2011 Volume 51 Issue 2 Pages 284-290
A novel method has been discovered for controlling the crystallographic orientation of body-centred cubic crystals of iron. The process allows the cube faces of the crystals to align with the major surface of the polycrystalline sample in sheet form. Such a texture is advantageous in terms of its magnetic properties and has been a long-standing goal for research on electrical steels. The mechanism controlling the favourable orientation obtained is associated with the fact that the cube faces are elastically compliant so that the texture can develop in a manner consistent with minimization of strain energy. For the same reason, the presence of surface oxide which modifies the elastic modulus of metal surface stifles the development of the correct texture. The new process is demonstrated to lead to a dramatic increase in the magnetic flux density and a reduction in iron losses. It also involves a remarkably shorter processing time than conventional texture control in electrical steels.