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Old 14th July 2009, 02:50 PM   #1
kizm0 is offline kizm0  United States
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Post Winding Inductor using 17 GA Steel?

Can I wind an inductor using regular 17GA Steel?

Basically people weld with this stuff.
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Old 14th July 2009, 03:08 PM   #2
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Not unless it has a coating on it to isolate each turn from the others. Just stick with enamel coated copper, it's cheap enough.

-David
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Old 14th July 2009, 08:21 PM   #3
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Which makes me ask, can you use ordinary house wire, the solid 2.5mm>2 stuff with PVC insulation to wind inductors? or is the thin insulating varnish needed to get the wires close together to make the coil work more efficiently??

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Old 14th July 2009, 08:53 PM   #4
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It could even be stranded wire, but yes, it will work.
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Old 14th July 2009, 08:57 PM   #5
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Then would the standard calculations be any good for determining sizes?? as the PVC is so thick would you still use the same size core?

I'll have to go and get some house wire now and give it a try and then measure, I'm guessing they will be about the size of a housebrick though ( for decent values anyway )
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Old 14th July 2009, 10:55 PM   #6
infinia is offline infinia  United States
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Default Re: Winding Inductor using 17 GA Steel?

Quote:
Originally posted by kizm0
Can I wind an inductor using regular 17GA Steel?

Basically people weld with this stuff.

As a core material? No
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Old 15th July 2009, 05:54 PM   #7
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I imagine an inductor made out of steel wire would have some very odd & undesirable properties, because the wire itself is ferro-magnetic. There will be no distinction between the winding and the core as far as flux is concerned.
And the magnetic properties of ordinary steel are not likely to be great for audio/linearity.

Thick insulation means a longer length of wire required, hence higher DC resistance, lower Q-factor & greater leakage inductance.
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Old 15th July 2009, 06:46 PM   #8
ChrisA is offline ChrisA  United States
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Default Re: Winding Inductor using 17 GA Steel?

Quote:
Originally posted by kizm0
Can I wind an inductor using regular 17GA Steel?

Basically people weld with this stuff.
Steel wire is common in some areas of electronics but is non-optimal for inductors. For an inductor you need to keep the DC resistance to a minimum. (DC resistance has the effect of lowering "Q") Solid silver core wire would be best but coper gives better bang per buck.

Stiffer wire is used for inductors sometimes in the RF range because these many times use air core and the wire needs to be physically strong enough to maintain it's shape with just air inside. I've seen 1/8" copper tube used for this. When steel wire is used it is almost always copper plated steel. The copper is the conductive path and also helps to eliminate corrosion (rust) and the steel makes the wire mechanically strong while reducing cost. The #1 use of copper plated steel is electric fences to control livestock but it is used any place you have high voltage and low current (where 22ga wire could carry the current) but a long run of wire is needed that needs to be physically stronger than 22ga hookup wire. I'm currently using 100 feet of the stuff as an HF antenna. I think this is used for high voltage power distribution too. I think some low cost passive components liek resistors or cermanic disc caps use steel lead wire now as a cost reduction feature.
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