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A multi-scale analysis of the structural and magnetic properties of oxide coatings for iron powders used in electromagnetic applications


Powder metal materials have the potential to replace traditional lamination steels used in induction cores, offering improved shape-making capability and generating less waste. To produce these powders commercially, they must first be coated with an electrically-resistive, magnetically-permeable material that is stable to high annealing temperatures and can withstand large compaction stresses. We have studied the interface between iron and prospective coatings in thin film form. After depositing iron onto substrates made from these coatings, we characterized the resulting composites using transmission electron microscopy and polarized neutron reflectometry. Our results provide an insight into the complex structural and magnetic properties of oxide-coated powders that may aid their eventual commercialization. In addition, we have explored preparation techniques that will expedite and improve future characterization of magnetic interfaces.