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armature generally refers to one of the two principal electrical components of an electromechanical machine – generally in a motor or generator, but it may also mean the pole piece of a permanent magnet or electromagnet, or the moving iron part of a solenoid or relay. The other component is the field winding or field magnet. The role of the "field" component is simply to create a magnetic field (magnetic flux) for the armature to interact with, so this component can comprise either permanent magnets, or electromagnets formed by a conducting coil. The armature, in contrast, must carry current so it is always a conductor or a conductive coil, oriented normal to both the field and to the direction of motion, torque (rotating machine), or force (linear machine). The armature's role is twofold. The first is to carry current crossing the field, thus creating shaft torque in a rotating machine or force in a linear machine. The second role is to generate an electromotive force (EMF). In the armature, an electromotive force is created by the relative motion of the armature and the field. When the machine is acting as a motor, this EMF opposes the armature current, and the armature converts electrical power to mechanical torque, and power, unless the machine is stalled, and transfers it to the load via the shaft. When the machine is acting as a generator, the armature EMF drives the armature current, and shaft mechanical power is converted to electrical power and transferred to the load. In an induction generator, these distinctions are blurred, since the generated power is drawn from the stator, which would normally be considered the field.

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