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Copper, Ceramic And Iron For Electric Motors In 3D Printin Nov 18, 2019

A research project at TU Chemnitz in Germany successfully produced 3D printing for every important part of an electric motor for the first time, using copper, iron and ceramic for printing. After more than two years of work, a team led by Dr. Ralf Werner, a professor at Chemnitz University of Technology, will present their breakthrough at this year's Hannover Messe.

The first important step in this journey was to complete a fully 3D printed coil. The coil is capable of withstanding temperatures in excess of 300 ° C and was first awarded last year by two academic members of Werner, Johannes Rudolph and Fabian Lorenz. The coil is mainly composed of a copper conductor and can be combined with an iron or iron alloy component to generate a magnetic field. Ceramic materials are used to insulate the copper conductors from each other as well as the iron or iron alloy components.

The team used more advanced 3D printed ceramics to make the coils, rather than the traditional polymer materials used for the insulation of such motors. These materials have a higher temperature resistance level. "Our goal for the past two and a half years has been to dramatically increase the temperature that motors can withstand," Werner said.

According to Rudolph, "the maximum allowable winding temperature of 220 ° C associated with conventional insulation systems may exceed a considerable amount. Therefore, the operating temperature of the motor is limited only by the ferromagnetic properties of the iron component, while the ferromagnetic properties of the iron component It can only be maintained at 700 ° C. "3D printed ceramics not only can withstand heat better, but also conduct heat more efficiently. This increase in heat dissipation helps to increase the output density of the motor.

The team's innovative 3D printing process involves the use of pastes that are extruded like FDM printing and then sintered together like SLS technology. These pastes are composed of ceramic materials and metallic materials such as copper and iron. The viscous paste is held together using a particularly suitable adhesive. This technology enables simultaneous 3D printing of ceramic and metal structures. This groundbreaking approach may continue to provide a wide range of potential applications for the manufacture of electrical equipment. As we reported last year, this new 3D printing process was developed in close cooperation with the German company ViscoTec, an expert in the production of liquid extraction systems.

“The motor printed at the Chemnitz University laboratory represents a breakthrough and at the same time demonstrates the principles of our technology – it proves the feasibility of our technology,” Rudolf said. After participating in the development of this groundbreaking manufacturing technology, he is now preparing to start a startup based on research beside Lorenz. In order to arouse people's interest, the team will showcase their 3D printing motors and related research progress at the Hannover Messe from April 23rd to 27th.