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Different Types of Inductors and Core Materials

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Different Types of Inductors and Core Materials

There are several possible inductor core shapes. The geometry of an individual core depends on several factors, such as the application, the installed base and available space; the permissible exposure; the operating temperatures; and the position of the permanent magnets. A core's physical makeup includes an inner ring of field-effect metals and a layer of non-field metals. The outermost layer of the core is made up of a thin film of copper. Some of the most frequently used conductors in the core are aluminum, tin, and lead.


Inductors are used in numerous applications and there are three basic classifications of inductor cores. The first is the laminated core, which has a thin layer of high power conductors and no other insulating material. The second is the free-standing type, which has a metal casing with metallic insulating material bonded to the outside of the case. The third is the hybrid, which combines the features of both the laminated and free-standing types. The hybrid inductor is the most commonly found type and is preferred for its flexibility.


A Bobbin Inductor Core, sometimes called a Winding Inductor Core, is made of one or more layers of electrically conductive materials. The layers may be made of thick wire, plastics, or polyester foams. The number of layers in the core is dependent upon the application's need. The most common use for a bobbin inductor core is to support the weight of the electrical wire feeding the terminal blocks of a synchronous-type electrical generator. A thin layer of foam supports the wire while it is being pulled through the terminal.


A Ferrite Core Inductor usually consists of a strip of steel that's coated on the interior with a powder material thus forming a sort of magnetic field. The strip is connected to a ferrite core that serves as a dampener, which is then connected to a collector. When the air flow is induced into the induction loop, the electric current flows through the ferrite core and creates a localized magnetic field that's used to produce alternating currents in the core's magnetic field. Because of the Ferrite Core's non-corrosive nature, the metal strip attached to the inside of the inductor is easily wear and tear.


An aluminum Inductor is a light-weight form of inductor core that's most commonly used for electrical inductions. Aluminum is an excellent conductor of electricity and many different types of metal alloys have low melting points that make them ideal candidates for electrical inductions. It's also relatively inexpensive. Another advantage to aluminum core material is that it has many different types of copper coatings applied to it in order to improve its resistance to abrasion and corrosion damage, both of which can degrade the performance of an inductor.


Plastic core materials are widely used as an alternative to the metal variety, because plastic is a pliable and durable material that allows it to be molded into many different shapes without losing its electrical conductivity properties. The main disadvantage to using plastic as an inductor core is that it tends to lose its inductive power as the area of its thickness increases. Another disadvantage to plastic as a core is that its insulating properties tend to be quite poor, especially in comparison to other metal alloys. Plastic materials also do not offer the full range of magnetic properties that the other metals do. Plastic also tends to lose its inductive charge rapidly if heat is applied to it, so it needs to be kept cool while being used in electronic circuits.

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