Elkem develops iron silicon soft magnetic powder for Additive Manufacturing of electrical motor components

January 18, 2024

Elkem has developed a new specialised iron silicon powder that may enable the Additive Manufacturing of components for electrical motors (Courtesy Elkem)
Elkem has developed a new specialised iron silicon powder that may enable the Additive Manufacturing of components for electrical motors (Courtesy Elkem)

Elkem, headquartered in Oslo, Norway, has developed a new specialised iron silicon soft magnetic powder through an EU-funded SOMA project with partners VTT (coordinator), Siemens, Stellantis and Gemmate Technologies. The new powder is expected to enable the Additive Manufacturing of components for electrical motors.

The soft magnetic powder is reportedly easy to magnetise and de-magnetise, making it an important component in electrical motors. It is currently created in a small-scale pilot atomiser located at the Future Materials, Norwegian Catapult Centre in Kristiansand. The powder has been used to additively manufacture components that were evaluated for quality and manufacturing of demo devices. The Additive Manufacturing and part qualification were conducted at VTT in Finland and Siemens in Germany.

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The three-year project, supported by EIT Raw Materials and funded by the EU, began on January 1, 2021, with a total budget of €5.6 million.

“This is a project with potential to transform motor parts manufacturing. We have successfully created a new specialised powder with good printability based on silicon-steel (with additives). 3D-printed components show enhanced ductility and competitive magnetic properties,” stated Tomi Lindroos at VTT.

The final use-case was to produce a motor for an electric scooter (Courtesy Elkem)
The final use-case was to produce a motor for an electric scooter (Courtesy Elkem)

The final use-case was to produce a motor for an electric scooter. This was supported by modelling carried out by Gemmate Technologies and VTT, giving more novel design opportunities for electrical motor components.

“The powder developed in the SOMA project will now be introduced to the market by Elkem for evaluating the product for future commercial production. The product is currently available in small test volumes,” shared Jan Ove Odden, project leader at Elkem.

As the world shifts towards more sustainable modes of transportation, electrification has become a key priority for automakers, governments, and consumers alike. Elkem is a provider of advanced silicon-based materials and will continue to provide silicon-based products across mobility and transportation sub-sectors.


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