By Denny Von Finn

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When subjected to the effects of an appropriate magnetic field, the wire changes magnetic states with a rapid internal flux jump. Figure 1 illustrates the manner of the flux reversals within the Wiegand wire when it is subjected to the external symmetric drive field of Fig. 2. Similarly, Fig. 3 depicts the flux switching within the wire when subjected to the asymmetric drive field of Fig. 4. Figure 5 shows the typical positive pulse in this latter mode. The ability of the Wiegand effect to provide such voltage pulses, typically in response only to relative motion between the Wiegand wire and an external magnetic field, gives rise to a number of useful applications.

267 The alnico materials, which are cast alloys of aluminum, nickel, cobalt, and iron, are well suited for Wiegand wire actuation. Because of the shape of the hysteresis loop, the aspect ratio (length to diameter) is similar to that of the Wiegand wire. This leads to relatively simple, straightforward magnetic circuit design. Samarium cobalt, the newest of the magnetic materials, has an energy product five times as great as the ferrites and three times as great as the alnicos. This material will lead to minimum volume solutions for magnetic circuits to actuate Wiegand wire.

270 Fig. 3. The processed wire has a hard shell and a softer inner core. Here a stmnget magnet (saturating magnet) has magnetically oriented both shell and core in one direction. At B a less powerful magnet oriented in the opposite direction (reset magnet) has caused the core to switch polarity, but not the shell. At A ' the saturating magnet has switched the core back to its original orientation. Fig. 4. Asymmetric drive using a saturating field of about + 100 G and a reset field of - 20 G produces a large pulse at a point in positive drive just past zero crossing.

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Abrams Tanks by Denny Von Finn


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