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Reinforcing Induction Motor Principles Via Material Technology Experiments

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Lab Experiments in Materials Science

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.1048.1 - 9.1048.4



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Paper Authors

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John Marshall

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 3264

Reinforcing Induction Motor Principles Via Material Technology Experiments

Dr. John Marshall University of Southern Maine


This is an excellent design and fabrication project that can be used in introductory engineering classes to teach motor principles as well as material selection. The basic concept of this activity was originally developed by Beakman’s World, and I have improved it over the past ten years while teaching motor principles at the university level. Standard Radio Shack materials can be used.

The primary objective of this project is to gain an understanding of electric motor principle, and the materials needed to convert electricity and magnetism into motion. Key words related to this project include: conductors; insulators; enamel; magnetism; electromagnet; and motor principles. Only a very basic knowledge of electricity and magnetism are need as a prerequisite.

When being utilized as a “materials” experiment, students can experiment with conductors other than copper (such as aluminum and steel) and detect slower (less efficient) motor operation. We actually utilize a strobe light to determine exact motor revolutions per minute to contrast different cradle conductors.

Induction Motor Fabrication

Heavy gauge copper wire is used to fabricate the coil cradle, and the cradle is attached to a standard “D” size battery with elastic bands. After winding the motor coil, we remove insulation from two locations with sandpaper and assemble the device.

When the un-insulted parts of the coil make contact with the cradle, current flows through the coil, making it into an electromagnet. Since magnets attract, the coil attempts to align itself with the magnet. However, when the coil turns to face the magnet, contact is broken, and the magnetic field collapses. Inertia causes the coil to continue around until contact is reestablished and the process repeats itself. In other words, the motor revolves continuously.

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright 2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Marshall, J. (2004, June), Reinforcing Induction Motor Principles Via Material Technology Experiments Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--13550

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