Precipitate characterization in electrical steels using combination of SANS and VSANS
|Coordinator||SWERIM AB - Swerim AB, Kista|
|Funding from Vinnova||SEK 499 000|
|Project duration||November 2020 - June 2022|
|Venture||Research infrastructure - utilisation and collaboration|
|Call||Industrial pilot projects for utilisation of large-scale infrastructures for neutron and photon based techniques – 2020|
Purpose and goal
Electrical steels are used for the magnetically active parts of electrical motors, generators, and actuators. The application of these materials has been expanding enormously which demands continuous development of their magnetic and mechanical properties. The goal of this project is to understand the influence of concentration, size, and type of precipitates on the properties of electrical steels. The high penetration depth of neutrons helps to measure thick samples and provides sufficient statistics in a non-destructive manner that is not possible using electron microscopy.
Expected results and effects
The project is expected to deliver a statistical analysis of the precipitate type and concentrations as a function of alloying elements and production processes. A deeper understanding of precipitate formation in magnetic steels will help Surahammars Bruks optimize the production process and design materials with improved properties. Improving the magnetic and mechanical properties of electrical steels confer great economic and environmental benefits on the application of these materials by reducing energy waste and increasing the efficiency and lifetime of these products.
Planned approach and implementation
The experiment will be conducted by representatives of Surahammar Bruks Cognet and Swerim at Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Zentrum, Germany where SANS and VSANS instruments are accessible simultaneously. This will allow characterizing a wide size range of precipitates: from small precipitates to aggregates of precipitates, or larger particles within the bulk. The results will be compared to the microstructure and the magnetic and mechanical properties of the same materials, and also to our simulation results from Thermocalc software to benchmark the precipitate formation process.