What is electrical steel?

20 Nov 2023
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Non-grain oriented electrical steel, often referred to as electrical steel, laminated steel, silicon steel and core iron, is a type of specialty steel tailored to produce certain magnetic properties, such as low hysteresis loss or high magnetic permeability . When the core steel is magnetized and then demagnetized, it absorbs energy and heats up, causing a loss of power. Electrical steel is designed for specific core loss values to reduce this power loss. Electrical steel can also be designed to have high magnetic permeability, so that the current required to create magnetism is as low as possible. Electrical steel is a ferrous alloy usually produced in the form of cold-rolled strip with a proportion of silicon, manganese or aluminum added to the melt. While each electrical steel manufacturer produces different grades using its own formulations, these grades are subject to standards set by bodies such as the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), European Norms (EN) and the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI). These standards are often used as a reference for American nomenclature. In fact, the AISI standards for electrical steel have been out of date for a long time and were replaced by newer ASTM standards.
Uniformity in specifying, producing and purchasing electrical steel is primarily graded by core loss. This is because the maximum allowable core loss is often one of the most important considerations for electrical device cores. While each governing body has its own identification standards for naming different steel grades, the absolute variables mentioned in these standards are the maximum core loss at a specified flux density and Hertz.
Available materials
  • Non-oriented electrical grade steel certified to ASTM, EN or AISI standards
  • Grain-oriented electrical steel, certified to ASTM, EN or AISI standards
  • Cobalt alloy complies with ASTM A801, Hiperco 50, Hiperco 50A, Aperam AFK502R
  • Nickel alloy complies with ASTM A753, Carpenter 49, HyMu 80, Aperam Supra 50. VAC Permenorm 5000V
  • Nomex, Mylar, Kapton, insulation G9 and G10
  • steel, stainless steel, aluminum, brass, copper
oriented electrical steel
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