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I am using a bare copper wire to build a simple DC motor for a project and the motor is not working. Would the problem be because of the wire? I am using copper for the brushes and Aluminum foil for the split ring commutator, neodymium magnets of pull 16kg, and a 9V battery. Or can the problem be from the brushes? They are 0.41mm thick. Is a thinner sheet better and should the wire have a layer of insulation?

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closed as off-topic by Yashas, Kyle Kanos, John Rennie, Michael Seifert, Bill N Apr 19 '17 at 19:28

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  • $\begingroup$ this question might be better suited for engineering.stackexchange. $\endgroup$ – Crimson Apr 12 '17 at 12:08
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    $\begingroup$ the wires forming the coil should be insulated except for where they contact the foil. To check if your electromagnet works at all, connect the battery directly to the coil. $\endgroup$ – Crimson Apr 12 '17 at 12:10
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    $\begingroup$ I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it's about diagnosing errors of an experimental device and not physics. $\endgroup$ – Kyle Kanos Apr 13 '17 at 18:16
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your wire would require a layer of insulation otherwise the current takes the path of least resistance and you wont get the right magnetic field for the motor to work.

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Yeah it requires insulation. I was confused about this too a long time ago, because all the motors I tore apart looked like they had bare copper wire windings, yet it makes sense that the current would follow the path of least resistance making it a single loop. But all those bare looking wires actually have a fine layer of enamel insulation on them. It's just so thin you can't hardly tell its there unless you scratch it. Also if you shop for it its sometimes called magnet wire. But if you can't afford any, just take something apart and pull the wire out of a motor. Alternatively you could use some kind of insulator on the wire you do have.

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