A project report on electromagnetic suspension



It is indeed a matter of great pleasure and proud privilege to be able to present this project on 'Electromagnetic Suspension'.

The completion of the project work is the milestone in student life and its execution is inevitable in the hands of a guide. I am highly indebted the project supervisor Ms. Erping Zhou for her invaluable guidance and appreciation for giving form and subject to this report. It is due to her valuable efforts, patience and enthusiasm, which has given a sense of direction and purposefulness to this project and ultimately made it a success.

I would like to tender our sincere thanks to the staff for their co-operation.

Really it is highly impossible to repay the debt of all the people who has directly or indirectly helped me for performing the project.


Electromagnetic suspension works where two or more electromagnets of the same polarity absorb all the bumps. The main problem is making the magnets strong enough when running off a cars electrical system.

This work describes techniques for the design & analysis of a prototype magnetic suspension system. The viability of future high temperature super conducting magnet designs for MAGLEV has been investigated with regard to their application to active secondary suspension. It has also analysed and compared the functions and performances of the magnetic suspension system with the hydraulic, and air suspension systems.


The design and modelling process of a 1/5-scale "flux-cancelling" Maglev suspension has been described in this paper. Using approximate techniques, this design can be used to predict the analysis. With comparison to other types of suspension system, electromagnetic suspension system provides totally comfortable ride.

Chapter 1


As the knees are the important part of the human body because of which he can walk, run, sit and jump properly, the suspension system is a knee of a vehicle, with which the vehicle can give us a comfortable ride.

The suspension system connecting a vehicle body to the wheels and its tyres allows the wheels to move in an essentially vertical direction in response to road surface irregularities, a spring temporarily stores energy, thus insulating the vehicle body from acceleration peaks. A shock absorber or damper ensures that oscillations induced by the road unevenness or aerodynamic forces (or by accelerating, braking or lateral forces), which would impair ride comfort and road holding.

1.1 Background:

If all is well, the suspension dampers on a vehicle do their work quietly and without fuss. Like punctuating or acting, dampers at their best when they are not noticed. Drivers and passengers simply want the damper to be trouble free. For the designers, however, there is a satisfaction in creating a good, new damper for a racing car or rally car, and perhaps making some contribution to competition success. Less exiting but economically more important, there is also satisfaction in seeing everyday vehicle travelling safety, with comfortable occupants, at speed that could be quite impractical without good dampers. The current worldwide production of dampers is difficult to estimate with accuracy, but it is probably around 50 to 100 million units per year with retail value well in excess of one billion dollars per year.

The fitting of damping devices to the vehicle suspensions followed rapidly on the heels of the arrival of the motor car itself. Since those early days, the damper has passed through a century of evaluation, the basic stages of which may be considered as:

  1. Dry friction (snubbers)
  2. Blow-off hydraulics
  3. Progressive hydraulics
  4. Adjustable (manual alternation)
  5. Adaptives (slow automatic alternation)
  6. Semi active (fast automatic alternation)

The zeitgeist regarding dampers has changed considerably over the years, in roughly the following periods:

  1. Up to 1910, dampers were hardly used at all. In 1913, Rolls Royce actually discontinued rear dampers on a Silver Ghost, illustrating just how different the situation was in the early years.
  2. From 1910 to 1925, mostly dry snubbers were used.
  3. From 1925 to 1980, there was a long period of dominance by simple hydraulics, initially simply constant force blow-off, then a proportional characteristics, then adjustables, leading to mature product.
  4. From 1980 to 1985, there was excitement about the possibilities for the active suspension, which could effectively eliminate the ordinary dampers.
  5. From 1985, it became increasingly apparent that good deal benefit of active suspension could be obtain much more cheaply by fast auto-adjusting dampers, and the damper suddenly became an interesting, developing component again.

Damper types which are explained fully later can be initially classified in two ways:

  • Dry friction with solid elements.
  • Hydraulic with fluid elements.

In 1966 Danby and Powell proposed an EDS system for high-speed transportation using super conducting magnets with a "null flux" suspension. Other designs were later proposed using continues sheet guide ways. Subsequent researchers in the U.S., Japan, Germany, UK and Canada have developed further innovations (such as ladder type guide way for increased lift efficiency), but there are still a number of technical problems that needed resolution.

1.2 Current Details Of Electromagnetic Suspension (Maglev):

There are three primary types of Maglev technologies:

  1. superconducting magnets ( electrodynamic suspension)
  2. feedback controlled electromagnets ( electromagnetic suspension)
  3. Newer potentially more economical system using permanent magnets Inductract.

The several approaches and designs have been produced by Japan and Germany. These two countries are very active in maglev research. The design used for trains in which the train levitate by the repulsive force of the same poles of the magnets. A linear motor is used to propel the trainor on the locomotive or both. In this system massive electricalinduction coils produce the magnetic field which are placed along the tracknecessary to propelthe train, leading some to speculate that the cost of constructing such tracks would be enormous.

