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Implementation carbon fibres for rotor of high speed rotating electric machine

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High-speed aircraft electric motor

High-tech aircraft machine technology such as motors and generators are all the rage. A high-strength composite sleeve prototype developed with EU funding can offer unique advantages to machine performance.

Transport and Mobility

Permanent magnet machines have lately attracted a great deal of attention due to their outstanding efficiency, high power density, small size and low weight. However, there is still much room for improvement regarding their performance, and further increasing rotational speed can offer significant reduction in motor size. Within the EU-funded project HIGHPSLEEVE (Implementation carbon fibres for rotor of high speed rotating electric machine), researchers successfully developed an innovative sleeve that helps keep the motor’s permanent magnets in place. The newly developed composite sleeve overcomes drawbacks associated with the use of their metal counterparts, handling the same or even higher rotor speeds. Made of polymer matrix composite of high glass transition temperature, this fixation component can operate over a wide temperature range, from -50 to 250 °C, spinning at around 50 000 rpm. A newly developed assembly system urged the composite sleeve in the rotor. Scientists succeeded in reducing the metal parts in the sleeve by investigating prepreg carbon fibres. When combined with a resin matrix, carbon fibre offers unprecedented strength and weight advantages. The project team performed engine oil tests to investigate the influence of oil on the material properties. Carbon fibres were wrapped around the polymer to enhance strength. The material was shaped in the form of prepreg rolls. Panels were manufactured to conduct material testing. Reducing fuel consumption is a major goal of the aviation industry, and further increasing performance of electric motors is definitely a step in the right direction. Higher motor speeds translate to smaller electric machine sizes for the same power output. Advances in high-strength composite sleeves also enable motor operation with certain speed capabilities but lower machine weight. HIGHPSLEEVE looked at cost-effective materials and production methods of the composite sleeve and assembly system, ensuring all comply with design requirements.

Keywords

Aircraft, electric motor, composite sleeve, permanent magnet, HIGHPSLEEVE

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