You are on page 1of 31

Part I Magnetic materials

Many electrical engineering devices are based on

utilising magnetic properties of materials (inductor,
transformers and machines).
All materials show some magnetic effect.
1. Magnetic dipole moment and magnetic field
Consider a current loop, the
circulating current is I and the
enclosed area is A, then magnetic
dipole moment is defined as

m = IAu m

Magnetic dipole moment in magnetic field

= B

Magnetic moment creates its own magnetic field

just like a bar of magnet

Atomic magnetic moments

An orbiting electron in an atom behaves much like a
current loop therefore has a magnetic dipole moment
associated with it orbital magnetic moment, orb.

The electron also has an intrinsic angular momentum,

i.e. spin. The spin of the electron creates a spin magnetic
moment, spin.

Magnetisation M
When a magnetic field B0 is applied to a
material, each atom responses to it, develops or
acquires a net magnetic moment the material is
magnetised. The extents of the magnetisation of
the material is described by magnetic vector M,
defined as the magnetic dipole moment per
unit volume.


i =1


The magnetic field in the material now arises

from the applied field B0 and a contribution from
the magnetisation M

B = B 0 + 0M
The corresponding magnetised field H is defined



The magnetised field is also known as magnetic

field intensity and is measured in A/m.

Magnetic permeability
The magnetic permeability at a point of P in a
material is defined as


It represents to what extent a material is

permeable by magnetic field.
In practice, the relative permeability is often


r =
B0 0 H 0

Magnetic susceptibility
In practice it is often that H is known (related
directly to current), the magnetisation M is related
to H by the equation

M = H
where is the magnetic susceptibility. Since both
r and describe the magnetisation, they are

r = (1 + )

Magnetic material classifications

In general, magnetic material are classified into four
distinctive groups based on m.




negative, small

Polymers, Si, Cu


positive, small



positive, very
positive, very

Fe, Co, Ni



Magnetic DomainFerromagnetic Materials

A magnetic domain is a region of the crystal in which
all the spin magnetic moment are aligned to produce a
magnetic moment in one direction only.

Formation of two domains with opposite magnetisations

reduces the external field

Domain wall: the boundary between two adjacent

magnetic domains (or Bloch wall).

Energy can be further reduced by closing the ends with

sideway domains.
The end domains are called closure domains.

A single crystal of iron does not necessarily posses a net

permanent magnetisation in the absence of an applied
field. This is due to the formation of magnetic domains
that effectively cancel each other.
When a magnetic field is applied to a crystal, magnetic
dipole moments experience a torque and are gradually
rotated by the applied field.
Domain A enlarges and domain B shrinks.

The effect is the Bloch wall between the domain A

and B migrates towards the right, resulting in a net
This phenomenon is termed as motion of domain
wall. The magnetisation process involves the
motion of Bloch wall in the crystal.

Polycrystalline Materials
The majority of the magnetic materials used in
engineering are polycrystalline. They have a
microstructure that consists of many grains of
various sizes and orientations.

In an unmagnetised polycrystalline sample, each

crystal grain will possess domains. The domain
structure in each grain will depend on the size and
shape of the grain and to some extent, on the
magnetisations in neighbouring grains.
Very small grains << 0.1 m may have a single
Majority of grains have several domains.
Overall, the structure will possess no net

B-H curve (Hysteresis)

B = 0 r H
Using Circuital law

Flux density is given by



B depends not only on H but also on the magnetic

history of the iron.
Shape is symmetrical about its axes,
B is not single valued function of H,
B tends to lag behind H.
This behaviour is known as hysteresis
When H=0, B=Br called the remanence of the iron.
When B=0, H=Hc, called the coercivity.

The relative permeability of the iron

B = 0 r H

r =
0 H


The relative permeability of

the iron is dependent of H

Microstructure processes of hysterisis

Assume applying a very small external magnetic
field (0H) along +x direction.
the domain walls within various grains begin
to move small distances a very small net
magnetisation along the field.
Increase the H the domain wall motions extend
larger distances a larger net magnetisation.
The second step is irreversible! Why?

The walls encounter various obstacles such as crystal

imperfections, impurities, second phases and so on, which
tend to attract the walls hinder their motions.
Take an imperfection as an example: A domain is stuck
(or pinned) at an imperfection at a given field and cant
move until the field intensity increases sufficiently to
provide the necessary force to overcome the obstacle.
Wall suddenly snaps free and shoots forward to the next
Sudden changes in lattice distortion creates lattice wave
and it also induce eddy current, dissipating energy via
joule heating.
These processes involve energy conversion to heat and
acoustic wave, which are irreversible.

