(19)
(11)EP 3 643 797 A1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT APPLICATION

(43)Date of publication:
29.04.2020 Bulletin 2020/18

(21)Application number: 19205176.1

(22)Date of filing:  24.10.2019
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
C21D 1/74(2006.01)
C21D 8/12(2006.01)
C22C 38/16(2006.01)
C22C 38/06(2006.01)
C22C 38/60(2006.01)
C21D 1/76(2006.01)
C22C 38/02(2006.01)
C22C 38/32(2006.01)
C22C 38/12(2006.01)
(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR
Designated Extension States:
BA ME
Designated Validation States:
KH MA MD TN

(30)Priority: 25.10.2018 KR 20180128495

(71)Applicant: LG Electronics Inc.
Seoul 07336 (KR)

(72)Inventors:
  • KANG, Dongwon
    08592 Seoul (KR)
  • KIM, Joungwook
    08592 Seoul (KR)
  • KIM, Jin Bae
    08592 Seoul (KR)

(74)Representative: Vossius & Partner Patentanwälte Rechtsanwälte mbB 
Siebertstrasse 3
81675 München
81675 München (DE)

  


(54)FE-BASED SOFT MAGNETIC ALLOY AND METHOD FOR MANUFACTURING THE SAME


(57) The present disclosure relates to an iron (Fe)-based amorphous soft magnetic alloy and a method for manufacturing the soft magnetic alloy. According to the present disclosure, there is provided an Fe-based soft magnetic alloy comprising C and S meeting 1≤a+b≤6, wherein a is an atomic % content of C and b is an atomic % content of S, B meeting 4.5≤x≤13.0, wherein x is an atomic % content of B, Cu meeting 0.2≤y≤1.5, wherein y is an atomic % content of Cu, Al meeting 0.5≤z≤2, wherein z is an atomic % content of Al, and a remaining atomic % content of Fe and other inevitable impurities, wherein the Fe-based soft magnetic alloy includes a micro-structure, and wherein the micro-structure includes a crystalline phase with a mean crystalline grain size ranging from 15nm to 50nm in an amorphous base. Thus, the present disclosure may provide an Fe-based amorphous soft magnetic alloy with a micro-structure and a composition in which saturation magnetic flux density may be enhanced and iron loss may be reduced.




Description

BACKGROUND


1. Field of the Invention



[0001] The present disclosure relates to an iron (Fe)-based amorphous soft magnetic alloy and a method for manufacturing the soft magnetic alloy.

2. Description of Related Art



[0002] Soft magnetic materials are used in various transformers, choke coils, motors, electric generators, magnetic switches, or sensors. Examples of soft magnetic materials widely in use include electric steel plates, permalloy, ferrite, or amorphous alloy.

[0003] Among such conventional soft magnetic materials, electric steel plates are economical and advantageously exhibit high magnetic flux density but suffer from significant iron loss in high-frequency bands due to hysteresis and eddy currents. Electric steel plates exhibit high hysteresis and eddy currents as compared with amorphous alloy and, particularly, high iron loss even in low-frequency bands including commercial frequencies.

[0004] Meanwhile, Co-based amorphous alloy has low saturation magnetic flux density and poor thermal stability, requiring bulky parts or causing aging issues in high-power industry sectors.

[0005] In particular, for soft magnetic materials to be adopted in magnetic cores for motors, high magnetic flux density and low magnetic loss in a material point of view and easier processability in light of processing need to be met.

[0006] Attempts are being made to adopt iron (Fe)-based amorphous materials for enhanced magnetic properties.

[0007] However, conventional Fe-based amorphous materials are low in magnetic flux density and expose their limits in enhancing properties. Furthermore, while slim materials are required to reduce loss due to eddy currents, conventional Fe-based amorphous alloy used as soft magnetic materials is not a proper candidate due to its tricky process for forming the same in thin ribbon shapes.

[0008] Korean Patent No. 10-1783553 is believed to be relevant to the present disclosure.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION



[0009] The present disclosure aims to provide a Fe-based amorphous soft magnetic material that has enhanced saturation magnetic flux density, reduced iron loss, and a new composition and micro-structure by controlling its components and micro-structure.

[0010] Another object of the present disclosure is to provide an Fe-based amorphous soft magnetic material with a new composition and micro-structure which allows for better processability via slimming. The invention is specified by the independent claims. Preferred embodiments are defined in the dependent claims.

[0011] Accordingly, the present invention relates to an iron (Fe)-based soft magnetic alloy, comprising a sum of carbon (C) and sulfur (S): 1 to 6 atomic %; boron (B): 4.5 to 13.0 atomic %, wherein B is optionally at least partially replaced by silicon (Si) and/or phosphorus (P); copper (Cu): 0.2 to 1.5 atomic %, wherein Cu is optionally at least partially replaced by one or more of niobium (Nb), vanadium (V), and tantalum (Ta); aluminum (Al): 0.5 to 2 atomic %; and a balance of Fe and unavoidable impurities, wherein the Fe-based soft magnetic alloy includes a micro-structure, and wherein the micro-structure includes a crystalline phase with an average grain size ranging from 15nm to 50nm in an amorphous base.

