What is also known as electrical steel?

30 Apr 2024
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Are Electrical Steel and Silicon Steel the Same?

Yes, electrical steel and silicon steel are interchangeable terms. Silicon steel, with silicon content up to 6.5%, is the common name for electrical steel, denoting its composition of iron and silicon. This family of alloys has high silicon content enhancing its magnetic properties and minimizing energy loss through eddy currents by raising resistivity. 

What Is the Origin of Electrical Steel?

In a research conducted between 1882 and 1900, Robert Hadfield discovered that silicon increased the magnetic permeability of iron. This led to the first commercial use of silicon steel for electrical applications, like electric motors, in 1906. The discovery, in 1926 by Honda and Kaya, of the correlation between magnetic permeability and crystallographic orientations in iron single crystals led to subsequent developments that were later applied to silicon steel. By independently inventing the technologies and machinery for high-grade, effective non-oriented silicon steel production in 2008, Baosteel accomplished a rapid, all-encompassing product improvement.

How Does Electrical Steel Work?

Electrical steel, composed of iron and silicon, plays a vital role in the cores of motors and transformers. These cores, responsible for guiding magnetic flux, benefit from electrical steel's properties. Its high silicon content increases electrical resistance, effectively curbing energy-wasting eddy currents. Additionally, the aligned crystal structure allows swift magnetization and demagnetization. Consequently, electrical steel excels in reducing energy losses and maintaining robust magnetic behavior, making it the ideal choice for optimizing the efficiency of electromagnetic devices.

How Is Electrical Steel Made?

Electric arc furnaces are used in the production of most electrical steel.These furnaces melt raw materials such as iron ore and scrap steel. Then, to produce the correct composition, a regulated amount of silicon is added to the molten metal. The steel is hot-rolled into thin sheets after refinement, and then its magnetic characteristics are improved by annealing. In the refinement process of electrical steel production, deoxidization is a specific step where oxygen is removed from the molten metal to enhance the material's purity and electrical properties.

CRGO Electrical Silicon Steel
Oriented electrical steel

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