Current Coil

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Definition of Current Coil

A current coil is basically a coil, such as, a wire wrapped around an electrical conductor. Usually, the coil is made out of insulated copper wire and the conductor is a soft iron core. When the coil wrapped around the conductor carries current, it has been observed that the coil starts behaving like a magnet. This property of a conductor, when wrapped around a current-carrying coil, is called electromagnetism. A popular physics experiment is done using the same phenomenon. When nails are put across a table with a conductor coiled around a current-carrying wire, then the nails of the table stick to the coil. The reason why these nails glue to the wire is electromagnetism. 


Important Factors for a Current Coil

There are a number of factors on which the strength of electromagnetism depends.

  1. The first factor determining the strength of the current coil is the number of turns. The more the turns, the more the current in amperes. The magnetic field also gets multiplied with the number of turns in a coil. 

  2. The second important factor is the strength of the current flowing through the conductor. The greater the electric current, the more strength of the current coil. 

  3. The third factor is the material in which the conductor is made up. Generally ferrous or iron-bearing is used to improve electromagnetism around a current coil. Also, the use of alloys such as aluminum-nickel-cobalt can also produce strong magnetic fields. 

  4. The fourth and last factor that is important for the current coil is the temperature. It has been found that current-carrying ability is improved at lower temperatures. Moreover, the strongest magnets are made of superconductors cooled with liquefied nitrogen or helium. 


Applications of Current Coil

Due to its unique ability to produce electromagnetism, there are many applications of the current coil in the real world.

  • A current coil is popularly known to be used Can Crusher. This application is based on the electromagnetic field that is generated when a can is placed inside a coil which then gets further energized to bend and deform the can by compressing it into a flat disc. 

  • Current coils are also commonly used as electromagnets. There are specific types of electromagnets as well such as a solenoid, Maxwell coil, Voice coil, and Degaussing coil. 

  • Another common application of the current coil is Magnetic Cranes. In landfills, the trash also contains a large number of metals which can either take years to degrade or can simply be recycled and reused. An electromagnet can be of a big help here. The giant electromagnet attracts and sticks all the metal components in the trash at dump yards and landfills.  Moreover, these metal scraps can be easily removed by the electromagnet when it is de-energized. This function was not possible with permanent magnets, and people had to remove metal scraps manually earlier. 


Wrap up on Current Coil

The concept of electricity and magnetism do overlap when studying physics. The example of a current coil explains the co-occurrence of the above two phenomena which is then called electromagnetism. The electromagnetic field created when current passes through the current coil can serve multiple purposes. Some of these real-life applications are electromagnets, can crusher and magnetic cranes.


Fun Facts

Difference Between Current Coil and Pressure Coil.


A pressure coil is also known as the voltage coil and is generally used in a wattmeter. There is a prominent difference between current coil and pressure coil The current coil is always connected in series. While the pressure coil is connected in parallel with the load. Moreover, the current coil measures the current while the pressure coil measures the voltage. Both the coils are used in a wattmeter scale and to measure current or voltage in tension transmission lines.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What is Electromagnetism?

The concept of electromagnetism can be defined as the use of coils of wire that carries current around a soft magnetic material producing a field of electricity and magnetism at the same time. When the electric current flows through the coil of wire around a conductor, electromagnetism is produced. The magnetic field around the conductor also has a direction with both “North” and “South” pole determined by the direction of the flow of current through the conductor. It has been further established that a circular electromagnetic field is created with magnetic lines of flux that form complete loops when the electric current is passed through a conductor.

2. What are Electromagnets?

Electromagnets can be defined as coils of wire with an electrical current passing through the coil and it behaving like bar magnets with distinct north and south pole. Moreover, the magnetic field that is produced around the current-carrying coil is static at both the poles and much stronger towards the center of the coil. As mentioned above, the strength of the electromagnet depends on the number of turns of wire in the coil, the amount of current flowing through the coil, the type of core material of the coil, and the temperature. The current flowing through the coil is expressed as Magneto Motive Force in the I current flow through a coil of N turns.