Magnetic bearings are unstable because ofEarnshaw's theorem; Conventional maglev systems are stabilized with electromagnets that have electronic stabilization. The electromagnets and electronics tend to be large, power-hungry, and expensive.

To levitate the train a very strong magnetic field is required but large electromagnet is also a big issue for the design, so instead of using the large magnets, superconductor for an efficient electromagnet.

Inductrack is a new and less expensive system. The system depends on the current induced in the passive electromagnetic array by permanent magnets, so that it provides the better load carrying capacity related to the speed. In the prototype, thepermanent magnetsare in a cart; horizontally to provide lift, and vertically to provide stability. The array of wire loops is in the track. The magnets and cart are unpowered, except for the speed of the cart. Inductrack was originally developed as a magnetic motor and bearing for a flywheel to store power. With only slight design changes, the bearings were unrolled into a linear track. Inductrack was developed by physicist William Post atLawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

For stabilization Inductrack uses Halbach arrays. The function of the Halbach arrays is to stabilize the loops of wires with the help of permanent magnets without electronic stabilization. Halbach arrays were originally developed for beam guidance ofparticle accelerators.

Currently, some space agencies, such as NASA, are researching the use of maglev systems to launchspacecraft. In order to do so, the space agency would have to get a maglev-launched spacecraft up toescape velocity, a task which would otherwise require elaborate timing of magnetic pulses or a very fast, very powerfulelectric current.

1.3 Aims and Objectives:

Aim: To design and analyse a prototype Magnetic Suspension System.


  1. Literature Review
  2. Research the principles of the various types of suspension systems and analysing their functions and performances.
  3. Investigate the application of the magnetic suspension system.
  4. Design a prototype Magnetic Suspension System.
  5. Analyse the designed Magnetic Suspension System.
  6. Compare with the other type of Suspension Systems.
  7. Conclusion.

Chapter 2

Literature Review

2.1 Principle:

The basic principle is to develop a contact less spring; the instability will be corrected with electromagnetic actuators.

Electromagnetic suspension works where two or more electromagnets of the same polarity absorb all the bumps. The main problem is making the magnets strong enough when running off a cars electrical system.

Electrodynamics magnetic suspension called EDS maglev and referred to as repulsive Maglev because it relies on repulsive magnetic

Forces, has the capability of allowing high speed transportation with a relatively large gap between the vehicle and guide way .

2.2 Basic Concept:

Have a set of shock with magnet inside them that are used as the fork setup. There is one magnet at the top of the inner portion of the cylindrical shock sleeve with the north polarity facing down towards the ground. The second magnet sits on the top of the inner shock that pivots up and down. This magnet has the north polarity upwards so it's parallel with the other magnet. The two magnet fights against each other giving the forks travel. There is also an adjustment at the top of the shock, which allow the magnet to become closer .together for a stiffer travel or further apart for softer travel.

2.3 Dynamics of the magnetic suspension system:

The basic principle of a simple electromagnetic suspension system is shown in Fig.1. The magnetic force applied by the electromagnet is opposite to gravity and maintains the suspended steel ball in a levitated position. The magnetic force Fm depends on the electromagnet current I, electromagnet characteristics, and the air gap X between the steel ball and the electromagnet. The motion of the steel ball in the magnetic field is expressed as

Where m is the mass of the suspended steel ball, G = mg is the gravity force, and X is the air gap between the steel ball and the electromagnet. The magnetic force Fm is a nonlinear function of the current I and the air gap X. The linearization of the static characteristic near the set point (F0 , X0 ,I0) is given as

The voltage equation of the electromagnetic coil is expressed as

Where U is the controlled voltage applied to the electromagnet, R is the coil resistance, and L is the inductance of the electromagnet. Inductance L=f (X, t) is a function of the air gap, the coil, the core, and the steel ball. The steady state of the operating point air gap between the mass and the electromagnet is maintained by generating the magnetic force which is adjusted so that the gravitational force of the steel ball is balanced. The small differences from the operating point are normalized over operating spaces (G, D, Imax , Umax) and they are defined as follows:

Where f is the normalized resultant force, x is the normalized air gap, i is the ormalized current, and u is the normalized voltage. X0 , I0 , and U0, are the steady-state values. Substituting Eq. 4 into Eqs. 1, 2, and 3 the dynamics of the system can be presented as follows:

The block diagram of the linearized model of the electromagnetic suspension system is shown in Fig. 2. The linear system described in the block diagram in Fig. 2 is unstable and controllable.


Any motion that repeats itself after an interval of time is called vibration or oscillation. The swinging of a pendulum and the motion of a plucked string are typical examples of vibration. The theory of vibration deals with the study of oscillatory motions of bodies and the forces associated with them.

Free vibration without damping

Simple Mass Spring Model

To start the investigation of the mass-spring-damper we will assume the damping is negligible and that there is no external force applied to the mass (i.e. free vibration).

