# Peak forces of round and rectangular solenoids

• jschwartz6
In summary, the conversation discusses the use of equations to back up research on solenoids with varying aspect ratios. The equations for flux density and force are questioned and adjustments are suggested. The use of Biot-Savart law and comparing currents to find the most efficient configuration are also mentioned. The effects of turn density and the shape of the solenoid on the magnetic field are considered. The possibility of using a secondary magnet and recording current to collect data is also discussed. Pictures of the solenoids are requested for better understanding.
jschwartz6
I am doing some research involving solenoids of varying aspect ratios, and I'm looking for some equations I can use to back it up. I have three different solenoids of the equal n (where n=N/L), with different shapes and different cores/plungers, and I am comparing their forces by testing them with the same current through the wire. Ideally the aspect ratio of the plungers would be my only variable, but there are other variables that I would like to compensate for by using equations.

First, as I understand it, the flux density in a round solenoid is basically
B = μnI.
One of my solenoids (square plunger) is about 9300 turns/m with plunger area 1E-4 m$^{2}$ running 1.5A. I'm using a mild steel core with a rough estimate of μ$_{r}$=50. By the above equation, the field from my solenoids is predicted about 0.88 T. Does that sound logical?

Also I have found a force equation that I don't know whether to believe:
F = B$^{2}$A/(2μ$_{0}$)
(the force exerted on the solenoid plunger). Does anyone have a correction for this? This equation is predicting ~28 N and I'm getting ~0.35 N from that particular solenoid. Having an accurate force equation would be a huge help.

I tested my solenoids on an Instron tester machine. The peak forces for the highest-aspect-ratio solenoid were highest, followed by my medium-aspect-ratio solenoid, and then the one with the square plunger was the least. I'm pretty sure this is because the higher-aspect-ratio solenoids have a larger length of wire per coil. So I think the field for these rectangular-core solenoids might be:
B = μnI + (2)μ$_{0}$I/(2πr)
where the latter term is the field about a straight length of wire, and each wrap of the coil has two lengths (one above and one below the plunger).
Then, for the force of the rectangular-core solenoids, I would add the term NILB to the regular force equation. Does that seem right?

Thanks for the help; sorry for the long post.

you say equal n, n = N/L, is this turn density? (N turns / L length)
The magnetic field in a solenoid depends directly on N, and not so much on L

What exactly do you mean by aspect ratio? n?

I haven't done much in applied magnetics, but I know you can use Biot-Savart law to calculate the magnetic field, B, at a point, due to a wire's configuration. It involves a line integral around the coil's cross section, and you can multiply that by N turns.

the flux is $\Phi$=BA or ∫B$\bullet$dA more precisely (B and dA vectors)

But, have you considered finding the current needed in each coil to produce a particular force?
it might help the experiment by avoiding some nonlinear effects from your secondary magnet - like hysteresis
Plus if the forces are equal, you automatically know that the flux from each coil must be equal. So you can just compare currents to find the most efficient configuration.

elegysix said:
you say equal n, n = N/L, is this turn density? (N turns / L length)
The magnetic field in a solenoid depends directly on N, and not so much on L.

What exactly do you mean by aspect ratio? n?

Yeah I am referring to turns per length.
By aspect ratio I am referring to the cross section of the solenoid, when looking at it from the end. A traditional solenoid is a circle but I have rectangles.

elegysix said:
But, have you considered finding the current needed in each coil to produce a particular force? it might help the experiment by avoiding some nonlinear effects from your secondary magnet - like hysteresis

What is the secondary magnet you refer to? With the equations I have, I could indeed back-calculate from a given force to find a current, but that doesn't solve any of my problems, and I know that the equations do not hold for the different shapes of solenoids.

elegysix said:
Plus if the forces are equal, you automatically know that the flux from each coil must be equal. So you can just compare currents to find the most efficient configuration.

The forces are quite unequal, so the flux seems likewise (because the cross-sectional area of the cores, as well as n, are about the same).

I don't believe turn density is a big factor. I know that in basic physics the B field only depended on the number of turns, not the overall length. so you should be aware of that possibility in any equations with n.

the plunger is your secondary magnet - the force is applied on it. If its another coil with a current running through it, it will act just like a magnet. - secondary coil then.

And yes, if the forces are unequal, the flux will also be unequal. That is why if the forces are the same, the flux' are equal in the region of the plunger. Then you just have to record the current to get your Force vs current data. You can find a best fit curve and then compare it to whatever model you've got so far.

maybe post pictures of the solenoids? might help make it clearer for me

I am happy to see that you are conducting research on solenoids and their peak forces. It shows a dedication to understanding the principles behind these devices and their potential applications.

Regarding your first question about the flux density in a round solenoid, your calculation seems logical based on the equation B = μnI. However, it would be helpful to have more information about the dimensions of your solenoid and the type of wire used to confirm the accuracy of your prediction.

As for the force equation, F = B^2A/(2μ_0), it is important to note that this is an idealized equation and may not accurately predict the actual force exerted on the solenoid plunger. Factors such as the shape and material of the plunger, as well as the presence of other magnetic fields, can affect the force. It would be beneficial to conduct experiments to determine the actual force exerted on the plunger and compare it to the predicted value.

Your approach to compensating for other variables by using equations is sound, but it is important to consider all factors that may affect the peak force, such as the shape and material of the plunger, the type of core, and the type of wire used. It may also be helpful to conduct experiments with controlled variables to isolate the effects of each variable on the peak force.

Overall, it seems like you have a solid understanding of the principles behind solenoids and their peak forces. I would recommend further experimentation and analysis to confirm your findings and potentially discover new insights. Good luck with your research!

## 1. What is the difference between round and rectangular solenoids?

Round solenoids have a cylindrical shape and are often used in applications that require a compact design. Rectangular solenoids, on the other hand, have a rectangular shape and are typically used for applications that require a larger force output.

## 2. How are the peak forces of round and rectangular solenoids calculated?

The peak force of a solenoid is calculated by multiplying the magnetic flux density by the cross-sectional area of the solenoid. The magnetic flux density is determined by the number of turns in the coil, the current passing through the coil, and the magnetic permeability of the core material.

## 3. Can the peak force of a solenoid be increased?

Yes, the peak force of a solenoid can be increased by increasing the number of turns in the coil, the current passing through the coil, or the magnetic permeability of the core material. Additionally, using a ferromagnetic material for the core can also increase the peak force.

## 4. What factors can affect the peak force of a solenoid?

The peak force of a solenoid can be affected by the number of turns in the coil, the current passing through the coil, the magnetic permeability of the core material, the shape and size of the solenoid, and the type of core material used.

## 5. What are some common applications for round and rectangular solenoids?

Round solenoids are commonly used in applications such as door locks, valves, and relays. Rectangular solenoids are often used in applications such as electric motors, actuators, and clutches.

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