Electronic – Powerful electromagnet


Is it possible to produce over 1000 lb of magnetic force over a distance of 4 inches(0.101 meters), using an electromagnet?

How difficult would it be? Explaining the general spec's of such an electromagnet?
Most importantly,the power input… how much power would this electromagnet need? A few kWatts?

Best Answer

Here is a formula that is useful

Force = \$(N\cdot I)^2\cdot 4\pi 10^{-7}\cdot \dfrac{A}{2g^2}\$

  • F = Force
  • I = Current
  • N = Number of turns
  • g = Length of the gap between the solenoid and the magnetizable metal
  • A = Area

With 100 amps through a 100 turn coil of area 1 sq m, the force on a magnetizable metal at 100mm is 6283 newtons (about 1400 pounds).

But what about the permeability of the electromagnet's core and the permeability of the "iron" it's attracting to - air forms the gap and it dictates the flux density.

The input power needed to do this is zero because no work is being done in creating this force. However, if you actually want to know the losses you need to think about how thick the copper wire is to pass this current and maybe trade off number of turns with amps.

Here's an online calculator and here is a page that explains the theory.