Solenoid coils, also referred to as solenoids, are three-dimensional loops, or coils, of wire that have been wrapped around a metallic core, and function to provide a magnetic field when an electric current is passed through the coil. Thus, through becoming an electromagnet, meaning that its magnetic field is produced by an electrical current flow, the solenoid coil serves to convert electrical energy into linear motion.
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Applications of Solenoid Coils
Highly popular electrical components, solenoid coils are electrical coils used in almost every industry for applications such as: transmission, clutch systems, seat belt locks, fuel control and more in the automotive industry; medical imaging, ventilation, pill dispensing and apparatuses in the medical and pharmaceutical industries; packaging and processing applications for the food and beverage industry; planting and fertilizing equipment in the agricultural industry; and material handling, control, positioning and processing applications in the industrial manufacturing industry.
Solenoid coils are also utilized in industries such as postal, printing, security, construction, office equipment, appliances and more. Since solenoid coils are necessary for such a wide range of applications, they can come in standard designs or they can be customized coils in order to better-suit the intended application.
Design of Solenoid Coils
Solenoid coils consist of two main parts: the coiled wire and the metallic core. The coiled wire is most commonly formed from insulated or enameled copper or copper alloys, whereas the metallic core is typically formed from solid or powdered iron but can also be formed from steel or stainless steel. It is crucial that the metallic core is made from ferromagnetic materials, substances that are able to concentrate the magnetic lines of flux and increase the inductance of the coil. As a result, when the electrical current flows in the coil, the majority of the resulting magnetic flux will exist within the core material. The minority of the flux that is outside the core material will be near the ends of the core or off to the side. In addition, there are two main types of solenoid coils: linear solenoid coils and rotary solenoid coils. The most significant difference between the two types of solenoid coils is that linear solenoid coils convert electrical energy into linear motion, whereas rotary solenoid coils convert electrical energy into rotational motion. Also, while linear solenoid coils will reference the force exerted by the coil, rotary solenoid coils will reference the torque exerted by the coil.