The force applied to the mass by the spring is proportional to the amount the spring is stretched "x" (we will assume the spring is already compressed due to the weight of the mass). The proportionality constant, k, is the stiffness of the spring and has units of force/distance (e.g. lbf/in or N/m)

The force generated by the mass is proportional to the acceleration of the mass as given byNewton's second law of motion.

If we assume that we start the system to vibrate by stretching the spring by the distance ofAand letting go, the solution to the above equation that describes the motion of mass is:

This solution says that it will oscillate withsimple harmonic motionthat has an amplitudeofAand a frequency offn.The numberfnis one of the most important quantities in vibration analysis and is called theundamped natural frequency. For the simple mass-spring system,fnis defined as:

Note:Angular frequency?(? = 2pf) with the units of radians per second is often used in equations because it simplifies the equations, but is normally converted to "standard" frequency (units ofHzor equivalently cycles per second) when stating the frequency of a system.

If you know the mass and stiffness of the system you can determine the frequency at which the system will vibrate once it is set in motion by an initial disturbance using the above stated formula. Every vibrating system has one or more natural frequencies that it will vibrate at once it is disturbed. This simple relation can be used to understand in general what will happen to a more complex system once we add mass or stiffness. For example, the above formula explains why when a car or truck is fully loaded the suspension will feel "softer" than unloaded because the mass has increased and therefore reduced the natural frequency of the system.

What causes the system to vibrate: from conservation of energy point of view

Vibrational motion could be understood in terms ofconservation of energy. In the above example we have extended the spring by a value ofxand therefore have stored somepotential energy(12kx2) in the spring. Once we let go of the spring, the spring tries to return to its un-stretched state (which is the minimum potential energy state) and in the process accelerates the mass. At the point where the spring has reached its un-stretched state all the potential energy that we supplied by stretching it has been transformed intokinetic energy(12mv2).The mass then begins to decelerate because it is now compressing the spring and in the process transferring the kinetic energy back to its potential. Thus oscillation of the spring amounts to the transferring back and forth of the kinetic energy into potential energy.

In our simple model the mass will continue to oscillate forever at the same magnitude, but in a real system there is always something calleddampingthat dissipates the energy and therefore the system eventually bringing it to rest.

The solution to this equation depends on the amount of damping. If the damping is small enough the system will still vibrate, but eventually, over time, will stop vibrating. This case is called underdamping - this case is of most interest in vibration analysis. If we increase the damping just to the point where the system no longer oscillates we reach the point ofcritical damping(if the damping is increased past critical damping the system is called overdamped). The value that the damping coefficient needs to reach for critical damping in the mass spring damper model is:

To characterize the amount of damping in a system a ratio called thedamping ratio(also known as damping factor and% critical damping) is used. This damping ratio is just a ratio of the actual damping over the amount of damping required to reach critical damping. The formula for the damping ratio (?) of the mass spring damper model is:

For example, metal structures (e.g. airplane fuselage, engine crankshaft) will have damping factors less than 0.05 while automotive suspensions in the range of 0.2-0.3. The solution to the underdamped system for the mass spring damper model is the following:

The value ofX, the initial magnitude, andf,thephase shift, are determined by the amount the spring is stretched. The formulas for these values can be found in the references.


Another way of stabilizing the repulsive effect is to use fields that move in space, rather than just time. This effect can be demonstrated with a rotating conductive disc and a permanent magnet, which will repel each other.

HALBACH CYLINDERS are well-suited to magnetic levitation of gyroscope, motor and generator spindles. They use only permanent magnets and unpowered conductors to provide levitation. The energy of suspension comes entirely from rotational motion, efficiency is good, and no extremely low temperature suspension magnets or electronics are required. The only restriction is that the linear speed at the bearing race must be above a meter per second to levitate.

This is also the principle of the inductract maglev train system, which avoids the problems inherent in actively supported systems.

Halbach Cylinder:

A Halbach cylinder is a magnetized cylinder composed of ferromagnetic material producing (in the idealised case)a magnetic field confined entirely within the cylinder with zero field outside. The cylinders can also be magnetized such that the magnetic field is entirely outside the cylinder, with zero field inside. Several magnetization distributions are shown below:

Ideally, these structures would be created from an infinite length cylinder of magnetic material with the direction of magnetization continuously varying. The magnetic flux produced by this ideal design would be perfectly uniform and be entirely confined to the bore of the cylinder. Of course, the ideal case of infinite length is not realisable and in practice the finite length of the cylinders producesend effectswhich introduce non-uniformities in the field within the bore. The difficulty of manufacturing a cylinder with a continuously varying magnetization also usually leads to the design being broken into segments.

These cylindrical structures are used in devices such as brushless AC motors, magnetic couplings and high field cylinders. Both brushless motors and coupling devices use multipole field arrangements:

Brushless motors typically use cylindrical designs in which all the flux is confined to the centre of the bore (such ask = 4above, a six pole rotor) with the AC coils also contained within the bore. Such self-shielding motors designs are more efficient and produce higher torque than conventional motor designs.

