Electromagnets are a type of magnet in which the current is produced with the help of electricity. Electromagnets consist of a wire surrounded by a core of magnetic material. The current through the wire forms a magnetic field. The magnetic field does not appear when the current is turned off. The magnetic core focuses on the magnetic flux and makes it a more powerful magnet. The concentration of a magnet can be changed by controlling the flow of electric current.
Electromagnets are mostly used as components of other electrical devices, like generators, motors, relays, electromechanical solenoids, harddisks, loudspeakers, scientific instruments, MRI machines, and magnetic separation equipment. Electromagnets are also employed in industry for moving and picking up heavy iron objects such as steel and scrap iron.
Properties of Electromagnet
The properties of Magnet are given below:
- Attractive Property: Ferromagnetic materials like nickel, cobalt, and iron are attracted by magnets.
- Repulsive Property: Unlike poles that attract each other, poles repel each other.
- Directive Property: An openly suspended magnet will always point in the north-south direction
Working Principle of Electromagnets:
Let’s take an experiment with an iron rod. Normally, the atoms in the rod are put in random directions, and particular magnetic fields cancel each other out. These atoms re-establish to start pointing in a similar direction, under the influence of electric current. All these particular magnetic fields together build a strong magnetic field. As the current flow rises, this degree of reorientation also rises, which results in a stronger magnetic field. Once all the particles are reestablished perfectly in a similar direction, the rising current flow will not affect the magnetic field. Thus, in this, the magnet is said to be saturated.
Uses of Electromagnets
Electromagnets can be used for various purposes. For example, electromagnets are used in large cranes, and in numerous electromechanical and electronic devices. Some of the essential and basic uses of electromagnets that we come in our daily life are given below.
- In the manufacture of electric bells, loudspeakers and headphones electromagnets are used.
- The electromagnets are used in data storage devices such as tape recorders, hard discs, VCRs, etc…
- Electromagnets are used especially, for domestic purposes such as the Induction cooker which we use in our daily life
- Just like the buzzers, electric bells, and even magnetic locks are also available in the market that uses electromagnets.
- The electromagnets are also used in the medical field, such as MRI machines used to diagnose the patient.
- Particle accelerators also use electromagnets.
- Electromagnets are used even in the construction of mass spectrometers.
Application of Electromagnets
The applications of electromagnets are very broad in almost every field. Some important applications of electromagnets and how electromagnets are used in the real world are discussed below:
Uses in Household Appliances
Most of the electric appliances used for domestic use electromagnetism as the basic working principle. Some of the electromagnets that are used in households include electric fans, magnetic locks, electric doorbells, induction cookers, etc. The electromagnetic induction in an electric fan keeps the motor rotating on and on making the wings or blade of the fan rotate. Similarly, in an electric doorbell when the button is pressed, because of the electromagnetic forces the coil gets energized and the bell sounds.
Uses in Medical Field
The use of electromagnets can also be seen in the medical field. MRI scan known as Magnetic Resonance Imaging is a device that uses electromagnets. Electromagnetism with the help of MRI can scan all the tiny details in the human body.
Uses in Memory Storage and Computer Hardware Devices
The data in ebook gadgets and phones are kept in the electromagnetic format in the form of bits and bytes. The computer hardware also has magnetic tape which works on the principle of electromagnetism. Even in the early days, electromagnets had a huge role in the data storage of VCR and VCP.
Uses in Communication Devices and Power Circuits
Without electromagnets, all communication devices and systems like the telephones and mobiles, we used to make phone calls over a long distance could not have taken place before. The electromagnetic pulses that are sent by the devices and the communication of the signals make telephones and mobiles very useful, without which nothing can be done. Communication has been going even more advanced and therefore advanced electromagnets are used in most communication systems