[0012] Furthermore, the present invention relates to a method for manufacturing an Fe-based soft magnetic alloy, the method comprising: melting an Fe-based mother alloy including a sum of carbon (C) and sulfur (S): 1 to 6 atomic %; boron (B): 4.5 to 13.0 atomic %, wherein B is optionally at least partially replaced by silicon (Si) and/or phosphorus (P); copper (Cu): 0.2 to 1.5 atomic %, wherein Cu is optionally at least partially replaced by one or more of niobium (Nb), vanadium (V), and tantalum (Ta); aluminum (Al): 0.5 to 2 atomic %; and a balance of Fe and unavoidable impurities; forming an amorphous micro-structure by quenching the melted mother alloy; and forming a crystalline phase by performing thermal treatment on the amorphous micro-structure.

[0013] It is to be understood that the expression "boron (B): 4.5 to 13.0 atomic %, wherein B is optionally at least partially replaced by silicon (Si) and/or phosphorus (P)" indicates that the "sum of the contents of B, Si and P is 4.5 to 13.0 atomic %". In other words, it is preferred that at least B is present, but it does not necessarily have to be present in the specified amount of at least 4.5 atomic %, provided that at least the sum of the contents of B, Si and P adds up to at least 4.5 atomic %. Meanwhile it is to be understood that the sum of the amounts of B, Si and P does not add up to more than 13.0 atomic %.

[0014] Similarly, it is to be understood that the expression "copper (Cu): 0.2 to 1.5 atomic %, wherein Cu is optionally at least partially replaced by one or more of niobium (Nb), vanadium (V), and tantalum (Ta)" indicates that the "sum of the contents of Cu, Nb, V and Ta is 0.2 to 1.5 atomic %". In other words, it is preferred that at least Cu is present, but it does not necessarily have to be present in the specified amount of at least 0.2 atomic %, provided that at least the sum of the contents of Cu, Nb, V and Ta adds up to at least 0.2 atomic %. Meanwhile it is to be understood that the sum of the amounts of Cu, Nb, V and Ta does not add up to more than 1.5 atomic %.

[0015] Furthermore, expressions such as "proportion of Si replacing B is 30% or less of the entire content of B specified in claim 1" indicates that not more than 30% of the content of B specified in claim 1 is replaced by Si. In other words, the content of B specified in claim 1 being 4.5 to 13.0 atomic %, not more than 30% of this content is Si instead of B. As an example, if the content of B+Si is 10 atomic %, the content of Si not more than 0.3 × 10 atomic %, i.e not more than 3 atomic %.

[0016] It is to be understood that the term "optionally at least partially replaced" includes (a) no replacement, (b) a partial replacement, and (c) a complete replacement. Preferably the term "optionally at least partially replaced" means "optionally partially replaced", thus including (a) no replacement and (b) a partial replacement. Partial replacement preferably refers to a replacement of more than 0% and less than 100%, preferably 0.1% to 99.9% of the specified amount, even more preferably 1% to 99% of the specified amount.

[0017] Preferably, there is provided an Fe-based soft magnetic alloy comprising C and S meeting 1≤a+b≤6, wherein a is an atomic % content of C and b is an atomic % content of S, B meeting 4.5≤x≤13.0, wherein x is an atomic % content of B, Cu meeting 0.2≤y≤1.5, wherein y is an atomic % content of Cu, Al meeting 0.5≤z≤2, wherein z is an atomic % content of Al, and a remaining atomic % content of Fe and other inevitable impurities, wherein the Fe-based soft magnetic alloy includes a micro-structure, and wherein the micro-structure includes a crystalline phase with a mean crystalline grain size ranging from 15nm to 50nm in an amorphous base so as to provide an Fe-based amorphous soft magnetic alloy with a micro-structure and a composition in which saturation magnetic flux density may be enhanced and iron loss may be reduced.

[0018] Preferably, a ratio of a to b may be (0.9 to 0.7):(0.1 to 0.3), and saturation magnetic flux density may be 1.71T or more.

[0019] A coercive force of the alloy may be 2.25 Oe or less. It is understood by the skilled person that the cgs-unit "oersted" (Oe) can be converted into the respective SI-unit "A/m" by applying the conversion factor of 1000/4*pi. In other words, it is known to the skilled person that 1 Oe = 1000/4*pi A/m.

[0020] Preferably, the alloy may further include at least one of niobium (Nb), vanadium (V), and tantalum (Ta) which may substitute Cu. A proportion of Nb, V, or Ta substituting Cu may be 30 % or less of the entire content of Cu.

[0021] Preferably, the alloy may further include silicon (Si) and/or phosphorus (P) which may substitute B. A proportion of Si or P substituting B may be 10 % or less of the entire content of B.

[0022] According to an embodiment of the present disclosure, there may be provided a method for manufacturing an Fe-based soft magnetic alloy comprising melting an Fe-based mother alloy including C and S meeting 1≤a+b≤6, wherein a is an atomic % content of C and b is an atomic % content of S, B meeting 4.5≤x≤13.0, wherein x is an atomic % content of B, Cu meeting 0.2≤y≤1.5, wherein y is an atomic % content of Cu, Al meeting 0.5≤z≤2, wherein z is an atomic % content of Al, and a remaining atomic % content of Fe and other inevitable impurities, forming an amorphous micro-structure by quenching the melted mother alloy, and forming a crystalline phase by performing thermal treatment on the amorphous micro-structure, so as to manufacture an Fe-based amorphous soft magnetic alloy with a new composition and micro-structure by which material slimmability may be enhanced.

