Silicon Steels

The magnetic characteristics of silicon steels, which are ferritic alloys of silicon and iron, make them suitable for use in motors and transformers. The silicon additions enhance electrical resistance and soften the magnetic field.

When the silicon additions exceed roughly 2 weight percent, they also have the unfavorable impact of lowering the Curie temperature, lowering the saturation magnetization, and weakening the alloy.

Producing silicon steels with more than roughly 3 weight percent silicon is challenging due to the silicon’s embrittling effects.

Both highly textured, grain-oriented alloys and non-grain-oriented alloys are used to make silicon steels. To align the magnetic axis, grain orientation is used.