Soft magnetic materials are key components of electrical circuits for new energy vehicles
(1) Soft magnetic materials are widely used in new energy vehicles
With the popularization of multifunctional applications of automotive electronics, the soft magnetic components supporting automotive electronics are developing in the direction of high frequency, low loss, high temperature resistance, and strong anti-interference. Soft magnetic materials are mainly used as magnetic cores in inductors, transformers, choke coils, and filters, and are used in on-board DC/DC converters, charging piles, OBC on-board chargers, HEV power system power conversion, lighting systems, ECU ( electronic control system), BMS (battery management system), PDU (power distribution unit), reversing radar system, tire pressure detection system, unmanned driving sensing system, body EMI, sensing system and other components, play a role in regulating voltage, filtering, energy storage etc. Inductor principle: Inductive devices can convert electrical energy into magnetic energy and store them. They are generally composed of skeletons, windings, shields, packaging materials, magnetic cores or iron cores, etc., and are wound by wires on the insulating tube. They are insulated from each other, and the insulating tube can be hollow. After inserting the magnetic core in the air-core coil, it can increase the inductance, improve the quality of the coil, and reduce the volume of the coil.
Inductors have the function of passing DC and resisting AC in the circuit. When the DC signal passes through the coil, it will not affect the change of the magnetic force line, and the resistance is the resistance of the wire itself; when the AC signal passes through the coil, the changing magnetic force line will generate an induced potential at both ends of the coil, and the direction is opposite to the direction of the external voltage, hindering the passage of AC power. This characteristic of inductance is usually used to manufacture choke coils, transformers, relays, and capacitors to form LC filters, LC oscillators, etc.
Typical devices using soft magnetic materials include on-board chargers (OBC) and DC/DC converters. DC/DC converters can be divided into step-up type, step-down type, and step-down type. The step-down type can convert the high voltage of the power battery pack into a constant 12V or 14V, 24V low voltage, which can supply power to the entire vehicle electrical appliances. It can also charge the auxiliary battery and is the “gate” of the electrical components of the whole vehicle. Therefore, the DC/DC converter is at the core of the electrical system of the electric vehicle. OBC refers to the charger fixedly installed on the electric vehicle. Its function is to convert the AC power of the charging pile into the DC power required by the battery. It is mainly composed of a power circuit and a control circuit. The power circuit is composed of AC rectifier, transformer and power tube, and the DC/DC converter is an important part of it. The main function is to facilitate the use of new devices for AC charging. The current trend is to integrate OBC and DC/DC to reduce the volume.
(2) The profit margin of high-end ferrite is large, and alloy soft magnetic powder cores benefit a lot under the trend of 800V
Soft ferrite is the most demanded and widely used in automotive electronics. As an electronic functional material with excellent high-frequency electrical characteristics, relatively low cost, and easy processing into products of different shapes and sizes, soft ferrite is widely used in various inductors, transformers, choke coils, and filters in automobiles. Among them, the high-end material field has relatively large profit margins. For example, the use of MnZn series high-permeability soft ferrite in EMI can effectively suppress electromagnetic interference; the use of high-performance wide-temperature and low-loss power ferrite materials in transformers and chokes ensures long-term reliable operation in harsh environments , and maintain high efficiency. At present, ferrite products with high technical content used in EV and HEV are mostly monopolized by advanced ferrite manufacturers such as Japan, Europe and the United States. According to the statistics of Xinsijie Industrial Research Center, my country’s ferrite soft magnetic production will be about 235,000 tons in 2021, accounting for three-quarters of the global total. Although the proportion of production capacity is high, the products are mostly concentrated in the low-end field , the product value is low, the profit margin is small, and the production capacity is relatively scattered. There are only two companies with a production capacity of 30,000 tons in mainland China, Hengdian DMEGC and Tiantong. Amorphous and nanocrystalline alloys are currently the most ideal soft magnetic materials for electric vehicles, and their application in new energy vehicles needs to be further expanded. Due to their special structure and excellent comprehensive soft magnetic properties, amorphous and nanocrystalline materials are mainly used to manufacture various medium and high frequency transformers, high-performance inductors and filters, high-precision electromagnetic measurement and sensors, and high-performance electromagnetic Shielding and absorbing materials, etc. The energy-saving and high-efficiency amorphous motor made of amorphous material is especially suitable for the use of new energy vehicles. It has outstanding advantages such as low current start-up, high torque output, high-speed torque without attenuation, and high-speed energy saving. High-frequency filter inductors, high-performance common-mode inductors, precision sensors, and high-frequency transformers made of nanocrystalline ultra-thin strips can greatly optimize the performance and efficiency of new energy vehicles.
Metal soft magnetic powder cores benefit more from the 800V high-voltage platform trend. With the landing and promotion of the 800V high-voltage platform, components such as the core three-electric system of new energy vehicles, air-conditioning compressors, DCDC (DC transformers), and OBC (on-board chargers) need to be redeveloped for related electrical components. For example, when an 800V inverter is combined with an 800V motor, the motor power loss is the lowest, the inverter is more efficient, and the capacitor needs to be upgraded from 600V to 1200V to adapt to the 800V BEV. Corresponding to the soft magnetic demand, metal soft magnetic powder core soft magnetic will further open up room for growth due to its superior comprehensive performance such as high saturation magnetic flux density. In stock, inductance products made of alloy soft magnetic powder cores can withstand greater current, and the demand for stock replacement will increase. In terms of increments, since the 800V solution still needs to be compatible with the 400V charging solution, the conventional 400V charging pile cannot be adapted to the battery of the 800V platform, so a 400V switching 800V boost charging device needs to be added to the tram. At present, there are two relatively mature solutions: (1) Adding a DCDC module with a boost function, the technology is relatively mature, but the disadvantage is that it will take up extra space and increase additional costs. (2) Use the electric drive system to integrate the boost module, use the motor winding as the inductor, and the controller IGBT as the chopper and capacitor, which can save space, but the disadvantage is that the thermal effect of the current will cause the NdFeB magnet to heat up, and heat will be generated when it is too high demagnetization. The first solution requires the use of additional metal soft magnetic powder cores, which has a large room for development in the short to medium term.
(3) CAGR of alloy soft magnetic powder core and ferrite soft magnetic demand reaches 41.71%/34.30%
According to the different power and different requirements, the magnetic materials for a car range from a few kilograms to more than ten kilograms. Among them, the amount of soft magnetic ferrite is about 2kg. According to the disclosure of Boke New Materials, the amount of magnetic powder cores for EV bicycles is 0.6-0.8kg/vehicle, while the demand for magnetic powder cores for PHEV bicycles is about 2-3kg/vehicle, which is 3-4 times that of EVs. The bicycle consumption of metal soft magnetic powder core is about 0.7kg, and the consumption of alloy soft magnetic powder core of pure electric vehicle under 800V is expected to increase to 2.7kg. We assume that (1) the amount of alloy soft magnetic powder core used in pure electric vehicles is about 0.7kg, and the penetration rate of 800V platforms in electric vehicles rises to 12%, corresponding to the demand for alloy soft magnetic powder cores of 2kg per vehicle. (2) The amount of soft ferrite bicycle is 2kg. (3) The ratio of pure electric vehicles to plug-in hybrid vehicles is 7:3. In summary, we calculate that by 2025, the demand for alloy soft magnetic powder cores will reach 38,200 tons, and the demand for soft magnetic ferrites will reach 5.16 tons.
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