Permeable coil cores; what's actually happening?

  • Thread starter Landru
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Main Question or Discussion Point

In descriptions of how an electrical transformer works, I've seen it said that the permeable core "conducts a magnetic field" or "allows magnetism to pass through better than it passes through air", but isn't that description misleading? Isn't it really the case that the permeable material's magnetic domains are just aligning due to the presence of the magnetic field, and then temporarily becoming a magnet in it's own right. So you're not "greasing the path" of the flux from the coil, rather you're multiplying the total about of magnetic flux that happens to be pointing in a certain direction, within a localized area. After all, this is why you have hysteresis losses: the permeable core can't flip it's own polarity as fast as the coil can impose it upon the material. It seems to me like describing a permeable core as creating a "route" for the flux to take, and similar analogies, are correct enough to be conceptually useful, but not strictly true.

Am I mistaken?
 

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