Steel industrial material trends have seen a big shift in the recent decades. It’s about availability, types, quantity, quality, performance and also the “customization” based on the application, its purpose, desired life expectancy and so on. Electric steel is one of those metals, which serves industries different purposes with a wide custom options and ranges. Playing a vital role in the generation, transmission, distribution and use of electrical power in electricity, also serves other purposes with its magnetic feature.
Electric steel is one of the most important magnetic materials produced today and the three principal types of electrical steel are Grain Oriented (GO) steels and Non Grain Oriented (NGO) steels. It is an iron alloy which has silicon from zero to 6.5% and silicon significantly increases the electrical resistivity of the steel that results the decrease of the induced eddy currents and narrows the hysteresis loop of the material, thus lowering the core loss. Whereas, the grain structure hardens and embrittles the metal that adversely affects the workability of the material while rolling. The electrical steels majorly differ according to their metallic structure and magnetic properties.
The grain oriented electrical steels usually has a silicon level of 3%, produced from low carbon steel and its optimum properties are developed in the rolling direction, due to a tight control of the crystal orientation relative to the sheet. This type of electrical steel is principal in manufacturing high power transformer cores or for distribution transformers / machines that are static. While, the high alloy steels containing up to 3% Si and 1% Al are non grain oriented steels, which are characterized by low transmission loss Low alloy, lower Si/Al regular core loss steels stands as building blocks for magnetic circuits in rotating machinery, small transformers and motors. The large and small rotating electrical machines are constructed with non grain oriented steels.
Electrical Steel Market Facts
Stainless steel represents only 2% of total world steel market in volume. So, the rest of the market is almost ruled by the industrial steels. China has been standing first in demand of electrical steels. As per an ArcelorMittal market research and predictions report, about 90% of new electrical steel demand is expected to come out of China by the year 2015 and the other nations demand stands with very little difference compared to the demand in the year 2008.
The demand for both grain oriented and non grain oriented electrical steels didn’t experience difference in Europe, Middle East & Africa and America nations. Asia stands in first place because of China’s demand for electrical steel.
Because of the global economic crisis, electrical steel stood overcapacity and is expected to reduce progressively.
Courtesy of ArcelorMittal Research Report Another prediction of the report says that, despite of rapid capacity expansion, supply demand equilibrium in China is expected to remain tight. Based on the research outcome, ArcelorMittal’s strategic planning includes steps and activities like
- » Post-crisis rebound and recovery
- » Emerging market Growth
- » Competitive and innovative products and applications
Recent Innovations in Electrical Steel
PowerCore® grain oriented and non grain oriented electrical steels are manufactured by ThyssenKrupp. This innovative grain oriented electrical steels PowerCore® is a highly sophisticated high-tech core material that is used in power and distribution transformers and also in small transformers as laminated or wound grain oriented electrical steel. Whereas, a high energy-efficient PowerCore® electrical steel allows to build considerably smaller transformers with the same power output. The process reduces the consumption of finite resources such as copper, oil and insulating materials, which makes a significant contribution to support global environmental protection and the sustainability of energy resources. The core advantages of PowerCore® are
- » Several choices of insulation coatings & nominal thicknesses
- » Slit widths and cut sheets in rectangular or parallelogram shapes
- » A designer can select optimal grade required from standard high permeability and superior core losses for various applications
- » Can meet global environmental protection and the sustainability requirements and standards.
iCARe™ is an ArcelorMittal’s steel for electrical mobility for the automotive market. This innovative electrical and environmental friendly electrical steel in automotives enables to
- » Save power by optimizing the use of current coming from the battery
- » Provide the highest levels of mechanical power output with torque for a motor or current supply for a generator, with high permeability having minimum polarization at 5,000 A/m is above 1.65 T
- » Have speed with a group of specific high strength electrical steels that maintains high levels of magnetic performance. Hence, these grades allow the machine to be more compact and have a higher power density
- » Save grades with reduction of the iron losses from the stators of synchronous machines like, high-speed hybrid and electric traction machines, and generators.
The market is not only about Electrical Steel, it is also about products and services followed to make electrical steel usable at industries, as well as at production lines. Typical end applications in appliances, generators, lighting ballasts, transformers, fans, vacuum cleaners, power tools, welding equipment, magnets, compressors, automotive alternators, industrial drive systems, pumps and at any purpose followed by other supporting products and services like varnishes etc.