Electrical steel (silicon steel / Magnetic Steel) plays a vital role in the generation, transmission, distribution and use of electrical power and is one of the most important magnetic materials produced today.
Grain-Oriented Electrical Steels are iron-based alloys containing silicon as the major alloying addition. These steels are used generally in applications such as power transformers where electrical conductivity and magnetic properties are important. Grain-oriented electrical steel is a very low carbon, (approximately 3% silicon-iron alloy in the fully processed condition), characterized for its enhanced magnetic properties in a flat-rolled product.
This grain-oriented electrical steel is carefully processed to develop optimum magnetic properties of core loss and permeability in the coil rolling direction. The natural surface of grain-oriented steel is a glass-like film (AISI C-2) that imparts electrical resistance or insulation between transformer laminations or wound core laps. Other coatings are also available from the mill to enhance insulation. Unlike stainless steels, grain-oriented electrical steel products are tested and sold on the basis of their magnetic and electrical properties. Products are offered in sheet and strip forms specific to product grade.
Non grain-oriented fully processed steel is iron-silicon alloys with varying silicon contents and have similar magnetic properties in all directions in the plan of the sheet. They are principally used for motors, generators, alternators, ballasts, small transformers and a variety of other electro-magnetic applications.