While there are many different kinds of conductive metals, the most popular types in coils are copper, silver (although an expensive option) and aluminum.
A magnetic coil consists of a series of loops formed from a conductive metal wire, meaning it has the ability to transmit heat, sound or electricity. It then winds around a core or other form. Although the combination of sound and electricity and sound and heat conductivity are not generally characteristics of the same metallic materials, electricity and heat conductivity typically are.
Magnetic coils are widely used components, particularly in industries such as: automotive, in the ignition systems of internal combustion engines for vehicles such as cars, sports utility vehicles and vans, much like ignition coils; industrial manufacturing, in powering essential components such as electric transformers and vacuum tubes, electronics, for devices such as radio transmitters as well as the flashing lights in cameras and strobe lights; and medical, for imaging equipment such as x-ray machines as well as therapy equipment, which are also powered by high voltage coils.
A magnetic coil consists of a core and windings, of which there is generally a primary and a secondary winding. A winding is defined as a complete coil assembly with taps and all, and is a common characteristic of most electric coils. The primary winding is typically made from a much thicker piece of conductive metal wiring than that of the secondary wiring, as well as having much fewer turns than the secondary.
The use of both a primary and secondary winding in an electromagnetic component enables it to transfer electrical energy from one electric circuit to another electric circuit by means of a magnetic coupling with no moving parts. The core that the windings are wrapped around is typically cylindrically-shaped, although it can also be doughnut-shaped for toroidal coils, and is made from one of three materials: solid iron, solid steel or powdered iron. Powdered iron can be used in addition to solid iron or solid steel in order to increase the toughness of the core.
These materials are all ferromagnetic, meaning that the metals demonstrate a high level of magnetism. The magnetism of the core aids in the current flow from the coils through the principle of induction, which is the production of an electromotive force through variance of the magnetic flux linked with the circuit.