[0023] Preferably, among the components of the mother alloy, S is added as a precursor of a compound of one or more of Al2S3, Cu2S, and FeS.

[0024] Preferably, the melting may use arc re-melting or induction melting.

[0025] Preferably, forming the amorphous micro-structure may use melt-spinning at a spinning speed ranging from 50m/s to 70m/s.

[0026] In this case, the alloy produced by the melt-spinning may have a thickness ranging from 0.025mm to 0.030mm.

[0027] Preferably, forming the crystalline phase may maintain the amorphous micro-structure in an argon (Ar)-pressurized atmosphere ranging from an atmospheric pressure to 0.3 MPa for 30 minutes to 60 minutes.

[0028] According to the present disclosure, the Fe-based soft magnetic alloy is allowed higher saturation magnetic flux density and lower coercive force by controlling the composition and micro-structure of the alloy. Thus, the Fe-based soft magnetic alloy of the present disclosure contributes to making electronic devices compact while securing high inductance.

[0029] A micro-structure with nano-sized crystalline phases may be formed in the amorphous base by controlling the manufacturing method and the composition of the alloy, thereby reducing eddy currents and hence iron loss.

[0030] Further, material processability may be secured via slimming into ribbon shapes by controlling the composition and manufacturing method of the alloy.

[0031] The Fe-based soft magnetic alloy of the present disclosure may prevent iron loss due to eddy currents in motors or other electronic devices.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS



[0032] A more complete appreciation of the present disclosure and many of the attendant aspects thereof will be readily obtained as the same becomes better understood by reference to the following detailed description when considered in connection with the accompanying drawings, wherein:

Fig. 1 is a flow diagram schematically illustrating a method for manufacturing Fe-based amorphous soft magnetic alloy according to the present disclosure;

Fig. 2 is a view illustrating a ribbon shape of Fe-based amorphous soft magnetic alloy amorphized by melt-spinning after a mother alloy is prepared by arc-melting, according to the present disclosure;

Fig. 3 is a view illustrating the result of analysis obtained by amorphizing amorphous soft magnetic alloy with a composition by melt-spinning and then energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (EDS)-mapping major components, according to an embodiment of the present disclosure;

Fig. 4 is a chart illustrating the result of X-ray diffraction(XRD) analysis after amorphizing amorphous soft magnetic alloy with a composition by melt-spinning, according to an embodiment of the present disclosure;

Fig. 5 is a chart illustrating the result of measurement by a vibrating sample magnetometer (VSM) after performing subsequent thermal treatment on Fe-based amorphous soft magnetic alloy with a composition according to an embodiment of the present disclosure;

Fig. 6 is a chart illustrating the result of XRD analysis after amorphizing and then thermally treating amorphous soft magnetic alloy with a composition according to an embodiment of the present disclosure; and

Fig. 7 is a photo obtained by observing the micro-structure via transmission electron microscopy (TEM) after amorphizing and then thermally treating amorphous soft magnetic alloy with a composition according to an embodiment of the present disclosure.


DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EXEMPLARY EMBODIMENTS



[0033] Hereinafter, a soft magnetic alloy and a method for manufacturing the same, according to embodiments of the present disclosure, are described in detail with reference to the accompanying drawings.

[0034] However, the present disclosure is not limited to the embodiments disclosed herein, and various changes may be made thereto. The embodiments disclosed herein are provided only to inform one of ordinary skilled in the art of the category of the present disclosure. The present disclosure is defined only by the appended claims.

[0035] For clarity of the disclosure, irrelevant parts are removed from the drawings, and similar reference denotations are used to refer to similar elements throughout the specification. Hereinafter, embodiments of the present disclosure are described in detail with reference to the accompanying drawings. The same or substantially the same reference denotations are used to refer to the same or substantially the same elements throughout the specification and the drawings. When determined to make the subject matter of the present disclosure unclear, the detailed of the known art or functions may be skipped.

[0036] Such denotations as "first," "second," "A," "B," "(a)," and "(b)," may be used in describing the components of the present disclosure. These denotations are provided merely to distinguish a component from another, and the essence of the components is not limited by the denotations in light of order or sequence. When a component is described as "connected," "coupled," or "linked" to another component, the component may be directly connected or linked to the other component, but it should also be appreciated that other components may be "connected," "coupled," or "linked" between the components.

[0037] For illustration purposes, each components may be divided into sub-components. However, the components may be implemented in the same device or module, or each component may be separately implemented in a plurality of devices or modules.

Fe-based amorphous soft magnetic alloy



[0038] According to the present disclosure, the Fe-based amorphous soft magnetic alloy is expressed as Fe100-a-b-x-y-zCaSbBxCuyAlz. According to the present disclosure, the Fe-based amorphous soft magnetic alloy preferably includes Fe as the base and, essentially, C, S, B, Cu, and Al.

