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Use of Silicon Iron Forgings for Magnetic Applications

By isoc On Thursday, June 28, 2018 12:43:00 PM

Watch our video as Rob Mayer explains another application of forging using silicon iron. When creating electromechanical relays, the components magnetic properties are crucial. Silicon iron maintains “low magnetic remanence” that is so important for relays to function. See how our expertise with this material leads to a safer and more reliable component over other manufacturers.

Video Transcription

One of the things that shows that Queen City Forging does more than just forging is the way we handle making components out of silicon iron for one of our biggest customers. Now, silicon iron is sometimes called electrical steel, or silicon steel. In fact, it is not steel because it has no carbon and no manganese in it to make it steel. It is really iron and silicon. The purpose of this is to create components that have low magnetic remanence. That is, they are used in magnetic applications, in electromechanical relays and contactors.  

If the material's handled the right way, what happens is once there's been a magnetic force applied, which means they magnetized, once that electromagnetic force is removed, they are no longer magnetic. The reason to do this is you want your relay to pull in when you energize it and you want it to drop out when you take the energy away. In a relay, or some kind of electromechanical device, yes you need the magnetic properties of those core pieces and other parts in there when the relay or the contactor is energized, but you don't want them to remain energized and magnetic once you take the power away. You want that relay to drop out. You want that contactor to open. 

And that's something you'll find in cheaply made relays is they will age. They will get to a point where you go to turn them off and they don't turn off. That would be very dangerous in any of our industrial applications. That's the reason. An example of how Queen City Forging is managing a supply chain for one of our biggest customers is the way we handle making silicon iron parts because we are actually buying the raw material from really a sole source for this material in the world. Then of course we're converting it using both forging and stamping processes. We are having it heat treated to meet the magnetic specifications. We are testing it with a specialized testing equipment to test the magnetic properties and make sure that they meet specifications. 

Beyond that, we are also having the parts machined. This is a whole family of a dozen different parts, a number of different configurations that go in all kinds of different places in the relay. We are having the parts plated and surface ground. There are any number of things that we have to do in creating these components that then we supply to our customer just in time through their compound system. 

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