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Name: Brian
Status: Student
Grade: 9-12
Location: N/A
Country: United States
Date: October 2007

I am making cylindrical magnetic transmitter with steel core. I wound up coils on the steel core to produce magnetic field. Applied signal to coil is pulsed voltage (12V). I am suffering to selecting best steel core to maximize magnetic field. Just I used normal plumbing steel pipe. I heard that pipe is galvanized one. I used another steel pipe (I found it in garage, I do not know about material in it.), I found magnetic field was different in compared to each steel pipe. galvanized pipe was better. Is galvanized pipe better than other normal steel pipe for magnetic core?

Hi Brian,

Whether a piece of steel is galvanized or not, makes no significant difference to its magnetic properties. "Galvanizing" is simply the process of applying a very thin layer of zinc on the surface of a steel article for the purposes of preventing rust. Zinc has no magnetic properties at all, but the layer applied is so thin (only a few thousandths of an inch), it does not affect the magnetic properties of the steel. Your steel part will have the same magnetic properties, whether it is galvanized or not.


Bob Wilson.

It is not obvious to me why a galvanized pipe would behave magnetically differently than a non-galvanized pipe. Galvanizing is a process of putting a protective layer (usually zinc) onto the surface of the steel. Zinc is not magnetic, and its presence or absence should not have any effect on the magnetic properties of the steel when used as an electromagnet. On the other hand, there are many kinds of steel. It could be that the magnetic properties, or the sizes, of your steel pipes are inherently different, leading to differences in the magnetic field.

Robert Erck

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