View Full Version : Electromagnet question

2009-10-14, 03:34 PM
Hello, ive never actually made an electromagnet before, but im wondering if you have a bit of iron with a metal wire wrapped around it and charged, making an electromagnet (unless im mistaken) and put it in water, will it work? will it still lift something or will it lose its ability to lift or short out entirely? my plan is to use an electromagnet crane onboard an rc ship for launching and recovering a submarine, as it would be alot easier to charge the magnet and attach it to something ontop of the sub then it would be to get a hook to do the same. well ... that and ive been playing too much dwarf fortress ... but thats another topic :P

2009-10-14, 03:37 PM
If you use actual wire with plastic coating (so avoiding any current on the metal rod) you shouldn't have shortcircuits. Just avoid bringing current bearing material in contact with water. Magnetic fields aren't really hindered by water, so it should still work.

2009-10-14, 03:40 PM
Wouldn't using insulated wire result in it not being magnetic? I think you'd have to do it normally and then cover up the whole thing.

2009-10-14, 03:56 PM
Ya, thats what im wondering, because it has to be strong enough to support a good amount of weight, how much im not sure but that will come from testing, its just mostly i dont want to go through all this work just to find out that the magnet shorts out when water touches it, im going to have to see what i can do to make one for testing, but thx for the replies, anyone else who has tried this or knows or has any suggestions i would love to hear from you!

Jack Squat
2009-10-14, 04:02 PM
This stuff (http://www.plastidip.com/home_solutions/Plasti_Dip) may be good to insulate a working one.

2009-10-14, 04:03 PM
Just use insulated wire and you'll be fine.

Don Julio Anejo
2009-10-14, 04:06 PM
Technically an electric magnet is already a short circuit. Even putting an uninsulated one into the water shouldn't affect it (since metal is a much better conductor than even well salinated water). The reason people use insulated wire is because parts of it shouldn't touch each other or the iron rod - current needs to flow through the entire coil for the magnet to work.

Mando Knight
2009-10-14, 04:10 PM
Just pack the wires closer and use more coils. You'll also need a time-varying current (i.e. AC) in order to get a usable magnetic flux from the coil.