I would like to use an electromagnet(s) to move the metal rod depicted bellow in the side view, it moves in the direction of the arrow the rod requires 5.39N of manual force to travel in the depicted direction.

The magnet(s) would be stationary, horseshoe shaped, and placed in the general location depicted in the top view. The Gap between the rod and magnet is 5mm.

What I don't know, and can't seem to find is:

  1. if it is possible to wire the magnet{s) in a way where the magnetic field draws the rod in a direction other than towards itself?

  2. can this be done with one magnet or would I need to stack multiple magnets and alternate them being on and off?

I understand how F = (N x I)^2 x K x A / (2 x G^2) is used to determine the Force of a magnet, I don't understand if the calculation would still apply in the above scenario, where the direction of pull is not towards, or away from the magnet.

**enter image description here**

  • $\begingroup$ It's a bit difficult to interpret your drawing and description. Are you thinking of an electromagnet wrapped so it has a "U" cross section? And are you hoping that the electromagnet will move a metal rod lengthwise inside the "U"? $\endgroup$ – S. McGrew Nov 15 '18 at 3:42
  • $\begingroup$ Really the shape of the magnet is immaterial as long as its not closed on all sides, and leaves a gap wide enough (12.7mm) for the rod to be removed from the center of the magnet. Yes I would like to move the rod lengthwise, through a piston type cylinder. $\endgroup$ – Pete Nov 15 '18 at 4:05

What you have in mind can be done, but not the way your drawing indicates. An iron rod will be pulled in the direction in which the magnetic field strength increases, or in the direction in which a larger portion of the rod is immersed in the magnetic field. I recommend that you look up "electromagnetic rail gun" or "rail gun" and "linear induction motor" for guidance. The electromagnet will need to be turned into a series of coils, activated in sequence. What you want to do will be an ambitious but very educational project.

  • $\begingroup$ Exactly what I was thinking of, thanks! Pulled a few research papers, looks doable now. $\endgroup$ – Pete Nov 15 '18 at 17:48

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