Oriented magnetic core lamination and method of manufacture
The Business Opportunity
Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) is seeking expressions of interest from firms wishing to enter into a commercial licensing arrangement to bring to market our patented “Oriented magnetic core lamination and method of manufacture”, which was developed by researchers at our CanmetMATERIALS Hamilton laboratory. The ideal licensee would be a distributor for this technology, and would have the capacity for the manufacturing, service, maintenance, support, marketing and sales. The ideal licensee will manufacture lamination cores for electric motors that can be used in the automotive sector or other industries that utilize lamination cores.
Brief Technology Description
NRCan has filed a Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) application for this technology, disclosing a method for producing soft magnetic lamination cores from electrical steel sheets, which comprises cutting rectangular strips with the teeth pointing in a single direction in steel sheet such that the teeth are aligned in a direction that has the best magnetic properties. In addition, the methods for producing circular laminates from the rectangular strips for electric motors are also disclosed.
- Patents: PCT/CA2020/051574, published as WO2021/081661
- Appendix A: Technology Background and Details
- Appendix B: Business Plan Required Format
Expression of Interest
Companies interested in commercializing the NRCan technology must submit a letter of interest to NRCan on or before March 22, 2022. Preference will be given to Canadian companies, but U.S. and other foreign companies will also be considered provided that such foreign companies demonstrate a benefit to Canada.
NRCan will invite qualified companies to attend an interactive webinar where additional technical information will be presented. Participation in this information session will be subject to signing a non-disclosure agreement. Following the webinar, companies may submit questions and requests for clarifications. NRCan’s responses to questions and requests for clarifications will be issued to all qualified companies alike.
Companies interested in becoming NRCan’s licensee will then be required to submit a business plan for NRCan’s consideration. Business plans must address all of the elements outlined in Appendix B: Business Plan Required Format, and must be submitted to the contact below.
Maria de Fatima Machado
Intellectual Property Officer - Intellectual Property Division (IPD)
Natural Resources Canada/Government of Canada
Appendix A: Technology Background and Details
Laminated electrical steel (also known as silicon steel) cores are an indispensable component of electric motors. The steel core is used to amplify the magnetic flux generated by the electric current passing through the coils. It is required that the magnetic properties of the steel core be optimum in all directions of the sheet plane so that minimum energy losses and maximum efficiency can be achieved.
Current procedures for the production of lamination core for electric motors include: a) producing thin, non-oriented electrical steel sheets by hot rolling, cold rolling and annealing, b) coating the surfaces of the sheets, c) punching circular laminates from the coated sheets with teeth pointing to all directions of the sheet plane, d) stacking the laminates and forming the magnetic core, e) stress-relief annealing. However, this method causes considerable material waste as the central part of the circular laminate is usually scrapped.
Another existing lamination technology is the slinky or helical lamination. The slinky lamination technique uses a long and narrow steel strip cut from the steel sheets along the rolling direction to form a helical core by bending the long strip around a central mandrel (instead of punching the circular laminates directly from the sheets) so that a continuously stacked core is made. Although this process can save materials by using straight strips cut from the steel sheet, there is a major issue with this type of lamination. The issue is that, since all the layers of the lamination are physically connected, the eddy current loss is large, as the helical core is essentially made of a thick piece of electrical steel plate with a thickness of the entire magnetic core, which leads to large eddy current loss. Thus, this lamination method is usually only used in small alternators or motors where energy loss is not a major concern.
In order to maximize the magnetic properties and reduce the material waste, a new lamination process is needed.
Oriented Magnetic Core Lamination and Method of Manufacture
In order to solve these issues, NRCan is offering an oriented soft magnetic core lamination technique and a method of producing circular laminates from electrical steel sheets, which include cutting rectangular strips with teeth pointing in a single direction in the steel sheet plane, as opposed to directly punching circular laminates from the steel sheet with the teeth pointing in all directions. The strips are cut in such a way that the short (tooth) side is aligned to the direction that has the best magnetic properties. The strips can then be bent into a donut or toroidal shape to form circular laminates, either inwardly (with teeth pointing to the circle center) or outwardly (with teeth pointing out of the center) depending on the design of the lamination core. The lamination core manufactured in this way features low core loss and high efficiency because of the alignment of the teeth in the direction of the steel sheet with the best magnetic properties (easy axis), while the material waste can be significantly reduced because of the formation of the circular laminates from rectangular strips.
Appendix B: Business Plan Required Format
Companies are encouraged to submit concise and clear evidence under the following headings:
Section 1: Company Information
- General overview and company summary
- Organizational maturity
- Experience /success in the industry
- Technical capability
- Marketing capacity
- Corporate objectives
- Short-term objectives
- Long-term objectives
Section 2: Key Personnel and Networks
- Provide company organization chart identifying key members and foreseen roles
- Provide resumes of personnel key to this project including credentials and relevant experience
Section 3: Knowledge and Experience
- Previous experience on similar projects comprising metallurgical mechanisms leading to the formation of the crystallographic textures
- Experience testing crystal orientation
- Experience conducting business in lamination cores for electric motors
- Knowledge of the regulatory structure of core lamination for electric motors
- Provide evidence of Quality Managed System
- Provide three customer references
- Please note that NRCan may seek additional references from potential end-users
Section 4: Financial Stability
Each company authorises NRCan to make credit enquiries about it and any of its affiliates and to receive and exchange credit information from credit reporting agencies or other persons with which the company or any of its affiliates has or may expect to have financial dealings. Each company must provide NRCan with the company’s (and, on request by NRCan, any of the company’s affiliates) audited financial statements for the last three financial years for which they are available and financial statements for any period after the last audited period.
Section 5: Market, Customer, and Competition Analysis
- Market opportunity, size and trends
- Key customer bases
- Key competitors
Section 6: Production and Marketing Plan
- Product description
- Distribution channel(s)
- Target markets (i.e. Canada, USA, worldwide) and sales strategy
Section 7: Company Financial Information
- Five-year cash flow forecast
- Capital cost estimates
- Operating budgets
- Proposed sale price for product (s) or services incorporating NRCan’s technology
- Proposed profit margin targets for sales of product(s) or services incorporating NRCan’s technology
- Proposed royalty structure for product (s) or services incorporating NRCan’s technology
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