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Chapter 4: Magnetic Circuit

• The Nature of Magnetic Field
• Electromagnetism
• Flux and Flux Density
• Magnetic Circuits
• Air Gaps, Fringing and Laminated Cores
• Series & Parallel Elements
• Magnetic Circuits with DC Excitation
• Magnetic Field Intensity and Magnetization Curves
• Ampere’s Circuital Law
• Series Magnetic Circuits: Given Φ, find NI
• Series-Parallel Magnetic Circuits
• Series Magnetic Circuits: Given NI, find Φ
• Properties of Magnetic Materials
• Magnetizing a specimen
• Hysteresis
• Demagnetizing Process
• Magnetic Fields Measurement

1. The Nature of Magnetic Field

•Magnetism refers to the force that acts between
magnets and magnetic materials.
•The region where the force is felt/existed is called
magnetic field
•Faraday's flux concept helps us visualize this field
•Magnetic field can be shown as lines in space, flux
lines or lines of force:

•Symbol of magnetic flux is Φ

•The field is strongest at the poles
•Direction of flux lines, N  S externally
•Flux lines never cross

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Characteristics of lines of magnetic flux

1. The direction of a line of magnetic flux at any point in a non-magnetic
medium, such as air, is that of the north-seeking pole of a compass needle
placed at that point

2. Each line of magnetic flux forms a close loop

3. Lines of magnetic flux never intersect
4. Flux Lines of opposite pole attract one another

5. Flux Lines of same pole repel one another


Ferromagnetic Materials
•Magnetic Materials (Material that attracted by
magnets such as iron, nickel, cobalt, and their alloys)
are called ferromagnetic materials

•Nonmagnetic materials: Plastic, wood, glass

•Its providing easy path for magnetic flux:


2. Electromagnetism
•Generally, 2 types of magnet:

Permanent magnet Electromagnet

•Basic principles:
Current, I creates magnetic field
that concentric about the conductor,
uniform along its length, strength is
directly proportional to I

How to determine the direction?

Right-hand Rule

•If the conductor is wound into a coil, the fields of its individual turns
combine, producing a resultant field:

•If the coil is wound on a ferromagnetic core, almost all flux is confined to
the core, although a small amount (called stray or leakage flux) passes
through the surrounding air.

now that ferromagnetic

material is present, the
core flux is no longer
directly proportional to

3. Flux and Flux Density

Magnetic flux is represented by the symbol of . The unit of flux is the
weber (Wb).
Magnetic flux density, B, is the amount of flux per unit area perpendicular
to the magnetic field. Its unit is the tesla (T). One tesla equals one weber
per square meter (Wb/m2). That is,

B =  / A (tesla)
Find the flux density in a magnetic field in which the flux in 0.1m2 area is 800Wb.

B =  / A = 800Wb / 0.1m2 = 8 x 10-3T

4. Magnetic Circuits
One of the characteristics of the lines of magnetic flux is that each line
forms a closed loop.
The following shows the dotted lines represent the flux set up within a
ring made of steel.


The complete closed path followed by any group of magnetic flux lines is
referred to as a magnetic circuit.
Magnetic circuits are found in motors, generators, transformers,
computer disk drives, and tape recorders and so on.

5. Air Gaps, Fringing and Laminated Cores

For magnetic circuits with air gaps, fringing occurs, causing a decrease
in flux density in the gap:

For short gaps, fringing can usually be neglected.

Laminated Cores has its effective cross-sectional area. Can be
determined using stacking factor.
Physical Effective area
Effective Stacking factor 
area area Physical area


A laminated section of core has cross-

sectional dimensions of 0.03m by 0.05m an
a stacking factor of 0.9.
a)What is the effective area of the core?
b)Given Φ = 1.4 x 10-3 Wb, what is the flux
density, B?

Answer: 1.35 x 10-3 m2; 1.04 T


6. Series & Parallel Elements

Magnetic circuits may have sections of different materials.
For example, the circuit in the following figure has section
of cast iron, sheet steel, and an air gap. For this circuit, flux
 is the same in all sections. Such a circuit is called a series
magnetic circuit.