Magnetic coupling devices transmit torque through magnetically transparent barriers (that is the barrier is non-magnetic or is magnetic but is not affected by an applied magnetic field), for instance between sealed containers or pressurised vessels. The optimal torque couplings consists of a pair of coaxially nested cylinders with opposite +kand -kflux magnetization patterns, as -k magnetization patterns produce fields entirely external to the cylinder. In the lowest energy state, the outer flux of the inner cylinder exactly matches the internal flux of the outer cylinder. Rotating one cylinder relative to the other from these state results in a restoring torque.

where the inner and outer cylinder radii areRoandRi, respectively.His in theydirection. This is the simplest form of the Halbach cylinder, and it can be seen that if the ratio of outer to inner radii is greater than'e'the flux inside the bore actually exceeds theremanenceof the magnetic material used to create the cylinder.

This cylindrical design is only one class of design which produces a uniform field inside a cavity within an array of permanent magnets. Other classes of design include wedge designs, proposed by Abele and Jensen in which wedges of magnetized material are arranged to provide uniform field within cavities inside the design as shown below.

Three designs producing uniform magnetic fields within their central air gap

The direction of magnetization of the wedges in (A) can be calculated using a set of rules given by Abele, and allows for great freedom in the shape of the cavity. Another class of design is the magnetic mangle (B), proposed by Coey and Cugat, in which uniformly magnetized rods are arranged such that their magnetization matches that of a Halbach cylinder, as shown for a six rod design. This design greatly increases access to the region of uniform field, at the expense of the volume of uniform field being smaller than in the cylindrical designs (although this area can be made larger by increasing the number of component rods). Rotating the rods relative to each other results in many possibilities including a dynamically variable field and various dipolar configurations. It can be seen that the designs shown in A and B are closely related to thek = 2Halbach cylinder. Other very simple designs for a uniform field include separated magnets with soft iron return paths, as shown in figure (C).

High Uniform Field Designs:

If the two dimensional magnetic distribution pattern of the Halbach cylinder is extended to three dimensions, the result is the Halbach sphere. These design have extremely uniform field within the interior of design, as they are not affected by the 'end effects' prevalent in finite length cylinder design. The magnitude of the uniform field for a sphere also increases to 4/3 the amount for the ideal cylinder design with the same inner and outer radii. However, being spherical access to the region of uniform field is usually restricted to a narrow hole at the top and bottom of the design.

Higher fields are possible by optimising the spherical design to take account of the fact that it is composed of point dipoles (and not line dipoles). This results in the stretching of the sphere to an elliptical shape and having a non-uniform distribution of magnetization over the component parts of the sphere. Using this method, as well as soft pole pieces within the design, 4.5 T in a working volume of 20mm3was achieved by Blochet al.in 1998 and this was increased further to 5 T in 2000, although over a smaller working area of 0.05mm3. As hard materials are temperature dependent, refrigeration of the entire magnet array can increase the field within the working area further as shown by Kumadaet al.This group also reported development of a 5.16 T Halbach dipole cylinder in 2003.

Chapter 3


Magnets are attracted to, or repelled by, other materials. A material that is strongly attracted to a magnet is said to have permeability. Iron and steel are two examples of materials with very high permeability, and they are strongly attracted to magnets. Liquid oxygen is an example of something with a low permeability that it is actually slightly repelled by magnetic fields. Everything has a measurable permeability like people, gases and even the vacuum of outer space.

The SI unit of magnetic field strength is the tesla, and SI unit of total magnetic flux is the Weber. 1 Weber = 1 tesla following through 1 square meter, and is a very large amount of magnetic flux.

Material can be classified according to their permittivity and conductivity. Materials with a large amount of loss inhibit the propagation of electromagnetic waves. In this case, generally whens/(?e)>> 1, we consider the material to be a good conductor. Dielectrics are associated with lossless or low-loss materials, wheres/(?e)<< 1. Those that do not fall under either limit are considered to be general media. Aperfect dielectricis a material that has no conductivity, thus exhibiting only a displacement current. Therefore it stores and returns electrical energy as if it were an idealcapacitor. In the case of lossy medium, i.e. when the conduction current is not negligible, the total current density flowing is:

3.4 Measurement:

The dielectric constant of material can be found by a variety of static electrical measurement. The complex permittivity is evaluated over a wide range of frequencies by using different variants of dielectric spectroscopy, covering 21 orders of magnitude from 10-6to 1015Hz. Also, by usingcryostatsand ovens, the dielectric properties of a medium can be characterized over an array of temperatures. In order to study systems for such diverse exciting fields, a number of measurement setups are used, each adequate for a special frequency range.

