, square, rectangular, oval, three-dimensional and other custom shapes. Aside from these, custom coils may be differentiated by their testing capabilities, applications, coil form materials, terminations, diameter and insulators.
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