A circuit may also have elements in parallel as shows in the

following figure. At each junction, the sum of fluxes entering
is equal to the sum leaving.

7. Magnetic Circuits with DC Excitation

There are two basic problems to consider for analysis of
magnetic circuits with dc excitation:

Given the flux, to

Given the current , to
determine the current
compute the flux produced
required to produce it

MMF, F : The Source of Magnetic Flux

•Current through a coil creates magnetic flux. The

greater or the number of turns, the greater will be
the flux. This flux-producing ability of a coil is called
its magnetomotive force (mmf).

•Symbol : F , and Unit : Ampere-turn (At)

F = NI

Reluctance, R: : Opposition to Magnetic Flux

•Flux in a magnetic circuit also depends on the opposition that the circuit
presents to it.
•Termed reluctance, depends on the dimensions of the core and the material
of which it is made.
•Symbol : R: , and Unit : Ampere turn per Weber (At/Wb)
•Like the resistance of a wire, reluctance is directly proportional to length and
inversely proportional to cross-sectional. In equation form,
R: = l / A = F/Φ (At / Wb)

•Where  is a property of the core material called its permeability.

• = or
•o = 4 x 10-7
•r = 1 for nonmagnetic material
•Permeability is a measure of how easy it is to establish flux in a
•Ferromagnetic materials have high permeability and hence low
R: while nonmagnetic materials haw low permeability and high R.

Ohm’s Law for Magnetic Circuits

•The relationship between flux, mmf, and reluctance is
 = F / R (Wb)

•This relationship is similar to Ohm’s law and is

depicted symbolically as following:


For the figure above, if the reluctance of the magnetic circuit

is R = 12 x 104 At/Wb. What is the flux in the circuit?

8. Magnetic Field Intensity and

Magnetization Curves
Magnetic field intensity, H is a measure of the mmf per unit
length of a circuit. Thus,
H = F / l = NI / l (At/m)
H is also known as magnetizing force.
Rearrange the equation:
NI = H l (At)
In electric circuit analogy, NI product is an mmf source,
while the H l product is an mmf drop.

Ampere’s Circuital Law


The Relationship between B and H

The relationship between B and H is


Where  is the permeability of the core.


Magnetization Curves
•Also known as B-H curves
For ferromagnetic materials,  is not constant but varies
with flux density and there is no easy way to compute it.
A set of curves, called B-H curves or magnetization
curves provides information about B and H. A separate
curve is required for each material.

If B is 1.4T for sheet steel, what is H?

9. Ampere’s Circuital Law

Ampere showed that the algebraic sum of mmfs around a
closed loop in a magnetic circuit is zero:
 NI =  H l At

NI - Hiron liron - Hsteel lsteel - Hg lg = 0

NI = Hiron liron + Hsteel lsteel + Hg lg

10. Series Magnetic Circuits: Given Φ,

find NI
Basic series magnetic circuit problems can be solved using
4 basic steps:
1. Draw the equivalent Ampere’s Circuital Law Model
2. Compute B for each section using B =  / A
3. Determine H for magnetic section from the B-H curves.
4. Compute NI using Ampere’s Circuital Law
5. Use the computed NI to determine coil current or turns
as required.

If the core of the following figure is cast iron and the flux is
0.1 x 10-3 Wb, what is the coil current?

the following figure shows a portion of a solenoid. All parts
are cast steel. Φ is 4 x 10-4 Wb when I is 2.5 A. Find the
number of turns on the coil.

11. Series-Parallel Magnetic Circuits

Series-parallel magnetic circuits are handled using the
sum of fluxes principle  KCL
The core is cast steel. Determine the current to establish an
air gap flux Φg is 6 x 10-3. Neglect fringing.

B-H curve

12. Series Magnetic Circuits: Given NI,

find Φ
Now, we look at the converse problem: given NI, find the
resultant flux.
For the case of a core of one material and constant cross
section, this is straightforward.

