Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Galvanized Pipe, Steel for Magnetic Core
Name: Brian
Status: Student
Grade: 9-12
Location: N/A
Country: United States
Date: October 2007


Question:
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?



Replies:
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.

Regards,

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



Click here to return to the Engineering Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (help@newton.dep.anl.gov), or at Argonne's Educational Programs

NEWTON AND ASK A SCIENTIST
Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory