Custom Coils Inc. designs and manufactures custom specialty coils for a variety of industries and applications. For even the most challenging projects, our experts can deliver high-quality design conceptualization, prototype development, testing, and production. This page will explain how electromagnetic coils work, their different types and applications, and important design considerations when creating custom solutions.

What are Electromagnetic Coils?

An electromagnetic coil, also known as an electric coil or inductor, is an electrical conductor containing a set of conductive wires wrapped around a specified shape and size. This can be a self-supporting (air core) design or include a specified core (ie. iron, ferrite) . Electrical coils are simple electronic components that provide inductance in an electromagnetic circuit.

There are many coil types to meet the needs of various equipment. Electromagnetic coils can vary by wire gauge, length, coil diameter, core material, and other factors. Since electromagnetic coils are powered by electricity, they can be turned on and off easily. Their magnetic strength can be altered by increasing or decreasing the electricity that flows around their core.

How Do Electromagnetic Coils Work?

Electromagnetic coils consist of conductive wire wrapped in a specific size and shape, producing a magnetic field. The magnetic field grows stronger when there are more turns of wire on the coil. Electromagnetic field strength is determined by the number of amp turns, the material selection of the core, and the strength of current. Removing electrical input disables the magnet.

When added to a wire coil, certain core materials can increase the strength of the magnetic field. Ferromagnetic materials—cobalt, nickel, iron, and steel—can amplify a denser magnetic field for the coil.

Electromagnetic Coil Applications

Electromagnetic coils vary in size, shape, and material depending on their application. While there are many industries that use electromagnetic coils, three industries in particular rely on coils for critical applications.



Electromagnetic components are vital to many types of medical equipment, including heart rate monitors, Radiation therapy systems, MRI systems and more. Diagnostic equipment—such as electrocardiogram (EKG) and electroencephalogram (ECG) machines—also require electromagnetic coils.



The military depends on electromagnetic coils for missile defense, protecting allied signals, and jamming enemy signals. Electromagnetic coils also apply to high-velocity electromagnetic rail guns.



Aerospace applications for transformers, inductors, and other electromagnetic parts must be highly precise and adhere to stringent guidelines. Electromagnetic aircraft launch systems, for example, must successfully launch aircraft from carriers.

Design Considerations

At Custom Coils Inc., we design electromagnets that meet all system field requirements and deliver optimal performance. We utilize our extensive experience to provide material and design suggestions that ensure longevity and optimization. Our experts partner with customers’ in-house engineering teams to develop the right electromagnetic coil design for every application.

Electromagnetic coils are critical components across many industries. In each application, unique design considerations mean that there are no one-size-fits-all solutions. Custom Coils has been engineering and manufacturing high-performance coils and electromagnets for over 45 years. Contact us or request a quote to get started on a solution for your project.