Eddy currents in iron cores.
If the laminations are made of silicon alloy grain oriented steel,
losses are minimized.Magnetic hysteresis is a lagging behind of magnetic field strength as compared to magnetizingforce. If a soft iron nail is temporarily magnetized by a solenoid, one would expect the nail tolose the magnetic field once the solenoid is de-energized. However, a small amount of
due to hysteresis remains. (Figure below) An alternating current has to expend
, in overcoming this residual magnetization before it can magnetizethe core back to zero, let alone in the opposite direction. Hysteresis loss is encountered each timethe polarity of the AC reverses. The loss is proportional to the area enclosed by the hysteresisloop on the B-H curve. “Soft” iron alloys have lower losses than “hard” high carbon steel alloys.Silicon grain oriented steel, 4% silicon, rolled to preferentially orient the grain or crystallinestructure, has still lower losses.
Hysteresis curves for low and high loss alloys.
Once Steinmetz's Laws of hysteresis could predict iron core losses, it was possible to design ACmotors which performed as designed. This was akin to being able to design a bridge ahead of time that would not collapse once it was actually built. This knowledge of eddy current andhysteresis was first applied to building AC commutator motors similar to their DC counterparts.Today this is but a minor category of AC motors. Others invented new types of AC motors bearing little resemblance to their DC kin.