  • Low-frequencytime domainmeasurements (10-6-103Hz)
  • Low-frequencyfrequency domainmeasurements (10-5-106Hz)
  • Reflective coaxial methods (106-1010Hz)
  • Transmission coaxial method (108-1011Hz)
  • Quasi-optical methods (109-1010Hz)
  • Fourier-transform methods (1011-1015Hz)

3.5 Magnet used for Inductrack

Inductrack is a completely passive, fail-safe magnetic levitation system, using only unpowered loops of wires in the track and permanent magnets (arranged into Halbach Arrays) on the vehicle to achieve magnetic levitation. The track can be in one of two configurations, a "ladder track" and a "laminated track". The ladder track is made of unpowered Litz-wire cables, and the laminated track is made out of stacked copper or aluminium sheets.

Description: Inductrack was invented by a team of scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, headed by physicist Richard F. Post, for use in maglev trains. The only power required is to push the train forward against air and electromagnetic drag, with increasing levitation force generated as the velocity of the train increases over the loops of wire. Its name comes from the wordinductanceorinductor; an electrical device made from loops of wire. As the magnet array (with alternating magnetic field orientations) passes over the loops of wire, it induces a current in them. The current creates its own magnetic field which repels the permanent magnets.

Whenneodymium-iron-boron permanent magnetsare used, levitation is achieved at low speeds, allowing it to lift 50 times the magnet weight. The test model levitated at speeds above 22 mph, but Richard Post believes that on real tracks, levitation could be achieved at "as little as 1 to 2 mph". Below the transition speed, the magnetic drag increases as the vehicle's speed increases and approaches the transition speed, but above this transition speed, the magnetic drag decreases as the vehicle's speed increases. The Inductrack II variation uses two Halbach arrays, one above and one below the track to double the levitating magnetic field without substantially increasing the weight or footprint area of the Halbach arrays, while having lower drag forces at low speeds.

Several maglev railroad proposals are based upon Inductrack technology. The U.S.National Aeronautics and Space Administration(NASA) is also considering Inductrack technology for launching rockets.

Stationary cars: For use at embarkation/ debarkation areas, an implementation using a moving track would continue levitating the car while stationary. With a loop construction similar to a flat escalator by stationary track there would be no moving parts friction. Also, the elimination of the need for wheels during starting/ stopping of the cars simplify car construction and maintenance.

Neodymium magnet:

A neodymium magnet or NIB magnet (also, but less specifically, called a rare earth magnet) is a powerful magnet made of a combination of a combination of neodymium, iron and boron -Nd2Fe14B.

Neodymium magnet on a bracket from a hard drive

They have replaced marginally weaker and significantly more heat-resistant samarium-cobalt magnets in most applications, due mainly to their lower cost. These magnets are very strong in comparison to their mass, but are also mechanically fragile and the most powerful grades lose their magnetism at temperatures above 176 degrees fahrenheit or 80 degrees Celsius. High-temperature grades will operate at up to 200 and even 230 C but their strength is only marginally greater than that of samarium-cobalt. Neodymium magnets (or "neo" as they are known in the industry) are graded in strength from N24 to the strongest N54. The number after the N represents the magnetic energy product, in mega gauss-oersteds (MGOe) (1 MGOe = 7,958 TA/m = 7,958 J/m). N48 has a remnant static magnetic field of 1.38 teslas and an H (magnetic field intensity) of 13,000 oersteds (1.0 MA/m). By volume one requires about 18 times as much ceramic magnet material for the equivalent magnet strength. The neodymium magnet industry is continually working to push the maximum energy product (strength) closer to the theoretical maximum of 64 MGOe. Scientists are also working hard to improve the maximum operating temperature for any given strength.

A neodymium magnet lifting 1300 times its own mass

Used for stabilization and angular head motors in computer hard drives, neodymium magnets are also popular with hobbyists, and a small magnet can have amazing properties it exhibits magnetic braking when moved near a non-magnetic metal due to induced eddy currents. An excellent demonstration for students to see the effects of Lenz's Law in non-ferrous metals may be performed by dropping a strong neodymium magnet through a copper pipe. The magnet will travel through the pipe remarkably slowly as it falls, the effect may be greatly enhanced by immersing the pipe in liquid nitrogen (thus increasing its conductivity even further) prior to dropping the magnet through. A somewhat larger magnet interacts strongly enough with the magnetic field of the Earth to allow its tendency to align with that field to be perceived directly when holding it, essentially forming a compass. Cylinder- and disc-shaped neodymium magnets are especially responsive to the Earth's magnetic fields. Neodymium magnets are used for the transducers in many headphones.

Chapter 4


4.1 Electromagnetic Suspension System: - (Concept)

The design of the electromagnetic suspension system can be done with two types: 1) By using a Hydraulic Damper or

2) By using Linear Motor as a Damper.

