Iron nitride transformers could boost energy storage options
USA, New Mexico: A team led by Sandia National Laboratories, US Department of Energy research and development national laboratory, has developed a way to make a magnetic material that could lead to lighter and smaller, cheaper and better-performing high-frequency transformers.
The new method uses a low-temperature FAST technique (field-assisted sintering technique), which enables the creation of transformer cores from raw starting materials in minutes, without decomposing the required iron nitrides, as could happen at the higher temperatures used in conventional sintering, reports ECN Magazine.
“FAST enables the net-shaping of parts, meaning that iron nitride powders can be sintered directly into perfectly sized parts, such as transformer cores, which don’t require any machining,” one of Sandia researchers said.
According to the researchers, due to its magnetic properties, iron nitride transformers can be made much more compact and lighter than traditional transformers, with better power-handling capability and greater efficiency.
They will require only air cooling, which additionally saves space. Iron nitride could also serve as a more robust, high-performance transformer core material across the nation’s electrical grid.