As EV production ramps up around the globe, companies are developing ever more components and materials optimized for use in electric and hybrid vehicles. At this week’s Coil Winding, Insulation and Electrical Manufacturing trade fair in Berlin (doesn’t that sound like a glamorous event?), steel giant ArcelorMittal unveiled a range of electrical steel products designed specifically to meet the requirements of EV manufacturers.
Electrical steels are specialty steels tailored to produce certain magnetic properties – strips of electrical steel are stacked (laminations) to form electric motor stators and rotors. ArcelorMittal’s iCARe portfolio was created to help carmakers deliver lower emissions and improved fuel consumption for hybrid vehicles, or longer range for pure EVs. The iCARe steels promise to deliver increased power density from electric motors, helping to reduce the size and weight of a vehicle via enhanced energy efficiency.
The iCARe portfolio includes three grades of electrical steel:
The iCARe Save range offers low electrical loss, maximizing use of current batteries and allowing electric vehicles to drive further on a charge. Save grades reduce the iron losses from the stators of synchronous machines, helping to improve efficiency, which leads to an increase in power density. Power density can be tuned to create a lighter, smaller machine, or a more powerful machine for a given weight.
The iCARe Torque products ensure the highest levels of mechanical power output from EV motors. Torque grades are suitable for machines which need high torque at low speeds.
The iCARe Speed steels provide a compromise between mechanical properties and losses. They deliver very high strength, making them suited for the manufacture of high-speed rotors that allow a further weight reduction of the motor.
As part of the iCARe project, ArcelorMittal plans to invest $112 million to build a new continuous annealing line at its production facility at St-Chély d’Apcher, France. The line will be capable of producing up to 120,000 tons of iCARe steel per year.