reluctance(redirected from reluctances)
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reluctance(less commonly), reluctancy
A property of a magnetic circuit analogous to resistance in an electric circuit.
Every line of magnetic flux is a closed path. Whenever the flux is largely confined to a well-defined closed path, there is a magnetic circuit. That part of the flux that departs from the path is called flux leakage.
For any closed path of length l in a magnetic field H, the line integral of H cos α dl around the path is the magnetomotive force (mmf) of the path, as in
Consider the closely wound toroid shown in the illustration. For this arrangement of currents, the magnetic field is almost entirely within the toroidal coil, and there the flux density or magnetic induction B is given by
a characteristic of a magnetic circuit; the reluctance R m is equal to the ratio of the magnetomotive force F acting on a magnetic circuit to the magnetic flux Φ developed in the circuit. For a uniform section of a magnetic circuit the reluctance can be calculated from the formula Rm = l/μμ0S, where l and S are the length and cross section of the section of the magnetic circuit, respectively; μ is the relative magnetic permeability of the material in the circuit; and μ0 is the magnetic constant.
In the case of a nonuniform magnetic circuit composed of successive uniform sections having different values of l, S, and μ, the reluctance is equal to the sum of the values of Rm for the uniform sections. Such a computation is approximate, since the formula does not take into account “magnetic leakage” (the diffusion of magnetic flux into the space surrounding the magnetic circuit), the nonuniformity of the magnetic field in the circuit, and the nonlinear dependence of the reluctance on the field. In a variable magnetic field the reluctance is a complex quantity, because in this case μ, is a function of the frequency of the electromagnetic oscillations. The unit of reluctance in the International System of Units is the ampere or ampere-turn per weber (A/Wb), and in the cgs system of units, the gilbert per maxwell (Gb/Mx); 1 A/Wb = 4 × 10-9 Gb/Mx ≈ 1.2566 × 10-8 Gb/Mx.