School of Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering

Research

3D Printing Magnetic and Superconducting Components

3D Printing Magnetic and Superconducting Components

The electrification of society has put new emphasis on improving electrical rotating machines and Additive Manufacturing can provide new avenues for novel designs.

Our Aim

This project aims to establish a manufacturing route for highly complex shapes from soft magnetic materials and high temperature superconductors. 

Soft magnets are ubiquitous in electrical converters and rotating machines but losses through alternating current limits their efficiency. Using Additive Manufacturing we hope to limit the magnetic losses and improve cooling through new designs and unconventional materials.

Superconductors have the potential to form part of ultra-light superconducting rotating machines for transport and power generation. Especially the heavy weight of wind turbines adds to the cost of tower holding the blades and turbine. Through Additive Manufacturing high temperature superconducting coils can be fabricated directly avoiding expensive coils made from superconducting tape.

Our Research

For this project the proposed manufacturing route is by robocasting superconducting and magnetic slurries. This approach allows for separate sacrificial support material to be printed as well as functionally graded structures by altering the material composition.

Our Outcomes

We have established printable slurries from FeSi and YBCO and are currently characterising their performance in comparison to conventionally manufactured components.

Dr Daniel Engstrom - Lecturer in 3D printing

"This project will enhance the manufacturing capabilities and design freedom of magnetic and superconducting devices which so far has been limited to very simple shapes."

Athena Swan Bronze award

Contact us

The Wolfson School of Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering
Loughborough University
Loughborough
Leicestershire
LE11 3TU