Iron (Fe)



[0039] Fe is the element that mostly occupies the amorphous soft magnetic alloy. When Fe meets Fe100-a-b-x-y-zCaSbBxCuyAlz atomic %, the Fe-based amorphous soft magnetic alloy of the present disclosure may have high saturation magnetic flux density and superior processability. Preferably, when Fe meets 78 atomic % to 86 atomic %, the Fe-based amorphous soft magnetic alloy of the present disclosure may secure both superior magnetic flux density and processability. If the content of Fe is smaller than 78 atomic %, the saturation magnetic flux density feature of the alloy may be deteriorated. In contrast, if the content of Fe is higher than 86 atomic %, the alloy may be hardly allowed an amorphous micro-structure even with melt-spinning and its processability may be deteriorated.

Carbon (C)



[0040] Typically, C is a strong austenite stabilizing element in the Fe alloy system and is a cheap alloy element that aids in cost savings. In the Fe-based amorphous soft magnetic alloy of the present disclosure, C contributes to formation of an amorphous micro-structure. Although C does not play a significant role in amorphization of Fe-based amorphous soft magnetic alloy of the present disclosure as compared with S, it is still an essential element in amorphization. As predictable from the Fe-C phase diagram, addition of C may reduce the liquidus line temperature of the Fe-based amorphous soft magnetic alloy of the present disclosure, expanding the stable temperature scope where the liquid phase is stable and hence raising the amorphization of the alloy.

[0041] However, when the mother alloy is melted, part of C as compared with the added content of C is volatilized, so that composition deviation may occur. Thus, the content of C actually added to the mother alloy may preferably add 20% more as compared with the content of C contained in the final Fe-based amorphous soft magnetic alloy. By so doing, in the content of C in the final Fe-based amorphous soft magnetic alloy, the actual and nominal compositions may be rendered substantially identical to each other.

Sulfur (S)



[0042] S enhances the saturation magnetic flux density of the Fe-based amorphous soft magnetic alloy and contributes to the growth of the crystalline phases precipitated in the amorphous base when subsequent thermal treatment is performed. In particular, the size of nano-sized crystal precipitated in the amorphous base of the Fe-based amorphous soft magnetic alloy may be adjusted depending on the content of S added. S may also enhance processability required to form the Fe-based amorphous soft magnetic alloy into a final product. However, if S is excessively contained in the Fe-based amorphous soft magnetic alloy, it may prompt crystallization when the mother alloy of the Fe-based amorphous soft magnetic alloy is melted, obstructing formation of an amorphous base in the mother alloy.

[0043] Meanwhile, according to the present disclosure, the amount of S added in the Fe-based amorphous soft magnetic alloy is determined considering the amount of C added, in light that S substitutes C and dissolves in Fe. Specifically, the sum of the content b of S and the content a of C for the Fe-based amorphous soft magnetic alloy of the present disclosure is preferably 1 atomic % to 6 atomic %. If the content a+b is smaller than 1 atomic %, the amorphization of the Fe-based amorphous soft magnetic alloy may be deteriorated, rendering it difficult to form an amorphous micro-structure. On the contrary, if the content a+b is larger than 6 atomic %, the mechanical brittleness of the Fe-based amorphous soft magnetic alloy increases due to excessive addition of the interstitial element, resulting in poor processability.

[0044] Further, the proportion of S which substitutes C in the Fe-based amorphous soft magnetic alloy of the present disclosure is preferably 30% or less of the overall content of C. If the proportion of S replacing C exceeds 30% of the entire content of C, excessive addition of S may lower the amorphization of the base of the Fe-based amorphous soft magnetic alloy and, resultantly, turns the bae of the soft magnetic alloy into a crystalline phase, probably causing iron loss due to hysteresis loss.

Boron (B)



[0045] B is an element essential in enhancing the amorphization and saturation magnetic flux density property of the Fe-based amorphous soft magnetic alloy of the present disclosure.

[0046] The content x of B in the Fe-based amorphous soft magnetic alloy of the present disclosure is preferably 4.5 atomic % to 13.0 atomic %. If the content x is smaller than 4.5 atomic %, the amorphization of the Fe-based amorphous soft magnetic alloy may be deteriorated, rendering it difficult to form an amorphous micro-structure and to secure soft magnetic property even after thermal treatment. In contrast, if the content x is larger than 13.0 atomic %, the saturation magnetic flux density of the Fe-based amorphous soft magnetic alloy of the present disclosure may be lowered. Further, if the content x is larger than 13.0 atomic %, the nano crystalline phase may not uniformly grow due to formation of B-rich phase when nano crystals grow in the amorphous base.

Copper (Cu)



[0047] Cu is an inevitable element in nano crystalline growth and, absent Cu, a nano crystalline phase may be hard to form in the amorphous base of the Fe-based amorphous soft magnetic alloy of the present disclosure.

[0048] The content y of Cu in the Fe-based amorphous soft magnetic alloy of the present disclosure is preferably 0.2 atomic % to 1.5 atomic %. If the content y is smaller than 0.2 atomic %, nano crystallization in the amorphous base of the alloy of the present disclosure may be rendered difficult. In contrast, if the content y is larger than 1.5 atomic %, it is difficult to obtain a desired size of nano crystals due to coarsened nano crystals and, further, the soft magnetic property may easily deteriorate.

Aluminum (Al)



[0049] Al is an essential element that advantageously advances the amorphization of the Fe-based amorphous soft magnetic alloy of the present disclosure. However, the amorphization of Al is relatively low as compared with other elements, such as B.

