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Types of Inductors

inductor

An inductor is one of the basic electrical components commonly used in electric circuits. Typically, an inductor consists of an electrical conductor wound into a coil, often including an iron core. The inductor stores energy in a magnetic field when current flows through it. This magnetic field induces an electromotive force (in the form of voltage) that opposes any change in current. are common in radio frequency systems, where they conduct currents and reduce feedback and interference. In circuits, inductors are crucial in controlling electrical flow.

Custom Coils produces a wide range of inductors and can work with you throughout the product development life cycle to customize inductors for your application. As you review your options and specifications, consider the following types of inductors.

 

Types of Inductors

Inductors can follow multilayered, coupled, molded, ceramic, or other designs. Here are more details on the most common inductor types on the market.

Air Core Conductor

Air core conductors are hollow, which gives them low permeability and low inductance. They are most effective in high-frequency settings.

Iron Core Conductor

Also called ferrite core, these inductors have high resistance to electricity, high permeability, and low eddy current losses—all of which results in excellent performance in high-frequency applications.

Toroidal Inductor

These inductors are made of a donut-shaped iron core wrapped in wire. Thanks to its closed-loop, circular shape, toroidal inductors create strong magnetic fields.

Laminated Core Inductor

Laminated core inductors consist of thin steel sheets stacked to form the core. These stacks help block eddy currents and minimize energy loss.

Powdered Iron Core Inductor

These inductors are composed of magnetic iron material with air gaps. This construction allows the core to store more energy than other types of inductors. They also offer low eddy current and hysteresis losses.

Axial Inductor

An axial inductor is made by wrapping copper wire around a dumbbell-shaped ferrite core. A molding procedure then prints colored bands on it, and users can read these bands using a color code chart to determine the inductance value.

Shielded Surface Mount Inductor

The inductor wire wraps around a cylindrical bobbin and is secured in a specially made ferrite housing. These inductors are specifically created for PCB applications since the shielding minimizes EMI and noise from the inductor.

Coupled Inductor

These inductors feature two wires wound around a common core. The wires can be connected in various ways and transfer energy through mutual inductance. An example of a coupled inductor is a transformer.

Multilayer Chip Inductor

Multilayer inductors are made up of thin ferrite plates with coil patterns printed on them. The layered coils and insulation between them create high inductance.

Shielded Variable Inductor

With these inductors, a wire wraps around a hollow cylinder bobbin and can change inductance according to the core material placed inside. Ferrite cores increase inductance while brass cores decrease inductance.

Molded Inductor

Inductors with molded plastic or ceramic insulation are often found in circuit boards. They’re shaped as either bars or cylinders.

Ceramic Core Inductor

Ceramic cores are dielectric and cannot store much energy, but they do provide low distortion and heat loss.

 

Inductor Applications

The following are popular applications for each inductor.

Air Core Conductor

  • RF tuning coils
  • Filter circuits
  • Snubber circuits
  • TV and radio receivers

Iron Core Conductor

  • Transformers
  • High-frequency applications

Toroidal Inductor

  • Medical devices
  • Industrial controllers
  • Switching regulators
  • AC circuits
  • Output filters

Laminated Core Inductor

  • Electric vehicle onboard chargers
  • Noise and line filters
  • CH/CL filter chokes for signals
  • Transformers

Powdered Iron Core Inductor

  • Transformers
  • DC inductors

Axial Inductor

  • Line filters
  • Boost converters

Shielded Surface Mount Inductor

  • Mobile and desktop devices
  • Servers
  • POL converters
  • Power supplies
  • Battery-powered gadgets
  • DC/DC converters in distributed power systems and field-programmable gate arrays

Coupled Inductor

  • Cuk, flyback, and single-ended primary-inductor converters
  • Transformers

Multilayer Chip Inductor

  • Bluetooth
  • Wireless LANs
  • Motherboards
  • Wearables
  • SBCs

Shielded Variable Inductor

  • Automotive applications that comply with AEC-Q200 regulations

Molded Inductor

  • Circuit boards

Ceramic Core Inductor

  • High-frequency applications
  • Small-signal filtering
  • LC filter circuits

 

Custom Inductors from Custom Coils

Inductors are a type of device that transmits and measures current in relation to voltage. Inductors can be used in many types of applications, such as energy storage, filtering, and circuits. 

Contact us to let us know how we can provide you with custom inductors or other coiled products. If you’d like to begin your project with us, request a quote today.

What is a Solenoid?

copper solenoid

A solenoid is a variety of electromagnet consisting of a copper wire coil wound tightly into a helix, an iron or steel housing, and a mobile plunger made of magnetic material. When an electric current passes through the coil, the solenoid produces a magnetic field and converts that magnetic energy into mechanical motion. Essentially, a solenoid converts electrical energy into mechanical work through electromagnetic forces. For example, solenoids are often used as a valve to actuate a push or pull force on a magnetic component in a device. Solenoids can also act as a switch in electromechanical devices. These electromagnetic devices are used in hundreds of everyday applications from doorbells to car ignition systems.

Custom Coils designs and develops quality solenoids to meet the needs of your application. We work efficiently and expertly to create specialty coils for our valued customers.

 

How Does a Solenoid Work?

When an electric current is applied to a solenoid, it creates a powerful magnetic field that attracts or repels a magnetic material, ie magnetic plunger, to move inside of its housing. As the plunger moves back and forth, it creates the mechanical motion that powers the intended component.

Solenoid magnets have an advantage over conventional permanent magnets because their magnetism can be switched on or off as needed by removing or applying the electrical current. You can adjust the strength of the magnetic pull by increasing or decreasing the electrical current.  Additionally, the direction of motion can be reversed based on the direction of current flow through the solenoid.

There are two basic types of solenoids: valve and electric. In valve solenoids, a constant electric current is applied to the solenoid. Once activated, the piston or plunger retracts to open the valve that would otherwise block the flow of material. Once the electromagnetic field is broken, the solenoid is deactivated and the valve will close.

Electric solenoids are used to close circuits to allow engines to run. When the solenoid receives the electric current it pulls nearby metal components in place to create a closed circuit. Constant electric current is required to keep the circuit closed and the engine running.

 

Applications for Solenoids

Without realizing it, you use solenoids every day. Solenoids vary in size and power, making them suitable for countless applications. Powerful solenoids consist of many coils, create strong magnetic fields, and can be used to power large machinery. A smaller, less powerful solenoid can be used for smaller functions like ringing a doorbell. Some of the more common applications for solenoids include:

  • Mechanical or fluid control valves
  • Starting a car
  • Ringing a doorbell
  • Door locking mechanisms
  • Nail guns
  • Air conditioning controls inside vehicles
  • Powering signal systems in the railroad industry

While these simple but effective devices are used to actuate many common devices, they have become highly utilized in nontraditional physical motion applications, such Ion Beam Accelerator systems.

There are innumerable applications for solenoids, as any device that requires force to create mechanical movement can benefit from their functionality.

 

Custom Coils is Your Expert on Solenoid Design and Manufacturing

Solenoids are important devices in much of the technology we use daily. These devices are effective, versatile, and easy to implement in your systems.  From conception to production, the experts at Custom Coils will partner with you to determine your specific needs and customize the right solenoid device for your application. Contact us to learn more about our services or request a quote today.