Canadian researchers have developed a new method for fabricating magnets for electric motors using cold spray Additive Manufacturing. These sintered magnets can be produced faster and cheaper.
Permanent magnets are important for use in electric motors as they rotate the motor when electrical power is applied. Usually, these magnets are created using processes such as powder compaction or injection molding.
However, two researchers from the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) developed a new method for creating the magnets which can be produced faster, offer new design options and cut costs.
Researchers Fabrice Bernier and Jean-Michel Lamarre developed the cold spray additive manufacturing technique. By using this new technique, they cut down on the number of steps required to create the high-performance magnets.
For example, previous techniques required processes such as fabricating, shaping and assembling of the magnets. But, thanks to additive manufacturing processes, these steps are all combined into one.
“This technology will allow the creation of more compact, better-performing motors for the future and could pave the way for building entire motors using cold spray technology, offering significant advantages such as cost reduction, better thermal management and more complex geometries and functionalities,” explains Bernier.
The way cold spray additive manufacturing works is by accelerating a material in fine powder in a high-velocity compressed gas jet which is directed at a target.
This powder hits a substrate and builds up complex shapes, one layer at a time. With this process, it’s possible to produce several kilograms of magnets per hour.
In fact, these properties are even better than those of magnets created with conventional methods. This is partly due to the absence of polymer in the material matrix and the high velocity which the materials are deposited at.
For example, the researchers state that these magnets have excellent mechanical properties such as increased thermal conductivity, corrosion, and oxidation resistance.
When compared to sintered magnets, those created using the cold spray additive manufacturing are easy to machine and less brittle too. Better yet, the researchers point out that they even have a longer lifespan.
So far, prototypes have proven to be successful. The next step is to look into using this new process to improve upon motor designs. However, the researchers are also working on developing soft magnetic materials. Visit the NRC website for more information.
Source: Metal AM
License: The text of "Researchers Create Permanent Magnets with Cold Spray Additive Manufacturing" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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