[0050] The content z of Al in the Fe-based amorphous soft magnetic alloy of the present disclosure is preferably 0.5 atomic % to 2.0 atomic %. If the content z is smaller than 0.5 atomic %, the amorphization of the alloy of the present disclosure is significantly lowered. In contrast, if the content z is larger than 2.0 atomic %, it may be combined with other components in the Fe-based amorphous soft magnetic alloy of the present disclosure, resultantly increasing the likelihood of crystallization.

Other elements



[0051] The Fe-based amorphous soft magnetic alloy of the present disclosure may include other components than those described above, as necessary.

[0052] Among the group 5 transition metals, Nb, V, and Ta may be included in the Fe-based amorphous soft magnetic alloy of the present disclosure. The transition metals may partly substitute Cu and perform some of the functions of Cu which forms nano crystalline grains in the amorphous base.

[0053] However, the content of the transition metals should not exceed 20% of the whole content y of Cu added. If the content of the transition metals exceeds 20% of the entire content of Cu, the transition metals may react with other elements, e.g., C and S, contained in the Fe-based amorphous soft magnetic alloy of the present disclosure in addition to forming nano crystalline grains and may be highly likely to form a carbide or sulfide.

[0054] Further, the Fe-based amorphous soft magnetic alloy of the present disclosure may add Si and P. Si and P are added to enhance amorphization and saturation magnetic flux density and they partially substitute B.

[0055] In this case, the proportion of Si substituting B is preferably 30% or less of the entire amount of B added, and the proportion of P substituting B is preferably 10% or more of the entire amount of B added. If the proportions of Si and P substituting B depart from the values, the amorphization of the Fe-based amorphous soft magnetic alloy of the present disclosure may be deteriorated.

Method of manufacturing Fe-based amorphous soft magnetic alloy



[0056] Fig. 1 is a flow diagram schematically illustrating a method for manufacturing Fe-based amorphous soft magnetic alloy according to the present disclosure.

[0057] Referring to Fig. 1, a method for manufacturing an alloy according to the present disclosure includes the steps of melting an Fe-based mother alloy including C, S, B, Cu, and Al, Fe, and other inevitable impurities, wherein the atomic % content a of C and the atomic % content b of S meet: 1≤a+b≤6, the atomic % content x of B meets: 4.5≤x≤13.0, and the atomic % content y of Cu meets: 0.2≤y≤1.5, the atomic % content z of Al meets: 0.5≤z≤2, quenching the melted mother alloy to form an amorphous micro-structure, and thermally treating the amorphous micro-structure to form a nano crystalline phase.

[0058] First, the step of melting the mother alloy of the present disclosure needs to uniformly melt all the components of the Fe-based amorphous soft magnetic alloy. However, S contained in the alloy of the present disclosure is highly volatile so it is not readily melted in the final mother alloy. The volatility of S may prevent the alloy from achieving its targeted composition range.

[0059] To melt (or dissolve) S in the mother alloy of the present disclosure, the manufacturing method of the present disclosure uses powdered or grained S or one or more compounds of Al2S3, Cu2S, and FeS as a precursor of S.

[0060] To uniformly and completely melt S, the manufacturing method of the present disclosure adopts arc re-melting or induction melting that may produce the mother alloy in the Ar gas pressurized atmosphere.

[0061] Next, the alloy manufacturing method of the present disclosure may include forming an amorphous micro-structure by quenching the melted mother alloy.

[0062] Although melt-spinning is used to form an amorphous micro-structure in the manufacturing method according to an embodiment, the amorphization of the present disclosure is not necessarily limited to melt-spinning. For example, as non-limiting examples, metal solidification or mechanical alloying may also be adopted in the amorphization step of the present disclosure.

[0063] However, melt-spinning enables formation of thin ribbon shapes as the final product. To minimize iron loss due to eddy currents, which is an issue arising for soft magnetic metals, the product should be thin. Thus, melt-spinning is very appropriate for manufacturing thin amorphous alloy as compared with other processes and advantageously work to enhance the magnetic property of the final product.

[0064] The melt-spinning step in the manufacturing method of the present disclosure may manufacture the Fe-based amorphous soft magnetic metal which is 0.025mm to 0.030mm thick in a stable manner by adjusting the spinning speed to 50 m/s to 70 m/s. In other words, the Fe-based amorphous soft magnetic alloy with the composition ranges of the present disclosure may secure stabilized processability under the melt-spinning conditions thanks to its compositional property. If the spinning speed is lower than 50 m/s, the cooling of the melt may slow down, causing it difficult for the final micro-structure to be amorphous. In contrast, if the spinning speed is higher than 70 m/s, the amount of the melt that meets the spinning reduces, resulting in the final, cooled-down amorphous alloy being too thin.

[0065] Fig. 2 is a view illustrating a ribbon shape of Fe-based amorphous soft magnetic alloy amorphized by melt-spinning after a mother alloy is prepared by arc-melting, according to the present disclosure. Table 1 below represents the micro-structure, saturation magnetic flux density, and coercive force depending on composition ranges for embodiments meeting the composition ranges of the Fe-based amorphous soft magnetic alloy of the present disclosure.

