Allow me to describe my current situation. I have a 18 ft (5.486 m) carousel that is assembled using steel beams that are bent into two circles, an outer and an inner. And there are steel spokes running in between these two circles creating the 18 ft (5.486 m) carousel. The carousel has wheels in it currently that roll along a flat steel base plate that is secured to the ground. I'm able to turn around 9000 lb (4082 kg) with this configuration. I'm trying to see if it were plausible to do the same thing, but using reverse magnetism rather than standards wheels. Essentially the variables I am locked into are, a 18ft diameter area, and a 9000 lb (4082 kg) weight capacity. The configuration of the top portion of the carousel, and the configuration of the base can be changed to some degree.

From what I've come to understand, the surface area of the conductor is related to the strength field. I can change the shape of my current carousel, i.e. make it flatter and even or thicker, or anything along those lines, the same with the base. But I have to use steel, and I have to be able to support the 9000 lb (4082 kg) load.

This has proven to be hard to research without getting a physics degree, so I'm hoping to find some help here. I'd like to better understand the math behind all this so I can at least determine if this is a viable endeavor. Given the situation described above I'd like to get a formula I could use and manipulate the variables too as to test different setups and configurations. What variables are the most important to consider for this? Is it the shape of the conductor (carousel, base plates) or more so to the current? And how could I determine the degree a change to the conductor will have on the current needed?

Thanks in advanced, any help or direction would be much appreciated!!

  • $\begingroup$ The maglev trains are heavier - check them out. $\endgroup$
    – Solar Mike
    Apr 27, 2021 at 4:28
  • $\begingroup$ I imagine that lift distance / magnetic gap is going to be important. How are you going to balance this? What stops it flying off to one side? What will drive it? $\endgroup$
    – Transistor
    Apr 27, 2021 at 10:24
  • $\begingroup$ Is there a reason you aren’t considering other options to magnetic levitation? $\endgroup$
    – Eric S
    Apr 27, 2021 at 11:28
  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to Engineering! This looks like a 'Naive design' question. Such questions are excessively broad and are therefore not a good fit for our format. See if you can edit your question to make it specific and answerable. $\endgroup$
    – Wasabi
    Apr 27, 2021 at 14:22

1 Answer 1


This isn't a real answer, but I feel compelled to provide it. What you are suggesting is perhaps possible, but very, very complicated. You will need to hire experts to engineer a magnetic bearing of this size and it will be extremely expensive. I'm confident you will not be able to engineer this with a series of questions on Engineering Stack Exchange.

There are other approaches that may work and be easier to implement including air bearings, fluid bearings or even standard roller bearings.


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