Definition - What does Electrical Steel mean?
Electrical steel is a type of specialty steel produced to generate various magnetic properties, high permeability and low amounts of core loss.
This material is typically available in cold-rolled strips that have a thickness of around 2mm. When the electrical strips are piled together, they create a core.
Electrical steel is also known as silicon electrical steel, lamination steel and relay steel.
Corrosionpedia explains Electrical Steel
Electrical steel is a type of iron alloy that contains 0-6.5 percent silicon. The standard commercial alloy can have a maximum silicon content of 3.2 percent since any concentration level higher than this could promote brittleness during the cold rolling process.
Electrical steels are available in various forms, the most common being:
- Fully processed (non-oriented) - Electrical steels with varying content of silicon and identical magnetic properties
- Semi-processed (non-oriented) - Largely non-silicon electrical steel and not completely annealed to improve punchability
- Grain oriented - Composed of 3% iron-silicon with grains oriented to deliver high permeability and low energy loss
The component silicon greatly enhances the steel's resistivity. At the same time, it helps in reducing hysteresis loops and eddy currents of materials, leading to decreased core loss. Yet it also embrittles and hardens the metal, which affects its workability.
Electrical steels have an essential role in terms of production, conduction and allocation of electrical power. In fact, it is one of the most valuable magnetic materials available today.