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Overview of electrical steel - Composition, characteristics and applications

Overview of electrical steel - Composition, characteristics and applications

BlogDate: 04-12-2023 by: Ngan Le

Electrical steel is a special type of steel that has notable characteristics such as magnetism, good conductivity and high heat resistance. It's highly beneficial for various applications related to the electrical industry. Let's explore more with MRS Steel about the properties, applications, and important role of electrical steel in today's modern trends.

Definition of Electrical Steel - Structure and key components

Electrical steel, also known as silicon steel, is a special type of steel used in the production of electrical conductors and components related to the electrical industry due to its excellent magnetic properties. The primary method of manufacturing electrical steel comes from electric arc furnaces, where raw materials like iron ore and scrap are melted and a specific amount of silicon is added to the molten metal alloy.

The main components of electrical steel include iron and silicon, alongside additional elements like carbon, silicon, manganese and other metals added during the manufacturing process to enhance its mechanical properties. All types of electrical steel share a similar basic composition:

  • Iron (Fe): This is the primary component of electrical steel, providing its excellent conductivity. This property makes it easier to produce electronic components.
  • Silicon (Si): The presence of silicon enhances the material's magnetic properties and reduces energy losses, making it an ideal choice for optimizing the efficiency of electronic devices.
  • Carbon (C): Electrical steel usually has low carbon content (0.01% or less) to minimize electrical resistance. Lower carbon content helps improve its conductivity, which is essential for manufacturing electrical components.
  • Silicon (Si): The addition of silicon can improve the magnetic properties of the steel, making it suitable for magnetic applications like conductors, coils and other electronic parts. Silicon can also increase the steel's hardness.
  • Manganese (Mn): Manganese can increase the steel's toughness while maintaining its hardness. It also enhances the steel's resistance to oxidation, slowing down oxidation, rust, and corrosion in the steel's working environment.

Highlights characteristics of electrical steel

Good electrical conductivity

The excellent electrical conductivity of electrical steel is crucial for electronic and power applications. Lower carbon content reduces electrical resistance, enhancing its conductivity for various electronic components.

High thermal endurance

Electrical steel usually has good heat resistance, maintaining stable mechanical properties, including flexibility and hardness, in high-temperature environments, such as the core of electrical systems or during power transmission.

Hardness and ductility

Depending on its specific structure and chemical composition, electrical steel can have adjusted levels of hardness and ductility tailored to meet specific application requirements, striking a balance between electrical conductivity, hardness, and ductility for electronics and power industry applications.

Stability in electrical environments

Electrical steel is designed to maintain stable electrical conductivity and avoid significant changes under the influence of electric fields, slowing down oxidation processes in electrochemical environments.

 

Applications of electrical steel in various industries

Due to its outstanding properties like good electrical conductivity, high heat resistance and robust oxidation resistance, electrical steel finds increasing applications across various industries such as technology, energy, medical and manufacturing.

Electrical Conductors

Used to manufacture electrical conductors in power transmission systems, its excellent conductivity and heat resistance make it an ideal material for transmitting electrical power from power plants to residential and industrial areas.

Coils

In electronic applications, electrical steel is commonly used as a core material in components like coils to store energy from electromagnetic fields. The stability and performance of coils heavily rely on the steel's quality and precise chemical composition, especially its ability to retain and concentrate electromagnetic fields.

Electronic Components

Electrical steel is utilized in producing parts like transformer cores, solenoids and other electronic components.

Energy Industry

In the energy industry, electrical steel finds its place in heat-related devices like furnaces, boilers and other heat-resistant applications. Moreover, it is commonly used in manufacturing transformers and coils for transmitting and distributing electrical power.

Special Heat-Resistant Applications

Due to its good heat resistance, electrical steel is used in high-temperature working environments, such as furnaces, burners and applications demanding stability at high temperatures.

Medical and Other Industries

Furthermore, electrical steel may find its way into various applications in the medical field, machinery and manufacturing, being utilized in environments requiring both strength and sustainability.

Electrical steel, with its specific properties in conductivity, heat resistance, and magnetism, marks a significant milestone in the electronic and energy industries through its myriad of practical applications. This solidifies the fact that electrical steel has become an indispensable and essential material in our daily lives.

Through this article, MRS Steel aims to provide you with more knowledge about various types of steel prevalent today, showcasing their diverse applications across different sectors beyond construction. Presently, there are thousands of steel types worldwide, each with unique advantages and drawbacks, along with specific applications in various industries. If you seek more information about different types of steel, feel free to explore other articles in our Steel Blog section!