ASTM A683-16 Specification for Semiprocessed Non-Oriented Electrical Steel

ASTM A683-16 specifies requirements to which flat-rolled, non-oriented semi-processed electrical steel should conform. Electrical steel is a unique steel product that utilizes the ferromagnetic properties of iron. Electrical steel is produced to specified maximum core-loss values and is used for commercial power frequency (50- and 60-Hz) applications in magnetic devices. Desirable core-loss and permeability characteristics are developed through heat treatment by the user.

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    Electrical steel is usually manufactured in cold-rolled strips less than 2 mm thick. These strips are cut to shape to make laminations which are stacked together to form the laminated cores of transformers, and the stator and rotor of electric motors. Laminations may be cut to their finished shape by a punch and die or, in smaller quantities, may be cut by a laser, or by wire EDM.

    Non-grain-oriented electrical steel (NGOES) is mainly used in rotating equipment, for example, electric motors, generators, and over frequency and high-frequency converters. Grain-oriented electrical steel (GOES), on the other hand, is used in static equipment such as transformers.

    Specification for Semiprocessed NonOriented Electrical Steel

    Electrical steel is also referred to as silicon steel, as Si is the main additive element. These nonoriented, semi-processed electrical steels are low carbon, silicon-iron, or silicon-aluminum-iron alloys containing up to about 2.5 % silicon and less than 1 % aluminum as per ASTM A683-16.

    Ordering Information 

    Orders for material should include the following information to describe the desired material adequately:

    1. ASTM specification number.
    2. Core-loss type number.
    3. Surface coating type.
    4. Thickness, width, and length.
    5. Total weight of the ordered item.
    6. Limitations in coil size or lift weights.
    7. End-Use
    8. Special requirements or exceptions

    Materials and Manufacture

    1. Typical Melting and Casting:

    As per ASTM A683-16, this steel can be made by basic-oxygen, electric furnaces, or other steelmaking practices.  

    2. Typical Processing:

    The processing sequence for electrical steel involves hot rolling, pickling, cold rolling, and annealing. An additional annealing operation may precede or follow the pickling operation.

    Magnetic Property Requirements 

    Specific Core Loss: As per ASTM A683-16, each core-loss type of this steel is identified by maximum core-loss limits. 

    Permeability: The permeability at all inductions should be as high as possible and consistent with the required core-loss limits that govern the grade.  

    Specific Exciting Power: The exciting power required for the excitation of a particular type of electrical steel is useful to the user.  

    Surface Insulation Characteristics 

    Electrical steels come with a thin layer of surface oxide, having sufficient insulating ability for most small cores. The insulation of coating Type C-0 can be improved during the heat treatment by employing a slightly oxidizing atmosphere. 

    Applied Coatings 

    According to ASTM A683-16, electrical steels may come with a thin applied coating which has sufficient insulating ability for most small cores. A thicker coating may be applied for higher insulation. One of the reasons for using coating Types C-4–AS and C-5–AS is to reduce surface-to-surface sticking during the user’s heat treatment. 

    Mechanical Requirements 

    1. Lamination Factor:

    The lamination factor is determined using Test Method A719/A719M. It should be as high as possible. 

    2. Ductility: 

    As per ASTM A683-16, the material should be as ductile as possible, consistent with meeting magnetic requirements. 

    Workmanship and Finish 

    Surface Finishes:

    Usually, the surface of steel requires some treatment to reduce sticking during the lamination annealing. 

    Flatness:

    No specific limits for flatness have been established. Flatness depends on the intended application, and therefore the user should inform the producer of any requirements for a degree of flatness.

    Surface Imperfections:

    As per ASTM A683-16, the surface should be clean and free of defects such as holes, blisters, slivers, indentations, and so forth, which would interfere with its effective use. 

    Sampling 

    The producer should assign a number to each test lot for identification. The test lot should not exceed 20,000 lb (9100 kg) in weight. 

    Specimen Preparation

    The Epstein test specimen should consist of one-half of the test strips obtained parallel to rolling and one-half transverse to the rolling direction.

    To ensure conformity with the magnetic requirements of ASTM A683-16 specification, the specimen strips should be given a controlled quality evaluation anneal in a decarburizing atmosphere. 

    Test Methods 

    The required tests for core loss to determine the core-loss grade for ASTM A683-16 should be as per the Test Method A343/ A343M. 

    Certification

    Right after shipment, the producer has to submit to the user a certified report of the average core-loss values or any other required test values, for each test lot, to show that the material conforms to this specification. 

    The test methods and applicable test conditions, including the test density, should be clearly stated. 

    As per ASTM A683-16, the test report must contain lot identification, purchase order number, and other information necessary to identify the test results with the proper shipment and shipping lot. 

    Marking

    Each package of coils should have attached to its outside wrappings, a tag showing the user’s order number, specification number, grade designation, coating or surface type-designation, thickness, width, weight, and test lot number. 

    Each wide coil should have the specification number, grade designation, coating or surface-type designation, thickness, width, weight, and test lot number marked on the outer surface of the coil itself.

    In a lift of narrow coils, each narrow coil in the package should be tagged with the specification number, grade designation, coating or surface-type designation, thickness, width, and test lot number. All this is part of the ASTM A683-16 specification.

    Packaging 

    Methods of packaging, loading, and shipping are done in accordance with the standard A700. 

    Rejection 

    According to ASTM A683-16, every rejection should be reported to the producer. Defective material should be set aside, adequately protected, and correctly identified. The producer should be notified as soon as possible. Rejected samples should be made available to the producer so a mutually agreeable settlement can be reached.

    Conclusion:

    ASTM A683-16 specifies requirements to which flat-rolled, non-oriented semi-processed electrical steel should conform.

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