Uses of Electro Magnets

Updated April 17, 2017

An electromagnet is when electricity is used to create a magnetic field. Electromagnets are generally more powerful than normal magnets and can be used in a variety of electric devices or for industrial uses. Normally, an electric field is rotated around magnetic coils to create a magnetic electric current, or magnets are rotated around coils by another force, like a wind turbine or steam, to create electricity. Electromagnets different from normal magnets, as an electromagnet object loses its magnetic properties once the current ceases to pass through it.

Medical Field

Electromagnets are used in hospitals, doctor's surgeries, dental practices or other medical departments. For example, an electromagnet is a key component of a Magnetic Resonance Imaging scanning machine, which is used to take detailed pictures of inside the body, particularly the brain. Electromagnets are also used to remove magnetic metal particles embedded in the eye which my be deposited after an accident, such as a car collision.

Computers and Technology

Electromagnets are widely used in computers, discs, video recording equipment, television sets, LCD screens or loud speakers. Electromagnetic strips in recording devices, discs and computer drives are used to record data and save data, or can be used in circuit boards to provide power to separate components. In LCD screen televisions or older television sets, the electromagnet is used to power the cathode and direct the beaming of electrons to illuminate the screen.

Industrial Electromagnets

Large industrial electromagnets can be used to pick up magnetic heavy metals. Normally, industrial electromagnets are used in junk yards or car production plants. Only certain elements, such as nickel, iron, cobalt or naturally occurring metals, are attracted to electromagnets; using an electromagnet is often an effective way to sort large piles of metals, or at least divide magnetic metals from other materials.

Motors and Generators

Electric motors and generators work on the principle of "electric induction." A moving electric current creates a magnetic field, and a magnetic field creates a moving electric current. In electric motors, the electric current (the power supply) creates a magnetic field to move the motor. This principle is how many basic appliances work. Electric generators, used to generator electricity, use an outside force (such as steam or wind) to rotate a set of magnets around a coil to create a magnetic field, which produces electricity.

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About the Author

Victoria Gorski has been a freelance copywriter since 2005, producing articles for small businesses, newspapers and magazines, as well as creating marketing material. She also publishes material for literacy communities and regional newspapers, such as the "MEN" and "Bolton News." Gorski is pursuing a Master of Arts in creative writing and a postgraduate certificate in education.