Nano-crystalline Fe-rich Fe84.3Si4B8P 3Cu0.7 alloy ribbon with saturation magnetic flux density (Bs) close to Si-steel exhibits much lower core loss (Wt) than Si-Steels. Low glass forming ability of this alloy limits fabrication of magnetic cores only to stack/wound types. Here, we report on fabrication, structural, thermal and magnetic properties of bulk Fe84.3Si 4B8P3Cu0.7 cores. Partially crystallized ribbons (obtained after salt-bath annealing treatment) were crushed into powdered form (by ball milling), and were compacted to high-density (∼88%) bulk cores by spark plasma sintering (SPS). Nano-crystalline structure (consisting of α-Fe grain in remaining amorphous matrix) similar to wound ribbon cores is preserved in the compacted cores. At 50 Hz, cores sintered at Ts = 680 K show Wt < 10 W/kg (f = 50 Hz, Bm ∼1 T). Coating/mixing of powders with an insulating agent like SiO2 is shown to be effective in further reduction of Wt at f > 1 kHz. A trade-off between porosity and electrical resistivity is necessary to get low Wt at higher f. In the f range of ∼1 to 100 kHz, we have shown that the cores mixed with SiO2 exhibit much lower Wt than Fe-powder cores, non-oriented Si-steel sheets and commercially available sintered cores. We believe our core material is very promising to make power electronics/electrical devices much more energy-efficient.
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