The concept is to design the magnetic suspension system on the front shock absorber of the motor bike to have a better performance with ease of handling and comfort ride. There are two cylinders installed on two separate arms of the front shock absorbing rods. The cylinder contains the pair of the cylindrical magnets having same pole facing each other to create the required repulsive force to have required levitation effect. The two cylindrical magnets having "S" (South Pole) on the outer surface concentric with the inner circle having "N" (North Pole) as shown in following figure:-

1) Working for the Hydraulic Damper:

The two disc magnets in a tube or two ring magnets on a shaft, as seen in above figure comprise our required magnet for a motor bike front suspension system. With unlike poles facing, the magnets repel each other & generate an air gap between them. The repulsive force restores displacement towards each other, and displacement away is restored by gravity. A hydraulic damper is fixed on the top of the cylinder and connected with the upper magnet with a shaft. The set of shocks used with magnets inside them that are used as the fork setup. One magnet is at the top of the inner portion of the shock with north polarity facing down towards the ground. The second magnet sits on the top of the inner shock that pivots up and down. This magnet has the north polarity upwards so it is parallel with the other magnet. The two magnets fight against each other giving the forks travel. There is also an adjustment at the top of the shock, which allows the magnets to become closer, together for a stiffer travel or further apart for softer travel.

The force from gravity, the force from repelling magnet & the radial instability is restrained by shaft. If the shaft is removed from the simple spring, it will be unstable naturally. The magnet will tend towards vertical motion, resulting in instability in two orthogonal vertical axes. A more controlled (but no less unstable) way of arranging two magnets arrangement is known as a thrust bearing, and has the advantage in that if instability does occur, the unstable magnet will not fly unpredictably away from the fixed magnet (because the former will be constrained by the latter). The vibrations and the instability will be absorbed by the hydraulic damper.

It is stated for completeness that the magnet has two poles North & South. Two magnets placed with opposite poles facing will attract each other. Conversely, two magnets placed with like poles facing will repel each other. That these forces occur is very well known, but the mechanisms that create these forces are beyond the scope of this document. There are several materials of which permanent magnets may be made.

2) Working of Linear Motor as a Damper:

Linear electromagnetic motor (L.E.M.) can be used at each wheel, in lieu of a conventional shock and spring setup. The L.E.M. has the ability to extend (as if into a pothole) and retract (as if over a bump) with much greater speed than a fluid damper (taking just milliseconds). These lightning-fast reflexes and precise movement allow the wheel's motion to be so finely controlled that the body of the car remains level, regardless of the goings-on at the wheel level.

Inside the linear electromagnetic motor are magnets and coils of wire. When electrical power is applied to the coils, the motor retracts and extends, creating motion between the wheel and car body. One of the key advantages of an electromagnetic approach is speed.

The linear electromagnetic motor responds quickly enough to counter the effects of bumps and potholes, maintaining a comfortable ride. Additionally, the motor has been designed for maximum strength in a small package, allowing it to put out enough force to prevent the car from rolling and pitching during aggressive driving maneuvers.

The L.E.M. can also counteract the body motion of a car while accelerating, braking and cornering, giving the driver a greater sense of control and passengers less of a need for Dramamine. To further the smooth ride goal, wheel dampers inside each wheel hub smooth out small road imperfections, isolating even those nuances from the passenger compartment. Torsion bars take care of supporting the vehicle, allowing the system to concentrate on optimizing handling and ride dynamics. A power amplifier supplies the juice to the L.E.M.s. The amplifier is a regenerative design that uses the compression force to send power back through the amplifier.

4.2 Goals of the magnetic design

The design of the magnetic spring has the following requirements:

1. One degree of freedom instability:

A quasi-steady, non-linear analysis of single-degree-of-freedommotion for a single flexible cylinder in an array of rigid cylinders subject to a fluid cross-flow is presented. Then, by using the so-called first approximation of Krylov and Bogoliubov the stability and existence of limit cycle amplitudes are investigated. It is shown that, in general, the stability behaviour predicted by the non-linear analysis is in agreement with that obtained from the previously developed linearized analysis. The analysis predicts stable limit cycle amplitudes of vibration which increase in magnitude as the velocity is increased. Also, the rate of increase of cylinder vibrational amplitude with velocity is greater for low values of md/?d2than for higher values.

Every unstable axis requires actuators for stability control. Therefore it is desired to minimise the number of unstable degrees of freedom. Furthermore, the unstable direction must be in the horizontal direction for efficient passive vertical load bearing.

1. Ability to support large loads:

It is desired for the entire weight of the table plus equipment be supported by hte permanent magnets. Weight supported by the electromagnets consumes large amount of power, which is undesirable for cost and heat reasons.

2. Effective electromagnet actuator placing:

Actuators, which apply forces unsymmetrically, will apply a moment to the levitating table, which would be undesirable. Electromagnet actuators must be used for stabilizing the unstable axis as well as for rejecting vertical disturbances.

4.3 Permanent Magnet Design:

It is the purpose of this section to ignore the reasons for the magnetic field or any complex equations relating to magnetic, but rather develop an informal understanding of magnetic behaviour.

Short attention will be placed on the cheaper, legacy magnetic materials. These, such as ferrite magnets and alnico magnets, have weak magnetization such that they may be demagnetized by strong magnetic fields. Rear earth magnets have been available for the last twenty years, which have more desirable properties than these old fashioned magnets.

