From Customer Specification to Prototyping: Three-dimensional Finite Element Simulation for Axial Flux Machines Constructed from Soft Magnetic Composite Materials

Steven Jordan
Höganäs AB


With the changes occurring in the automotive market and the evolution of internal combustion engine and electric vehicles, powder metallurgy and soft magnetic composites can provide significant benefits in all areas of the drive-train and some auxiliary functions. This paper details the single-sided axial flux machine that Höganäs AB has identified as an ideal topology to maximise the impact that new technologies have through the functionality of the material and its benefits in high volume production. From prior investigations, this topology is particularly suited to pump and compressor applications. It has been demonstrated that clear advantages can be observed for a compressor application when using a single-sided axial flux machine constructed from soft magnetic composites: improvements in power density and efficiency whilst yielding a more compact design. Finite element software provides a platform to investigate the performance of machine designs which can inform the prototyping phase. Höganäs AB make use of scripting functions to automate the process of simulating electromagnetic and thermal aspects of potential machine design solutions, outputting data for analysis and reporting on design outcomes.
Höganäs AB provides a large number of services to enable customers to obtain an optimal solution. From feasibility and design pre-studies, selection of soft magnetic composite and hard magnetic materials, through to design for compaction and small scale batch prototyping and production runs: our dedicated 800 tonne development press can be utilised for industrial support, assisting in the set-up of tooling, optimising compaction and heat-treatment processes.

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