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Can you use multiple wires to wind a solenoid?

  1. Sep 10, 2014 #1
    I am curious if an alternating solenoid coil needs to be wound with a single piece of wire from end to end, or - can each loop in the solenoid be made of a separate wire and stacked on top of the previous, as long as each termination is connected to the proper + / - terminal.

    Essentially - is the field strength a function of the length of the wire - or simply the number of loops in the system.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 10, 2014 #2


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    using multiple strands is no different to using a single strand of the same gauge wire as the combined gauge of the multiple strands

  4. Sep 10, 2014 #3
    Thank you Davenn - though I think we are talking about two different things. I am referring to using each strand to initiate and terminate a single loop, then using another strand to make an identical single loop that will be stacked immediately on top of the first single loop.

    Is this essentially the same as winding the full coil with a single or braided strand. Basically - the difference between a helical 'single' connected coil and a stack of loops.
  5. Sep 10, 2014 #4
    It is the same thing. It's like stacking magnets. The difference would be in the length of wire needed to make the same amount of loops.
  6. Sep 11, 2014 #5
    The resistance of your coil will be much lower. As long as your power source is of the correct voltage and current capacity it will work fine. It will not work fine in the same circuit that was designed for a series wound solenoid because it will draw too much current.
  7. Sep 11, 2014 #6
    So, if I am understanding correctly - The generated magnetic field in these two examples will only differ due to the resistance in the wire.

    i.e. - Multiple SINGLE coils stacked on top of each other represent something a little closer to the idea of using superconducting wire (higher current due to less resistance), than using a single piece of wire.

    Is this correct?
  8. Sep 11, 2014 #7

    No; it will require more wire and also have more contact resistance at the power terminals. Given the same amount of wire, a single wire would be more efficient.
  9. Sep 11, 2014 #8
    Understood - thank you for your reply.
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