FEMM Hub Logo

Hub Training Course: Soft Magnetic Composites for Electrical Machines

4 July 2021

Dr Glynn Atkinson from Newcastle University presented a training session on 30 June 2021, the topic being ‘Soft magnetic composites for electrical machines’. 

Poster for the Hub Training Course "Soft Magnetic Composites for Electrical Machines"

This three hour training session was delivered via Webex to 90 delegates drawn from our academic and industry partners. Glynn was supported during the session with input and contributions to the question and answer session by Tushar Batra, Steve Jordan and Lars Sjoberg from Alvier Mechatronics and by Marcus Lenberg and Ye Zhou from Höganäs AB.

Soft magnetic composites (SMCs) are formed from electrically insulated iron-powder which is compressed and heat treated to produce a 3D ferromagnetic component. Unlike laminations, the material is isotropic; the magnetic properties are equal in all three dimensions. 

This allows the machine designer and application to harness new machine topologies using all three dimensions in a way to improve performance, system integration and assembly. The training session covered the fundamentals of powder and component manufacture, including detailed discussion of the latest Somaloy® material properties exhibiting higher permeability and lower loss, especially at higher frequencies and grades for machining to allow prototyping. 

The opportunities for innovative machine designs with three-dimensional flux paths was discussed alongside useful design-for-manufacture rules for using SMC in machines. The session concluded with several case studies and examples of electrical machines which employ SMCs.

Diagram of how filling may be achieved using a filling shoe.
Example of an E-Turbo prototype