[0066] Referring to Fig. 2, the manufacturing method of the present disclosure may be shown to be adequate for producing ribbons with a macroscopically stable and uniform micro-structure. In other words, Fig. 2 proves that the components, composition ranges, and manufacturing method of alloy of the present disclosure are very effective in allowing Fe-based amorphous soft magnetic alloy processability.
Table 1: Characteristics depending on composition ranges of Fe-based amorphous soft magnetic alloy
CompositionFexyzabRemarksBs(T)Hci(Oe)
Comparison Example 1 84 13.5 1 0.5 1 0 amorphous 1.45 0.425
Comparison Example 2 93.5 4 1 0.5 1 0 crystallization - -
Embodiment 1 86 12 1 0 1 0 amorphous 1.55 0.684
Embodiment 2 85.5 12 1 0.5 1 0 amorphous 1.52 0.4746
Embodiment 3 85 12 1 1 1 0 amorphous 1.51 1.11
Embodiment 4 85.5 12 1 0.5 0.9 0.1 amorphous 1.62 0.985
Embodiment 5 85.5 12 1 0.5 0.8 0.2 amorphous 1.62 1.25
Embodiment 6 85.5 12 1 0.5 0.7 0.3 amorphous 1.65 1.35
Embodiment 7 85 12 1 0.5 1.4 0.1 amorphous 1.57 1.1
Embodiment 8 85 12 1 0.5 1.3 0.2 amorphous 1.59 1.22
Embodiment 9 85 12 1 0.5 1.2 0.3 amorphous 1.62 1.57


[0067] As proposed in Table 1, the Fe-based amorphous soft magnetic alloy of the present disclosure exhibits deteriorated amorphization if the content x of B is smaller than 4.5 (Comparison Example 2), and the resultant micro-structures fails to have an amorphous base even via melt-spinning. In contrast, if the content x of B in the Fe-based amorphous soft magnetic alloy of the present disclosure is larger than 13.0, the saturation magnetic flux density is smaller than 1.5T so that its magnetic property may deteriorate.

[0068] On the contrary, the embodiments meeting the composition range in the alloy of the present disclosure are observed to present superior saturation magnetic flux density of 1.5T or more simply via melt-spinning but without subsequent thermal treatment.

[0069] The magnetic properties in embodiments 2 and 3 and other embodiments directly show an influence of S on the saturation magnetic flux density of the Fe-based amorphous soft magnetic alloy of the present disclosure. In other words, if the Fe-based amorphous soft magnetic alloy adds S, the saturation magnetic flux density of the alloy may increase significantly.

[0070] Figs. 3 and 4 illustrate the results of EDS mapping and XRD analysis of embodiment 5 in Table 1 above.

[0071] As the EDS results are shown in Fig. 3, the Fe-based amorphous soft magnetic alloy, after melt-spinning, has a micro-structure in which all of the components are uniformly distributed.

[0072] Fig. 4 shows that the Fe-based amorphous soft magnetic alloy of the present disclosure has diffuse X-ray diffraction peaks. The XRD results of Fig. 4 may directly prove that the Fe-based amorphous soft magnetic alloy with the composition of the present disclosure has an amorphous base.

[0073] Meanwhile, to mitigate iron loss by reducing eddy currents in the amorphous soft magnetic alloy, the manufacturing method of the present disclosure may add subsequent thermal treatment after melt-spinning. The subsequent thermal treatment may be a process for forming a crystalline phase in the amorphous base. In this case, the maintaining temperature of the subsequent thermal treatment preferably has a temperature range which is about 50 °C higher than the crystallization temperature at which the crystalline phase of the Fe-based amorphous soft magnetic alloy of the present disclosure, which has the composition according to each embodiment, is precipitated as measured via DTA analysis. The temperature range is a condition for ensuring complete creation of a crystalline phase in the Fe-based amorphous soft magnetic alloy of the present disclosure during an industrial time. Specific processing conditions may include a heating rate of 15 °C/min, a maintaining temperature from 350 °C to 500 °C, and a maintaining time from 30 minutes to 60 minutes. If the subsequent thermal treatment temperature is lower than 350 °C, crystalline growth does not occur so that the subsequent thermal treatment may not take effect. In contrast, if the subsequent thermal treatment is higher than 500 °C, the crystalline phase may overly coarsen, leading to a sharp rise in coercive force.

[0074] Meanwhile, to prevent S from volatilizing during subsequent thermal treatment, the thermal treatment preferably remains in an Ar-pressurized atmosphere from the atmosphere pressure to 0.3 MPa. If the pressure in the subsequent thermal treatment exceeds 0.3 MPa, uniform growth of nano-sized crystalline grains may be rendered difficult, and thermal treatment may rather deteriorate the magnetic property.

[0075] Fig. 5 is a chart illustrating the result of measurement by a vibrating sample magnetometer (VSM) after performing subsequent thermal treatment on Fe-based amorphous soft magnetic alloy with the composition of embodiment 5 in Table 1. It may be shown that the saturation magnetic flux density of the Fe-based amorphous soft magnetic alloy with the composition of embodiment 5 of the present disclosure is enhanced up to 1.7T by subsequent thermal treatment.

