Functionally integrated additive manufactured rotor components for torque-dense aircraft electric motors

von Lindenfels J, Posch D, Ihne T, Franke J, Kühl A (2023)

Publication Type: Journal article

Publication year: 2023


Book Volume: 120

Pages Range: 998-1003

DOI: 10.1016/j.procir.2023.09.114


In dealing with emissions targets worldwide, fundamental questions about the future arise for commercial aviation. The resulting consequences for aviation require efforts to make air traffic CO2 neutral. In this context, electrification is an important building block to enable the aviation industry to provide transport in the future with increasing traffic volumes. To achieve this goal, electric motors for flight operation must have a high power and torque density and operate as energy-efficiently as possible. The PM synchronous motors predominantly proposed for such applications have above average efficiencies but could provide higher peak powers if they could be thermally more loaded. In particular, the sensitive permanent magnets lose efficiency as the operating temperature of the electric motor increases, reducing the maximum possible torque of the motor. Since conventional rotor construction methods limit the design, additive manufacturing is used to develop a rotor design that allows the rotor magnets to be cooled in close range to their contours. In addition, by selective laser melting mechanical, thermal, and magnetic functions are integrated. A process for hybrid manufacturing of novel rotor topologies is proposed. For this purpose, the rather conventional rotor topology is replaced by an additive function-integrated component for a reference electric motor. By means of an FEM analysis, it was shown that the mechanical strength of the alternative fixation method is maintained. Using adequate design guidelines, the AM structural components were fabricated in aluminum and an iron-nickel alloy and the permanent magnets were secured on it using 1K-epoxy adhesive. CFD analysis was used to simulate the flow conditions and heat transfer to the coolant in the internal structures of the AM components. Finally, the effect of the integrated cooling function was verified with an experimental setup. The results show that the torque influencing factor of the magnetic induction can be increased.

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How to cite


von Lindenfels, J., Posch, D., Ihne, T., Franke, J., & Kühl, A. (2023). Functionally integrated additive manufactured rotor components for torque-dense aircraft electric motors. Procedia CIRP, 120, 998-1003.


von Lindenfels, Johannes, et al. "Functionally integrated additive manufactured rotor components for torque-dense aircraft electric motors." Procedia CIRP 120 (2023): 998-1003.

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