You might not be an engineer, but in this world of ever-evolving technologies, there is a high chance that you are already using an electric motor.
The reason behind such hype about electric motors is that the efficiency of these motors can range from 60 to 95%. You will be surprised to know that it is almost three times as efficient as a diesel motor and much more than a gasoline one.
The efficiency of an electric motor highly depends on the material used to build its stators and rotors. Notably, the use of the material has evolved since the motors were built.
In this article, we will talk about the different components of electric motors, what stators and rotors are, and the material that drives the future of electric motors.
What are Electric Motors?
An electric motor is a machine that extracts mechanical energy from electrical energy. The working of the electric motor involves the interaction of magnetic fields that produce rotational force.
The electric motors consist of several parts, including:
- Motor Stator
- Air Gap
- Pulley Drive
This article will mainly discuss motor stators and rotors and the materials used.
What are metal stators?
The stator is the stationary component of an electric motor’s rotating system. Energy travels through a stator to or from the system’s rotational component. The stator of an electric motor generates a magnetic field that powers the rotor.
What are rotors?
As the name implies, a rotor is a spinning component of an electrical machine in which current is generated by transformer action from a rotating magnetic field. The rotor winding is made up of conductors in the form of copper or aluminum bars.
Advanced Materials Used in Electric Motors:
As we all know, copper is renowned for providing high conductivity at an affordable cost. Using thin enamel coating copper wrapped around the wire in motors helps create the winding. This is beneficial in creating an adequate electromagnetic field to drive the motor and can also be used to make copper rotors.
Aluminum is a low-weight metal used in motors if only maintaining a minimum weight is of utmost necessity. However, comparing the conductivity of copper and aluminum, copper has more conductivity making it a better choice for rotor and motor stators.
Gold and Silver
Silver offers better conductivity than copper and aluminum. Moreover, the wires crafted from these highly demanded metals have less resistance making them a better choice for any conducting device. Both gold and silver also have better corrosion resistance. But the central issue of using gold and silver is its expense. Both the metals are costly and hence not an optimal solution to build the rotors and motor stators.
Carbon Nanotubes (CNTs)
CNT materials are revolutionary for electric motors as they combine several properties. Carbon nanotube fibers and yarns have grabbed all the attention as they are lightweight, strong, and flexible. Moreover, Carbon nanotube fibers and yarns provide high conductivity compared to copper at the molecular level. However, the conductivity power of CNT materials is yet to be discovered on a full scale.
Currently, copper is the best material for building copper rotors and stators. The cost-effectiveness combined with conductivity power makes it one of the best materials. However, the excellent thermal properties of CNT yarns and films and their flexibility cannot be ignored. The CNT material might be the next significant innovation in the electric motor industry.