Plasticity-induced magnetisation losses in electric steel

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The key research questions in this project are:

  • To identify mechanisms of magnetisation losses in soft-magnetic materials.
  • To develop a mechanism-based materials design approach to increase conversion efficiency.
  • To develop and implement a molecular dynamics simulation that combines the atomic-scale structural imperfections and magnetisation dynamics.

The details

The efficiency of the electric transformers and motors relies on reducing energy losses during the underlying magnetisation process in soft-magnetic materials (e.g. electric steel). Manufacturing electric steels requires cutting metallic sheets, which causes microscopic imperfections and increases energy conversion losses during magnetisation. At the nanometre scales, the interaction of the different structural and magnetic defects causes enhanced energy losses.

Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations are used to elucidate the fundamental mechanisms of these imperfections interacting with the dynamics of magnetic spins. The predictions are validated with simulation-inspired experiments testing emerging anisotropic responses of plastic deformation and magnetisation dynamics. This project aims to identify the mechanisms of energy conversion losses to develop a mechanism-based materials design approach to eventually increase the conversion efficiency of electric steel.

Graduate researcher profile: Tianyi Zhang


I completed my bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering at Nanjing Tech University in 2017, followed by the Master of Engineering (Mechanical) at the University of Melbourne in 2020. I did some projects about material simulation during my study at UoM. Implementing a material design (especially the atomic simulation) is exciting, and there are many things to do in this field.

I decided to do a research degree that can offer me a chance to explore this fantastic material simulation field. I browsed this joint PhD project and felt it was an excellent opportunity for my following research study. I will work on the simulation of the magnetic domain boundary interacting with the dislocations in steels.

Supervision team

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