[0076] Table 2 below represents the micro-structure, saturation magnetic flux density, and coercive force depending on composition ranges after performing subsequent thermal treatment on the Fe-based amorphous soft magnetic alloy of the embodiments in Table 1. The embodiments meeting the composition range in the alloy of the present disclosure are observed to present superior saturation magnetic flux density of 1.6T or more after subsequent thermal treatment. In particular, it can be shown that the alloy according to the embodiments where S is added presents a way high saturation magnetic flux density of 1.7T or more as compared with the alloy according to the embodiments where only C is added. It may be verified that the embodiments in which both S and C are added and S substitutes C, although their exact mechanism is not known, produce the effects of enhancing the processability and adjusting the nano crystalline grains in the amorphous substance by S substitution as compared with the conventional art or embodiments where C alone is added.
Table 2: Characteristics depending on composition ranges of Fe-based amorphous soft magnetic alloy after subsequent thermal treatment
Compositionthermal treatment temperature (°C)crystalline grain size (nm)Bs(T)Hci(Oe)
Embodiment 1 380 35 1.65 1.651
Embodiment 2 390 30 1.67 1.451
Embodiment 3 395 30 1.62 1.88
Embodiment 4 390 45 1.74 2.15
Embodiment 5 390 50 1.71 1.99
Embodiment 6 390 50 1.78 2.22
Embodiment 7 390 45 1.75 2.65
Embodiment 8 390 45 1.81 2.45
Embodiment 9 390 45 1.79 2.64


[0077] Figs. 6 and 7 respectively illustrate the result of XRD analysis of embodiment 5 in Table 2 and a TEM photo of the micro-structure.

[0078] The XRD result of Fig. 6 has different properties than those of the XRD result of Fig. 4. In the XRD result, peak typically means that a crystalline phase exists in the micro-structure of a sample under test. From the XRD result of Fig. 6, a plurality of peaks are observed, and the peaks have been inspected to correspond to a ferrite crystalline structure of body-centered cubic lattice (bcc). Resultantly, the XRD result of Fig. 6 directly shows that a crystalline ferrite phase is created in the amorphous base upon performing subsequent thermal treatment on the Fe-based amorphous soft magnetic alloy with the composition of the present disclosure.

[0079] Fig. 7 is a transmission electron microscopy (TEM) photo that shows the micro-structure of the Fe-based amorphous soft magnetic alloy with the composition of the present disclosure, according to embodiment 5. As shown in the TEM photo of Fig. 7, the micro-structure of the Fe-based amorphous soft magnetic alloy includes nano-sized crystalline phases in the amorphous base.

[0080] The size of the crystalline grain in the crystalline phase preferably ranges from 15nm to 50nm. If the size of the crystalline grain in the crystalline phase is smaller than 15nm, eddy currents may increase, significantly increasing iron loss. If the size of the crystalline grain in the crystalline phase is larger than 50nm, coercive force (magnetic coercive force) significantly increases and, thus, increase the brittleness of the steel plate, with the result of poor processability.

[0081] Accordingly, the present invention may be summarized by the following items 1 to 15:
  1. 1. An iron (Fe)-based soft magnetic alloy, comprising:

    carbon (C) and sulfur (S) meeting 1≤a+b≤6, wherein a is an atomic % content of C and b is an atomic % content of S;

    boron (B) meeting 4.5≤x≤13.0, wherein x is an atomic % content of B;

    copper (Cu) meeting 0.2≤y≤1.5, wherein y is an atomic % content of Cu;

    aluminum (Al) meeting 0.5≤z≤2, wherein z is an atomic % content of Al; and

    a remaining atomic % content of Fe and other inevitable impurities, wherein

    the Fe-based soft magnetic alloy includes a micro-structure, and wherein the micro-structure includes a crystalline phase with an average grain size ranging from 15nm to 50nm in an amorphous base.

  2. 2. The Fe-based soft magnetic alloy of item 1, wherein b is 0.3a or less.
  3. 3. The Fe-based soft magnetic alloy of any one of items 1 to 2, wherein a ratio of a to b is (0.9 to 0.7):(0.1 to 0.3), and wherein saturation magnetic flux density is 1.71T or more.
  4. 4. The Fe-based soft magnetic alloy of item 3, wherein a coercive force of the alloy is 2.25 Oe or less.
  5. 5. The Fe-based soft magnetic alloy of any one of items 1 to 4, further comprising at least one of niobium (Nb), vanadium (V), and tantalum (Ta) which may substitute Cu.
  6. 6. The Fe-based soft magnetic alloy of item 5, wherein a proportion of Nb, V, or Ta substituting Cu is 20% or less of the entire content of Cu.
  7. 7. The Fe-based soft magnetic alloy of any one of items 1 to 6, further comprising silicon (Si) and/or phosphorus (P) which may substitute B .
  8. 8. The Fe-based soft magnetic alloy of item 7, wherein a proportion of Si substituting B is 30% or less of the entire content of B.
  9. 9. The Fe-based soft magnetic alloy of item 7, wherein a proportion of P substituting B is 10% or less of the entire content of B.
  10. 10. The Fe-based soft magnetic alloy of any one of items 1 to 9, wherein the average grain size of the crystalline phase ranges from 30nm to 50nm.
  11. 11. A method for manufacturing an Fe-based soft magnetic alloy, the method comprising: melting an Fe-based mother alloy including C and S meeting 1≤a+b≤6, wherein a is an atomic % content of C and b is an atomic % content of S, B meeting 4.5≤x≤13.0, wherein x is an atomic % content of B, Cu meeting 0.2≤y≤1.5, wherein y is an atomic % content of Cu, Al meeting 0.5≤z≤2, wherein z is an atomic % content of Al, and a remaining atomic % content of Fe and other inevitable impurities;
    forming an amorphous micro-structure by quenching the melted mother alloy; and
    forming a crystalline phase by performing thermal treatment on the amorphous micro-structure.
  12. 12. The method of item 11, wherein in the melting, among the components of the mother alloy, S is added as a precursor of a compound of one or more of Al2S3, Cu2S, and FeS.
  13. 13. The method of any one of items 11 to 12, wherein forming the amorphous micro-structure uses melt-spinning at a spinning speed ranging from 50m/s to 70m/s.
  14. 14. The method of item 13, wherein the alloy produced by the melt-spinning has a thickness ranging from 0.025mm to 0.030mm.
  15. 15. The method of any one of items 11 to 14, wherein forming the crystalline phase maintains the amorphous micro-structure in an argon (Ar)-pressurized atmosphere ranging from an atmospheric pressure to 0.3 MPa for 30 minutes to 60 minutes.