This section describes the design and modelling of the multiple loop guide way and development of circuit model to predict behaviour of a novel Maglev system based on high-temperature super conducting coils. This so called "Flux Cancelling" EDS Maglev suspensions achieves high efficiency for suspension and guidance in addition to rapid attenuation of magnetic flux with distance by utilizing an iron core super conducting octupole (Anything having eight poles or electrodes, but especially a combination of two quadrupoles used for controlling beams of charged particles). In order to test these concepts, a 1/5 scale suspension magnet using copper coils and guide way embedded in a high speed rotating test wheel can be constructed. Magnetic field strength, in gauss can be calculated at any distance at the end of magnet. Results are for field strength on-axis, at a distance 'Z' from a pole of the magnet.

These calculations are only appropriate for "Square Loop" or "Straight Line" magnetic materials such as ferrites, neodymium-iron-boron and samarium cobalt magnets. They should not be used for alnico materials.

4.4 Flux Cancelling Geometry:

The guide way is composed of multiple conductive copper coils arranged vertically, and the train magnets are arranged in a duel row N-S-N-S arrangement (Fig.1). When the train is in the vertical null position at z = z0 and travelling in +y direction, there is no net flux through the levitating coils, and no net current induced around the loop. However, if the train's vertical position deviates from equilibrium, the net changing flux through the loop induced current in the loop. This creates a restoring force, with the magnetic suspension acting as a linear spring with spring constant kz. The suspension has a resulting resonant frequency where kz is magnetic spring constant and M is a total suspended mass. There is no inherent damping mechanism intrinsic to EDS suspensions other than aerodynamic drag.

4.5 Suspension Magnet Design:

The suspension magnet in the test facility should has a pole pitch p = 0.126 meter. A linearized view of the magnet with copper coils is shown in Fig. 2. The magnet core is constructed with laser-cut laminations of 0.9-millimeter thick M19 transformer steel. Eight copper coils were wound with 18 gauge copper magnet wire on an arbour with same geometry as the magnet pole faces. The final copper coil design had 550 turns in a winding window of 5 cm x 2 cm. The design limit of the copper coils is 8 amps in still air (with current density J = 1000 A/cm2) and 20 Amps when operating in the liquid nitrogen bath (J = 2500 A/cm2). The measured resistance of each coil is 3.4 Ohms at 300K and 0.442 Ohms when cooled to 77K, corresponding to maximum copper power dissipation per coil of 200 Watts.

The magnet is mounted to a multi-axis force sensor, which allows real-time measurement of forces and moments. The core laminations were sized by considering the power dissipation per unit length in a section of the core made up of NL laminations calculated to be:


Simple model were developed to demonstrate the effects of mutual coupling between guide way loops on the lift and drag peak velocity. The goal of our modelling process was to provide useful models without relying on significant finite-element analyses, and to generate approximate answers and scaling laws useful for engineering design.

Use of the calculation for the circular disk coil with rectangular cross section was applied to a single loop of the guide way. Shown in Fig. 4.a is the actual geometry of one guide way loop coil which spans one pole pitch p = 12.6 cm. The procedure for finding an approximate equivalent disk coil (Fig.4.b) is as follows:

This methodology is designed to match the self-inductance of the actual guide way coil with circular coil. Result (Table 2) show good agreement between measurement made using an actual coil, finite element analysis on the coil, and the appropriate calculation. This result shows the weak dependence of inductance on the actual loop shape. The measure inductance (at 10 kHz) was done with a single loop and an impedance analyser. The measured inductance is lower than the finite-element analysis value due the skin effect.

Fig.4. Coil model, showing primitive coil section and disk coil used for appropriate modelling. (a) Actual linearized geometry of one pole-pitch wide primitive guide way loop. (b) Appropriate model, using disk coil enclosing same perimeter

In order to calculate the mutual inductance between coils, further approximations were made by modelling the circular disk coil considerer previously by a thin filament near the centre of the cross-section of the disk. An appropriate formula for the calculation of the self-inductance of a wire loop was first given by J.C. Maxwell, where:

Chapter 5


There are three primary types of MAGLEV Technologies:

  • One that relies on feedback controlled electromagnets (Electromagnetic Suspension or EMS). Ex.: Transrapid
  • The another one relies on the superconducting magnets (Electrodynamic Suspension or EDS) Ex.: JR-Maglev
  • And the last one and newer , potentially more economical system that uses premagnets i.e. Inductract

5.1 Inductract:

A newer , perhaps less expensive system is called "Inducract". The technique has a load carrying ability related to the speed of the vehicle, because it depends on the current induced in a passive electromagnetic array by permanent magnets. In the prototype, the permanent magnets are in the cart; horizontally to provide lift, and vertically to provide stability. The array of wire loops is in the track. The magnets and cart are unpowered, except by the speed of the cart. Inductract was originally developed as a magnetic motor and bearing for a flywheel to store a power with only slight design changes, the bearings were unrolled into a linear track. Inductract was developed by the physicist Mr. Richard Post at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Inductract uses Halbach arrays for stabilization. Halbach arrays are arrangement of permanent magnets that stabilize moving loops of wires without electronic stabilization. Halbach arrays were originally developed for beam guidance of particle accelerators. They also have a magnetic field on the track side only, thus reducing any potential effects on the passengers.

