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I have a number of solenoids I would like to use in a project. The problem is that they're not quite powerful enough so I've been trying to come up with ways to increase the their pulling force without increasing the voltage.

The solenoids use a core that is tapered on the end. I would think that would lower the pulling power when the solenoid first engages. If I replace the core with a one that has the same thickness would I be right in thinking that the initial pull when the solenoid engages would be stronger?

If this would work what type of core should I use? If I just google "steel rod" there is a lot of types available. Is there some in particular material I should be looking for?

sketch of the solenoid

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  • \$\begingroup\$ For materials, you may find this useful: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Permeability_(electromagnetism) It includes a list of materials in descending order of magnetic permeability. I think the taper in those cores would decrease initial pulling force, but greatly increase total travel of the solenoid. If you're using a completely cylindrical core, it should pull the core until as much of the rod as the field can reach is centered on the center of the coil. The tapered design will cause the solenoid to pull until the large part at the end of the rod is centered. \$\endgroup\$ – K H Jul 28 '18 at 0:43
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That probably won't help. The solenoid pulls on the wide part pulling it into the coil, if you start with the wide part in the coil it will not be able to pull on any more metal in because it's already full.

you best move is to get solenoids that are designed for the voltage you have available.

It may be possible to re-wind the soledoids you have, to make them work at a lower voltage. if there is a non-desctuctive way to disassemble them, if you take the magnet wire out and then wind it back on as two parallel strands you'll get a solenoid that works at half the original voltage.

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