As the field further increases, magnetisation

continues to increase in the same format, leading
to enlarge domains favourably oriented
magnetisation and shrink away those with
magnetisation pointing away from the applied
Eventually, domain wall motions leave each
crystal grain with a single domain and
magnetisation in one of the easy directions.
If the applied field is strong enough to align M
along H, the material reaches saturation

If the H is gradually decreased to zero, the

magnetisation in each domain will rotate to align
parallel with nearest easy direction in that grain.
If we apply a magnetising field in the reverse
direction, -x, the magnetisation of the material,
still along +x, will decrease and eventually, at a
sufficient large H, M will be zero the material
has been totally demagnetised.
Further increase in the H will lead to the above
processes but in opposite direction.
The above description is schematically shown in
next overhead.

Power absorbed at t
P = e12i = NA
i = AlH

Energy absorbed in time dt

dW = AlH
dt = AlHdB

Total energy absorbed per unit volume


W = HdB

Energy stored, energy returned & energy density

i = current at time t
H = field intensity corresponding to i at time t
B = flux density corresponding to i at time t
Let an infinitely small time dt elapses so that new values become:
i + di =Current at time t + dt
H + dH =Field intensity corresponding to i + di at time t +
B + dB = Flux density corresponding to i + di at time t + dt
Voltage induced in the coil

e12 = N
= NA

What happens when the current is brought back to zero?

The material is left magnetized with a residual field OT
Now the question is when the exciting current is decreasing, does
the coil absorb or return the energy back to supply.
In this case dB/dt being ve, the induced voltage reverses its
polarity but direction of i remains same. In other words, current
leaves from the +ve terminal of the induced voltage thereby
returning power back to the supply.
Proceeding in the same fashion as adopted for
increasing current, it can be shown that the area
PMTRP represents amount of energy returned
per unit volume. Obviously energy absorbed
during rising current from 0 to I0 is more than
the energy returned during lowering of current
from I0 to 0.

The balance of the energy must have

been lost as heat in the core.

Hysteresis loop with alternating exciting current

How is the operating point traced out if the exciting current is i =
Imax sin t ?
The nature of the current variation in a complete cycle can be
enumerated as follows:

Let the core had no residual field when the coil is excited by i = Imax sin t
In the interval 0<t</2, B will rise along the path OGP. Operating point at P
corresponds to +Imax or +Hmax.
For the interval /2<t<, operating moves along the path PRT.
At point T, current is zero. However, due to sinusoidal
current, i starts increasing in the ve direction and operating
point moves along TSEQ.
It may be noted that a ve H of value OS is necessary to
bring the residual field to zero at S. OS is called the
coercivity of the material. At the end of the interval
<t<3/2, current reaches Imax or field Hmax.
In the next internal, 3/2<t<2, current changes from
Imax to zero and operating point moves from Q to M along
the path QFM.
After this a new cycle of current variation begins and the
operating point now never enters into the path OGP. The
movement of the operating point can be described by two
paths namely: (i) QFMNKP for increasing current from
Imax to +Imax and (ii) from +Imax to Imax along PRTSEQ.

Hysteresis loss & loop area

The operating point traces the perimeter of the closed area QFMNKPRTSEQ.
This area is called the B-H loop of the material.
In the interval 0 t/2 i is +ve and di/dt is
also +ve, moving the operating point from M
to P along the path MNKP. Energy absorbed
during this interval is given by the shaded area
In the interval /2t,i is +ve but di/dt is
ve, moving the operating point from P to T
along the path PRT. Energy returned during
this interval is given by the shaded area
PLTRP (ii). Thus during the +ve half cycle of
current variation net amount of energy
absorbed is given by the shaded area
MNKPRTM which is nothing but half the area
of the loop (iii).
Using similar analysis, one can conclude that
the total area enclosed by the B-H loop is the
measure of the hysteresis loss per unit volume
per cycle.

Hard and soft magnetic materials

Magnetic materials are often divided into hard &
soft for their applications.
Soft magnetic materials are characterised by having
narrow hysteresis loops, low remanence and small
They are easily magnetised and demagnitised, are
used as conductors of flux in magnetic circuits and
magnetic screen

Hard magnetic materials have broad hysteresis loops, high

remanence and high coercive forces.
Such materials are difficult to demagnetise. They are used
for making permanent magnets.
The differences between the two classes can be shown in
hysteresis loops.