Proterial’s New Alloy Set to Transform Electric Motor Efficiency

PROTERIAL, a Japanese metal materials maker formerly known as Hitachi Metals, has unveiled a breakthrough in electric vehicle (EV) motor technology. The company has developed a new alloy that it claims can significantly reduce power consumption by up to 5%, leading to the potential for smaller and faster motors.

The innovative amorphous alloy, processed into material for EV motor cores, boasts an impressive energy loss reduction of over 90% compared to the non-oriented electrical steel sheet commonly used in motors today.

With plans to commence mass production as early as 2025, Proterial has overcome various challenges in developing the alloy. The material is approximately five times stronger than traditional electrical steel sheets, which has posed durability issues for the tools used in its processing. Additionally, the alloy’s thinner composition has presented complexities in handling.

Leveraging technology previously employed in manufacturing transformer cores, Proterial successfully surmounted these obstacles. The company now aims to integrate this expertise with its ferrite magnets to further enhance the performance of high-speed motors.

Notably, these magnets utilise fewer heavy rare-earth elements, such as terbium and dysprosium, compared to the neodymium magnets prevalent in current EV motors. This reduction in heavy rare-earth elements is significant, considering the global supply heavily relies on China, which has implemented stringent export restrictions on these metals.

Proterial’s advancement in alloy development not only promises enhanced efficiency in EV motors but also addresses concerns surrounding the reliance on rare-earth elements. As the automotive industry continues its shift towards electrification, such innovations play a pivotal role in driving sustainable and efficient transportation solutions.

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