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How Do Electromagnets Work & How are Dings Electromagnets Unique?

What is an Electromagnet and How do they Work?

Electromagnets are a type of magnet and one we use in many of our magnetic separators. Unlike permanent magnets, an electromagnet’s magnetic field is produced by an electrical current.

An electromagnet is made of a coil of conductive wire or strap that is wound around an iron or steel core. When an electrical charge is passed through this coil, it creates a magnetic field that flows through the center of the core along its longitudinal axis and circles back around the outside of the coil creating a toroidal shaped field (See image below).

Magnetic Field Produced by Electromagnet

As long as the electrical current is passing through the coil, it will behave like a magnet. When the electricity stops flowing, the coil stops producing the magnetic field and any material bound to the magnet will be released. This control over the magnetic field can give an electromagnet an advantage over the use of a permanent magnet in some metal separation applications.

Dings Electromagnetic Coil Design vs. Conventional Designs

Conventional Coil Designs with Insulated Copper or Aluminum Wire

It is necessary to insulate the wires of the coil to prevent the electrical current from flowing along the conductive material and jumping between wires following its natural preferred shorter paths. The insulation creates a barrier that can’t be crossed by the current, focusing it along the coil’s path around the core resulting in the desired magnetic field. Conventional electromagnetic coils are often made with copper wire insulated with polymer or bare aluminum with Nomex® paper insulation.

Polymer Insulated Wires Like Those Used in a Conventional Electromagnet
Polymer Insulated Wires

The problem with this method is electromagnetic coils create a large amount of heat during use and these insulation materials can burn at those temperatures. This can cause coil burnout. To prevent this the coil must be completely submerged in cooling oil. However, as the oil heats up along with the coil it expands and requires an external expansion tank to hold the surplus oil.

Dings Anodized Aluminum Strap Coil

Ding Exclusive Electromagnetic Coil

Dings electromagnetic coil is a wound anodized aluminum strap— an exclusive design where the anodized layer serves as the coil’s insulation. Anodized aluminum exceeds Class H insulation rating. Since the anodized layer isn’t as susceptible to burning if it’s not completely submerged, the cooling oil can be kept at a lower level that can be contained within the magnet itself. This eliminates the need for external oil expansion pipes or tanks that require maintenance and can be damaged.

Benefits of Dings Electromagnetics

Dings coil design allows for more turns around the electromagnet’s core since space is no longer needed to accommodate the polymer or Nomex® insulation material. Dings’ coil design generates more magnetism resulting in a stronger more efficient magnet than any other on the market.

Another of Dings exclusive benefits is without polymer or Nomex® paper insulation, Dings electromagnetic coil design outlasts the others and comes with an industry best 20-Year Warranty on Coil Burnout.

Dings Magnetic Group Supplies Powerful Magnetic Solutions

Dings Company Magnetic Group engineering and sales staff work together from our Milwaukee, WI factory to provide outstanding customer service from experts in magnetic separation. We listen to our customers to gain an understanding of their needs and apply our experience in their trade to provide magnetic separation equipment that is sized and positioned for the best possible performance in their specific application. Contact Us at or call us at (414)672-7830.