For circuit with two or more sections, the process is not so

simple. Before finding H in any section, you need to know the
flux density. However, in order to determine flux density, you
need to know H. To get around this problem, use trial and error

For the following circuit, N = 25 turns, I = 10A. Determine
the flux


NI = 1100 At,
determine the
flux in the core

13. Properties of Magnetic Materials

Magnetic properties are related to atomic structure. Each atom
of a substance, for example, produces a tiny atomic-level
magnetic field because its moving electrons constitute an
atomic-level current and current create magnetic field.
For nonmagnetic materials, these fields are randomly oriented
and cancel. However, for ferromagnetic materials, the fields in
small region, called domains, do not cancel.

If the domain fields in a ferromagnetic material line-up, the

material is magnetized; if they are randomly oriented, the
material is not magnetized.

14. Magnetizing a specimen

A nonmagnetized specimen can be magnetized by making its
domain fields line up.
The following figure shows how this can be done. As current
through the coil is increased, the field strength increases and
more domains align themselves in the direction of the field.

If the field is made strong enough, almost all domain fields line
up and the material is said to be in saturation (the almost flat
portion of the B-H curve).
In saturation, the flux density increases slowly as
magnetization intensity increases.
This means that once the material is in saturation, you cannot
magnetize it much further no matter how hard you try.
Path 0 – a traced from the nonmagnetized state to the
saturated state is termed the dc curve or normal magnetization

15. Hysteresis
Hysteresis is actually characteristic of a magnetic material.
H can be readily increased or decreased by varying the
current through the coil of wire, and it can be reversed by
reversing the voltage polarity across the coil.
The Hysteris Curve illustrates the development of the
hysteresis curve.
Let’s start by assuming a magnetic core is unmagnetized so
that B=0. As H is increased from zero, the B increases
proportionally as indicated by the curve in Figure (a).
When H reaches a certain value, the B begins to level off. As
H continues to increase, B reaches a saturation value (Bsat)
when H reaches a value (Hsat), as illustrated in Figure (b).

Hysterisis Curve

When H reaches a certain value, the B begins to level off. As

H continues to increase, B reaches a saturation value (Bsat)
when H reaches a value (Hsat), as illustrated in Figure (b).
Once saturation is reached, a further increase in H will not
increase B.
If H is decreased to zero, B will fall back along a different path
to a residual value (Br), as shown in Figure (c). This indicates
that the material continues to be magnetized even H is
removed. The ability of a material, once magnetized, to
maintain a magnetized state without the presence of a H is
called retentivity.
The retentivity of a material is indicated by the ratio of Br to

Reversal of the magnetizing force is represented by negative

values of H on the curve and is achieved by reversing the
current in the coil of wire. An increase in H in the negative
direction causes saturation to occur at value (-Hsat) where the
flux density is at its maximum negative value as indicated in
Figure (d).
When the H is removed, the flux density goes to its negative
residual value (-Br), as shown in Figure (e). From the –Br
value, the flux density follows the curve indicated in part (f)
back to its maximum positive value when the Hsat in the
positive direction.
The complete B-H curve is shown in Figure (g) and is called
hysteresis curve.

Materials with a low retentivity do not retain a magnetic field

very well while those with high retentivities exhibit values of Br
very close to the Bsat.
Depending on the application, retentivity in a magnetic
material can be an advantage or a disadvantage.
In permanent magnets and memory cores, high retentivity is
required. In ac motor; retentivity is undesirable because the
residual magnetic field must be overcome each time the current
reverses, thus wasting energy.

16. Demagnetizing Process

As indicate previously, simple turning the current off does
not demagnetize ferromagnetic material.
To demagnetize it, you must successively decrease its
hysteresis loop to zero as in the following figure:

Placing the specimen inside the coil is driven by variable

ac source and gradually decreases the coil current to zero,
or you can use a fixed ac supply and gradually withdraw
the specimen from the field.

17. Magnetic Fields Measurement

Instruments for measuring magnetic fields are known
as Hall-effect gaussmeters. To measure a magnetic
field with such a meter, insert its probe into the field
perpendicular to the field as illustrated in the following
figure. The meter indicates flux density directly.