5.2 Lift and Propulsion:

Japan and Germany are active in Maglev research, producing several difference approaches and designs. In one design, the train can be levitated by the repulsive of like poles or the attractive force of opposite poles of magnets. The train can be propelled by a linear motor on the track or on the train, or both. Massive electrical induction coils are placed along the track in order to produce the magnetic field necessary to propel the train.

5.3 Stability:

Static magnetic bearing using only electromagnets and permagnets are unstable because of Earnshaw's theorem; on the other hand diamagnetic and superconducting magnets can support a Maglev stably. Some conventional Maglev systems are stabilized with electromagnets that have electronic stabilization. This works by constantly measuring the bearing distance and adjusting the electromagnets accordingly.

5.4 Magnet Weight

The weight of large electromagnet is a major design issue. A very strong magnetic field is required to levitate the massive train, so conventional Maglev research is using superconductor research for an efficient electromagnet.

Chapter 6


As per the theory of vibration, there were two types of analysis,

  1. The analysis of the Instability and the Vibration without damper and
  2. The analysis of the Instability and Vibration with damper.

The inductrack and the superconducting EDS are only levitation technologies. In both cases, vehicle needs some technology for propulsion. A jet engine and a linear motor are being considered, such as the linear motor used for propulsion in the Japanese Superconducting EDS MLX01 Maglev. The German Transrapid Electromagnetic Maglev uses linear motor for both levitation and propulsion.

Neither Inductract nor the Super Conducting EDS are able to levitate vehicles at a standstill, although Inductract provides levitation down to a much lower speed. Wheels are required for both systems, whereas EMS systems are wheel-less.

The German Transrapid, Japanese HSST (Linimo) and Korean Rotem Maglevs levitate at a standstill, with electricity extracted from guideway using power rails for the latter two, wirelessly for Transrapid. If guideway power is lost on the move, the transrapid is still able to generate levitation down to 10 km/hr speed, using the power from onboard batteries. This is not the case with the HSST and Rotem System.

Chapter 7

Applications of Electro-Magnetic suspension system:

  • To improve the stability of the vehicle by using electromagnets.
  • It should improve the vehicles running performance.
  • It could be reduce the roll and pitch.
  • To reduce overall body motion and jarring vibrations results in increased comfort and control.

Chapter 8


1. J.R. Powell and G.R. Danby, "High Speed Transport by Magnetically Suspended Trains", ASME Publication No. 66 WA/RR5 (December 1966)

2. J.R. Powell and G.R. Danby, "Magnetically Suspended Trains for Very High Speed Transport", Proceedings of the Fourth Intersociety Energy Conversion Engineering Conference, Sept. 22-26, 1969, Washington, pp. 953-963

3. J.R. Powell and G.R. Danby, "Magnetically Suspended Trains: the application of superconductivity to high-speed transport", Cryogenics and Industrial Gases, vol.4, October 1969,pp.19-24

4. C.A. Guderjahn, S.L. Wipf, H.J. Fink, R.W. Boom, K.E. Mackenzie, D Williams, and T. Downey, "Magnetic Suspension and Guidance for high Speed Rockets by Superconducting Magnets", Journal of Applied Physics, vol. 40, no.5, April, 1969, pp 2133-2140

5. Wolfgang Matschinsky," Road Vehicle Suspensions" Professional Engineering Publishing Limited, 1998

6. John C. Dixon, " The Shock Absorber Handbook", SAE International, Sae Order no.-176, 1999

7. D.L. Atherton, editor, "Study Of Magnetic Levitation and Linear Synchronous Motor Propulsion", Canadian Institute of Guided Ground Transport, Queens University,1972

8. B. Graeminger, "Electromagnetic Suspension Devices", U.K. Patents 24499 and 24541(1912)

  • 9. K. Halbach, Nuclear Instruments and Methods,169, 1, (1980), doi:10.1016/0029-554X(80)90094-4
  • 10. J. M. D. Coey and T.R. N Mhochin, "Permanent Magnets",High Magnetic Fields: Science and Technology, Volume 1, ed. F. Herlach and N. Miura, World Scientific Publishing, p25 - 47 (2003)
  • 11. O. Cugat and F. Bloch, "4-Tesla Permanent Magnetic Flux Source",Proc. 15th International Workshop on Rare Earth Magnets and Their Applications, published by MAT INFO, Dresden 1998, p807 (1998)
  • 12. Vicci,U.S. Patent 6,720,855,Magnetic-flux conduits
  • 13. Magnetic Flux through a Loop of Wireby Ernest Lee,Wolfram Demonstrations Project
  • 14. http://www.querycat.com/question/249bdb15f2588ea70f28bbddfa354dab
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