One new permanent-magnet technology could change how electric motors and generators are built — and help the emerging $80B electric-motor propulsion market.
Developer of magnet-based applications AML Superconductivity & Magnetics (AML) has completed successful development and testing of permanent-magnet manufacturing technology. Called PM-Wire, it could change the way electric motors and generators are designed, manufactured, and used across industries worldwide. The magnets are made of traditional NdFeB or SmCo or other bonded or sintered material. However, PM-Wire gives engineers flexibility in magnet sizes, shapes, and magnetic field directions. It boosts reliability and enables new configurations; it replaces the conventional and laborious process of molding, machining, and coating PMs with high-volume continuous production that’s highly automated.
Despite global transition from fossil-fuel-based transportation to more efficient electric vehicles, aircraft, and vessels (for moving people and goods) limitations in magnet technology prevent many producers from realizing top revenue and environmental impact.
PM-Wire boosts the performance of permanent-magnet-based designs such as electric motors and generators — for top power density, efficiency, and torque — for weight and design cost that’s far lower than existing technologies. According to AML CEO Mark Senti, techniques for producing PM-Wire could also return rare-earth mining and permanent-magnet manufacturing to the U.S. The process dramatically improves the yield and removes laborious processes of manufacturing — a major driver for China’s dominance of the market. More specifically, it increases PM material yield 10% to 30% by cross-section and long length pieces. In addition, PM-Wire:
- Enables arbitrary spatial variation of magnetization (using AML’s magnetization coils) and odd-shaped cross sections
- Boosts the structural integrity of magnets destined for high-rpm machines and assemblies to see harsh applications; magnets made with PM-Wire don’t break or chip which simplifies their placement into designs with assembly fixtures
- Enables cooling , as a jacket protects the PM materials from cooling media
PM-Wire is also suitable for the manufacture of low-cost Halbach arrays. These arrays in motors help concentrate all of the magnetic flux from the rotor into the stator.