[0082] While the present disclosure has been shown and described with reference to exemplary embodiments thereof, it will be apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art that various changes in form and detail may be made thereto without departing from the spirit and scope of the present disclosure as defined by the following claims. Further, although operations and effects according to the configuration of the present disclosure are not explicitly described in the foregoing detailed description of embodiments, it is apparent that any effects predictable by the configuration also belong to the scope of the present disclosure.


Claims

1. An iron (Fe)-based soft magnetic alloy, comprising:

a sum of carbon (C) and sulfur (S): 1 to 6 atomic %;

boron (B): 4.5 to 13.0 atomic %, wherein B is optionally at least partially replaced by silicon (Si) and/or phosphorus (P);

copper (Cu): 0.2 to 1.5 atomic %, wherein Cu is optionally at least partially replaced by one or more of niobium (Nb), vanadium (V), and tantalum (Ta);

aluminum (Al): 0.5 to 2 atomic %; and

a balance of Fe and unavoidable impurities, wherein

the Fe-based soft magnetic alloy includes a micro-structure, and wherein the micro-structure includes a crystalline phase with an average grain size ranging from 15nm to 50nm in an amorphous base.


 
2. The Fe-based soft magnetic alloy of claim 1, wherein b is 0.3a or less.
 
3. The Fe-based soft magnetic alloy of any one of claims 1 to 2, wherein a ratio of a to b is (0.9 to 0.7):(0.1 to 0.3), and wherein saturation magnetic flux density is 1.71T or more.
 
4. The Fe-based soft magnetic alloy of any one of claims 1 to 3, wherein a coercive force of the alloy is 2.25 1000/4π A/m or less.
 
5. The Fe-based soft magnetic alloy of any one of claims 1 to 4, comprising at least one of niobium (Nb), vanadium (V), and tantalum (Ta).
 
6. The Fe-based soft magnetic alloy of claim 5, wherein a proportion of Nb, V, or Ta replacing Cu is 20% or less of the entire content of Cu specified in claim 1.
 
7. The Fe-based soft magnetic alloy of any one of claims 1 to 6, comprising silicon (Si) and/or phosphorus (P).
 
8. The Fe-based soft magnetic alloy of claim 7, wherein a proportion of Si replacing B is 30% or less of the entire content of B specified in claim 1.
 
9. The Fe-based soft magnetic alloy of claim 7, wherein a proportion of P replacing B is 10% or less of the entire content of B specified in claim 1.
 
10. The Fe-based soft magnetic alloy of any one of claims 1 to 9, wherein the average grain size of the crystalline phase ranges from 30nm to 50nm.
 
11. A method for manufacturing an Fe-based soft magnetic alloy, the method comprising:

melting an Fe-based mother alloy including

a sum of carbon (C) and sulfur (S): 1 to 6 atomic %;

boron (B): 4.5 to 13.0 atomic %, wherein B is optionally at least partially replaced by silicon (Si) and/or phosphorus (P);

copper (Cu): 0.2 to 1.5 atomic %, wherein Cu is optionally at least partially replaced by one or more of niobium (Nb), vanadium (V), and tantalum (Ta);

aluminum (Al): 0.5 to 2 atomic %; and

a balance of Fe and unavoidable impurities;

forming an amorphous micro-structure by quenching the melted mother alloy; and

forming a crystalline phase by performing thermal treatment on the amorphous micro-structure.


 
12. The method of claim 11, wherein in the melting, among the components of the mother alloy, S is added as a precursor of a compound of one or more of Al2S3, Cu2S, and FeS.
 
13. The method of any one of claims 11 to 12, wherein forming the amorphous micro-structure uses melt-spinning at a spinning speed ranging from 50m/s to 70m/s.
 
14. The method of claim 13, wherein the alloy produced by the melt-spinning has a thickness ranging from 0.025mm to 0.030mm.
 
15. The method of any one of claims 11 to 14, wherein forming the crystalline phase maintains the amorphous micro-structure in an argon (Ar)-pressurized atmosphere ranging from an atmospheric pressure to 0.3 MPa for 30 minutes to 60 minutes.
 




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Cited references

REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



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Patent documents cited in the description