TECHNOLOGY

Our Original Magnetic Material

Liqualloy™

What is Liqualloy™

Liqualloy™ is the name given to an original magnetic metal material developed by Alps Alpine. A major feature is that it is an amorphous alloy with a supercooled liquid region, meaning crystallization does not take place at freezing point. Most metals we encounter usually start crystallizing at freezing point and are in a crystalline state at room temperature. A crystalline state is when atoms are arranged in an ordered structure. So in what state do we find a metal with a supercooled liquid region? It is a substance that does not crystallize at freezing point and therefore its atoms are not arranged in an ordered structure. A substance whose atoms are not orderly structured at room temperature are said to be in an “amorphous” state. Liqualloy™ is an amorphous metal.
he name “Liqualloy™” reflects its material properties as an amorphous substance. The name combines “liquid” – a substance whose atoms are not orderly structured – with “alloy.”
So what are the characteristics of this amorphous metal, Liqualloy™? Liqualloy™ has four main characteristics: 1) low iron loss; 2) high saturated flux density; 3) easy to pulverize; and 4) stable characteristics even at high temperatures.

1) Low Iron Loss (Low Core Loss)

Iron loss is the electrical energy lost when magnetic material used as an iron core is magnetized by a current passing through a coil around it. Low iron loss means little energy is lost at the time of magnetization, implying efficient magnetization and therefore efficient power utilization. Figure 1 shows a comparison of the core loss of Liqualloy™ and other core materials at two frequencies, 50kHz and 100kHz. We can see core loss is lower for Liqualloy™ than the other materials.

Extremely low loss with high switching frequencies

Characteristics Comparison for Existing Products
and Products Under Development

2) High Saturation Flux Density

The second feature of Liqualloy™ is its high saturation flux density. Saturation flux density is the magnetic flux density at magnetic saturation when a magnetic substance’s magnetization no longer increases with application of an external magnetic field.
Core materials with a high saturation flux density can be used with high currents (10-20A); that is, in the presence of strong magnetic fields. If a core material with low saturation flux density were to be used with a high current, inductance decreases, disabling voltage regulation in electronic equipment.
Until now, this problem has been resolved by using bigger cores. Liqualloy™, on the other hand, because of its high saturation flux density allows the creation of small cores which can be used even with high currents.

The table below gives saturation flux density and core loss values for each type of core material. It shows how Liqualloy™ offers good balance as a core material.

Saturation Flux Density and Core Loss Comparison of Core Materials

Saturation flux density (Bs(T)) Core loss
(kW/m³@100kHz, 100mT)
Liqualloy™ 1.1 200 - 400
FeNi (High Flux) 1.35 550 - 1100
Slicon steel 1.55 1400 - 2000
MnZn ferrite 0.35 - 0.5 100 -

3) Easy to Pulverize

Liqualloy™ is a magnetic material that can be easily pulverized, meaning greater flexibility for 3D shaping, allowing it to be packed down into cores of various shapes.

4)Stable Characteristics at High Temperatures

Furthermore, Liqualloy™ characteristics remain stable even at temperatures as high as 200°C. This characteristic creates potential for use in automotive and other tough environments.

Characteristics remain stable in low to high temperatures

By harnessing the above characteristics, Liqualloy™ is turned into a core material for inductors.